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  #1  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:51 AM
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alice75 alice75 is offline
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Question adopting an older child vs. an infant, any regrets ?

Long post sorry,
My DH and I have been on the waiting list with a large adoption agencey for about nine months with no success.
We are having our profile considered, through our present agencey, for a 2 year old in foster care with some risk factors, which from what I have read are things we feel that we are capable of handling. We have no children due to infertility and we want to be parents so this is why we are choosing adoption. I have pretty much got over the fact that I will never experience pregnancy and will never have a bio child, we could have done more on the ART front but moved on to adoption instead and I do not regret that decision. Here is the thing I would like a baby because I have never had the opportunity to raise an infant, I gave up on the pregnancy fantasies but kept the baby fantasies. We have been exploring the older children available for adoption for the last several months and comparing this child and to what is available she seems like she has a lot less risk factors than others that are available. We had always considered older child adoption for a second child or if we were not having any success in the infant program, which is where we feel that we are at now. I am looking forward to the possibility of parenting this 2 year old but I never want her to feel like she is a second choice, plan B, so to speak, every child has the right to be loved and chosen for themselves. More than any thing we want to be parents but want to do what is right for this child and for us. If we adopt her it is very unlikely that we will go back in to an infant program for reasons like age, finances etc.
Finally my question, have any of you, esp those of you who have never raised an infant either bio or adopted chosen to adopt an older child and do you regret missing out on all that fun, rewarding baby stuff (I know it's not all fun but it's like that saying to a starving person any food looks good) ?
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  #2  
Old 06-11-2011, 08:56 AM
Lighths10 Lighths10 is offline
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Go for the two year old.

I have had bio, adopted older kids, adopted a 3 year old - came to us as a 2 yr old and adopted another 3 year old - came to us as a 5 month old.

Keep your options open always. Some times a bio sibling will pop up and fill in your family picture.

Don't hold back. Go for love. You never know what the future will hold.
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  #3  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:45 AM
bluebonnet_72 bluebonnet_72 is offline
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What a difficult question. I guess I still would like a chance to do the baby thing. The older they get the less I ferl that desire. I wish I had had that time with my girls and obviously I wish they hadnt experied so many hard things. I would never wish we had done anything diferently because I cant imagine
life without my daughters. My youngest was 2 when she came home. I feel like I missed less with her then the older girls.
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Old 06-11-2011, 09:56 AM
TherapeuticFamilies TherapeuticFamilies is offline
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thoughts...

That's a tough question because sometimes when we hear about a child that doesn't exactly meet our "criteria" we think we're supposed to go in a new direction. For me, I adopted a 6 year old. As a single parent with my own business, I knew I needed to have a child with some self-sufficiency. And, I never had a huge pressing interest in parenting a baby. That said, there are moments when I hold a baby and think, "Gosh, this would have been nice!" But they're just moments. I guess my recommendation would be to only let go of your hope to parent a baby if you're ready to let go of that dream, not simply because this 2 year old is available.

Susan Ward
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2011, 10:50 AM
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mommytoEli mommytoEli is offline
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i sound like a sucky mom every time i try to respond to this thread. lol. so here is the short version:

i was in a similar boat. i did get my one newborn and thought that would be enough, but i really wanted more baby babies. i don't regret the paths i chose instead because that would mean i didn't want what i have now and that is just not the case. but even with the joys of raising my kids that came a little older, i still find i have the sorrow of not having the chance to have more teeny tiny babies.
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2011, 12:34 PM
RebeccaInOR RebeccaInOR is offline
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I never regretted not having an infant because I never wanted one. Finally, after several children I had the chance to foster a newborn. I loved her like crazy but found nothing special about the infant stuff. Frankly it was tiring and not half as fun or interesting as having toddlers and older kids.

