PLEASE KNOW THAT EVERYTHING I WRITE ON THE SUBJECT OF ADOPTING AN OLDER CHILD IS SIMPLY MY OPINION BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL- JUST AN ADOPTIVE MOM.
QUESTION- Among so many other things, I'd be interested to hear about your experience adopting out of birth order. I've seen some comments elsewhere about this being a challenge, but I'm not really sure of the details - or even if that's true.
ANSWER- I am tackling this question first because I think it's a big one and I get asked this question a LOT. I know we are a rarity in this area. Frankly, the stigma on this subject seems a bit blown out of proportion. Now I am NOT saying that adopting out of birth order is always a good idea. I DO think it can be a harmful thing in some situations.
BUT should you DARE to ask the question on the adoption forums of whether it is okay to adopt an older child out of birth order.... all the stuff will HIT THE FAN. Trust me on this. I made the mistake of asking. What was funny was that the people telling me how CRAZY I was for even considering this obscene notion had NEVER adopted an older child and hadn't adopted out of birth order. The support I received came from people who had done it successfully.
I guess what I'm saying is that I think there are very few areas in life where you can draw a hard and fast rule. It is human nature to spout these rules because it is much harder to think through the specifics of each situation.
What I would encourage people to do is to really think through their individual situation rather than just accept the pat answers that you get. Any new person coming into your family means that everyone's position gets shuffled. The baby becomes the middle child or the older child.... It's just the nature of change.
In our situation I believe adopting out of birth order was much LESS traumatic for Kaitlyn than it would have been if we had adopted an infant. Kaitlyn was very little when we started the process and very comfortable with her "baby" status. Had we brought in a little baby I think she would have struggled more. She would have actually lost her status rather than kept it.
Not that I am saying that would have been a horrible thing. I guess it just makes the point that adjustments come from every area no matter what the age of the children.
As it was the adjustment was beautiful. Zoe is a perfect fit for our family in every way. She is an amazing big sister. She is just one more person that dotes on Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn LOVES that.
When we adopt again it will not be out of the question to adopt out of birth order. If we were making the decision now I would not be too concerned about adopting a child older than Kaitlyn. She still doesn't mind being the little one although I think adopting an infant will be much easier on her now or in the near future. She is growing up!
I would be a teeny bit more cautious about adopting a child older than Zoe at this point. She seems to love her older sibling position. Because she has gone through so much her "leader" status seems to give her strength in a sense. For now she needs that. In the future she may no longer need that but it will be taken into consideration.
I am so glad we prayed and sought out wisdom from those who had walked this path. If we hadn't we would have been scared away from receiving this amazing blessing named Zoe. I can't imagine Kaitlyn without her beloved big sister. I can't imagine our lives without this precious little girl. I can't imagine her life without us. For us adopting out of birth order has been AMAZING!
Does that answer the question thoroughly? Please let me know if I you have further questions in this area. You can also ask any other adoption questions. I'll just keep writing posts until we get them all answered. Hugs, Angel