Thursday, May 25, 2006

Disrupting birth order

"Disrupting Birth Order" is a term used to describe what happens when you adopt a child out of age progression of existing children. For example, if we were to adopt someone older than Emma, she would no longer be our "first born", disrupting her birth order. Most "experts" advise against this; of course there are exceptions where this works out fine.

I have a strong desire to adopt an older child from Ethiopia at some point. My heart just breaks for the children who are old enough to understand that they are orphans, and who have to wait a long time in an orphanage. Older kids almost always have to wait much longer than younger ones to be adopted. It pains me to think what it must be like for them to watch kids come and go from the orphanage, while they still wait.

Most of the stories I have heard from families who have adopted older kids have been very positive, with the kids blending into the home nicely. But that doesn't mean that there won't be challenges. Afterall, these kids have seen and experienced more loss and pain than most of us could even imagine.

I think about these older kids often, but especially today after reading a message from our agency director that there are four sets of siblings available right now, consisting of one 8-year old, and one infant. One particular set I can't seem to get off my mind: an 8-year old girl and a 1-month old boy. That's all I know about them, yet somehow they have captured a piece of my heart.

Brian feels strongly about not disrupting birth order, and I guess I do to. For now, I will just pray for these precious children, and hope that they find a family soon, and won't have to experience any more pain.


Brianna Heldt said...

Thanks for sharing your heart with us! I honestly think I've heard more positive things from people about disrupting birth order than negative.

The great thing is that God will bless this adoption, no matter which child/children you end up with. Don't be afraid to look into it if you want to, ask questions, talk to people, you never know. In other words, just 'cause "the experts" have things to say about it doesn't mean it won't work.

We hope to adopt some older children at some point as well. My heart goes out to those kids, and it's always tough seeing Merrily post about children who need homes--I wish I could adopt them all!!!

Shana said...

Thanks, Brianna.

It is amazing to see God work in our hearts and in this situation. I will keep everyone posted as to any events that unfold.

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