But if having an infant is important to you, take your own desires seriously. You could adopt this 2 year-old and keep your name in the pool for a baby.
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  #7  
Old 06-11-2011, 03:09 PM
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Linny Linny is offline
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Alice75-

Having adopted both--- tiny infants---and having adopted older children who ended up failing in the end (and one started out as a toddler)......THIS sentence stood out to me more than anything else in your post:

Quote:
I would like a baby because I have never had the opportunity to raise an infant, I gave up on the pregnancy fantasies but kept the baby fantasies.

Don't go with a two-year old. If your heart is set on the baby...nine months of waiting isn't long at all.......especially if you're wanting that healthy white baby. Many people actually wait longer than nine months.
And well the issues this 2yr old might have would seem 'mild' to you; BUT, IF the issues turn out to be more extreme......those issues MIGHT...and I say, MIGHT keep you from adopting again....which would very well be an infant. (And yes, this type of scenario happens more often than you'd think. Two years of age IS old enough to have significant problems...regardless of what a caseworker might say about them.)

Hold out and adopt a baby as your heart desires. Don't let anyone sway you into adopting a 2yr old because you've been waiting nine months. IF......your heart would certainly change---and you could go into this with NO yearning for a baby........that would be one thing. But from what you've written......you're 'settling'...and that doesn't seem to be what's in your heart.
BTDT and regretted it later. I thought even adopting older children---we could "do" that phase and eventually ........we could always go back to infants. Not necessarily so................

Sincerely,

Linny
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2011, 04:06 PM
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vernellinnj vernellinnj is offline
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I had 3 foster children-2 came at 21 and 24 mos. one infant straight from the hospital. I would have loved to adopt either toddler. I had one for 4 yrs before he was reunited. He may as well have come from my womb.
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2011, 04:12 PM
gisellechloe gisellechloe is offline
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Its funny how you get stuck on wanting an infant. I too wanted an infant and after 4 failed adoptions I got a 3 year old and a 7 month old. AND I was surprised at how much more I enjoyed the 3 year old. The baby really did just eat, sleep, pee and spend most the time strapped to my chest. Dont get me wrong -it was magical I did just sit there watching them breathe but the 3 year old was so much more interactive, he really blossomed.
With all that said I do sometimes still have a "baby" pang which to me is surprising because I didn't find the baby years all that much fun. I think its more of a hope for a girl pang.
If your heart is really set on an infant stick with it you will eventually find your child. It sometimes is much harder to go back and "get" that second child.
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2011, 04:14 PM
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to all of you who replied,

It was interesting that each of you brought up different points which I had already been mulling over.
After really thinking about it I realized that some of that fun baby stuff I was dreaming about was superficial. I have many relatives this age and you know what this really is a more fun, rewarding age than infancy. Naturally we would miss some of the firsts and that would be disappointing. Before I knew we were infertile I would not have anticipated a time when I would OK with the fact we would never experience pregnancy or bio kids but I am there now. I get wistfull and little jealous over other's pregnancies and newborns but I'm OK with it. If we adopt this toddler I am sure I will feel the same way when I hear about or see some of the milestones I missed. BTW I keep saying I because while my husband really wants to adopt he dosen't seem to care about that baby stuff. When we look at the older kids's profiles on the waiting child list he gets a tear in his eye has to stopping reading, and this a guy who doesn't show a lot of emotion.

My husband and I haven't had a perfect life, who has, but we have lived our life with out regrets because we have manged to make the best decisions with the information we had at the time.We know if we pass up this opportunity and another does not come along we will regret it.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:17 PM
saranbr saranbr is offline
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We've adopted three times: two infants (five and seven months) and one 4yr old. I've never cared all that much for the young baby stuff and started out wanting to adopt a preschooler or toddler. That is when we adopted our seven month old (DH wanted a baby and I settled for a baby rather than the toddler I wanted). The first few months were hard but developed a very close bond between us and I love her more than anything today (she's six now). Two years later I got my desire: an older child (three at the time we started) and a boy. It has been a disaster-- after four years there is still ZERO attachment. When we decided we wanted #3, I RAN back to the baby option-- not cause I really wanted to do the little baby thing any more than I ever did, but because the longer wait for one and the time put in with a baby is worth it for the relationship (for me anyway). Today that baby is 16 months (an age I really like alot more than little baby) and I consider every bit of "baby" time to have been worth it for what we have together now.

Others, however, have much different older child experiences than have I. That said, I really don't think nine months is all that long of a wait for a healthy newborn and if you haven't lost the urge for a baby yet you probably need to follow your heart and hold out. The last thing you want to do is settle and then later regret not having held out a little longer.
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2011, 09:16 PM
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vernellinnj vernellinnj is offline
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When I did bonding evaluations with my son (he's my son in my heart and I'm "mom" in his) the doctor told me there's a significant difference between attaching with a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Her opinion was a child under age 3 can form a healthy bond and if that bond is broken the child CAN go on to attach again (assuming he/she had a healthy attachment). After age 3 however, her opinion was it's much harder to break a healthy bond without the child having life long affects.

My son came to me at 21 months and wouldn't even look me in the eye. I mean it was like it pained him to look in someone's eyes (a sign of attachment disorder). He also had the speech of a 12 month old. He qualified for EI and the speech therapist did a beautiful job with him, Over time, he blossomed before my very eyes - it was beautiful to see.

I'm pursuing private adoption now as I just can't stomach the thought of another long term foster placement that could be reunited. However, if I KNEW I could adopt a 2 year-old, I'd forgo an infant in a heartbeat.

Blessing to you and your husband as you make your decision!
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November 2010 - Submitted Application for Private Domestic Adoption
March 2011 - Homestudy approved/waiting to be matched
August 2011 - Received "the call" for a baby born the night before! Birthmom signed TPR papers 72 hours later
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2011, 02:56 AM
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Thank you for your replies ladies,

This child has been with her foster family since she came home from the hospital as an infant. From what I have read so far her foster mom is very proactive in meeting her needs. This is part of the reason that I feel comfortable pursuing this situation further. I have done alot of reading on attachment in toddlers and I am confident that this child has had her needs met by her caregivers. I am sure that she is attached to her foster family. If we do adopt her I preparing my self for tough road for the first several months (or more).

vernellinnj, Your foster children have and will continue to benefit enormously from your love and care, you gave them a great start that will serve them through out their lives. I will pray for you, I and this little girl that we may all find our forever families.

Last edited by alice75 : 06-12-2011 at 03:02 AM.
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2011, 11:31 AM
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We've adopted 4 times...3 infants and one pre-schooler.

I definitely wanted my first to be an infant. I wanted (as crazy as it sounds) the 3:00 a.m. feedings...everything.

Our second child was an infant also. Our third was an older child, and our last child was an infant.

I haven't read all the replies, so forgive me if I'm repeating something that's already been said. If your heart's desire is to have an infant, then I think this is what you should wait for.

For me, and only me, I found it easier raising infants. I've dealt with attachment issues with our older child, and it was very, very difficult. I'd never go through that again.

I know my family is now complete, but if it weren't, I'd only consider adopting infants again.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 06-12-2011, 05:23 PM
Miss.M Miss.M is offline
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I adopted both of my sons at just under 2 years of age (Big Boy was 23 months - Baby Boy was 21 months). I don't regret it at all. From day one they were my sons. They knew me, they talked to me, they played, they connected in a way that an infant doesn't. At that age they are still very infant like anyway. Mine were still in diapers and strangely one was still doing bottles. They woke in the night - even now baby boy does that - they cuddle in a different way than an infant does - you hold the infant, but the toddler lets you hold them and they hold you back.

I would go for the two year old. I'm actually trying to do it again as it is such a magic age and time.

As for missing out on an infant, I was never the infant mother type. I did not have infertility, nor did hubby, we just chose adoption because we wanted to be parents and there were kids out there looking for some. It made sense to us.

A girl of two... what joy. Do your pro and con list and ask yourself the tough questions, but I suspect you know what the answers are. We always do, we just have to listen to them.

Wishing you great joy in your journey.
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