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Another honest, real life, older child adoption guest blog from John. He is a retired commercial airline pilot who has adopted five boys, over three decades, from domestic foster care as a single parent. John and his family live in southern California.
Tyler, age 12, had been home seven months. It was great, and we finalized our adoption. This was the honeymoon though, and Tyler has Reactive Attachment Disorder. He was beginning to attach, and for a kid with RAD, there is nothing more scary. All parents quit, it is just a matter of when. (According to RAD) Kids like him get sent back, always. He knew that first hand, after 16 placements in 5 years of foster care.
Kill the placement before it hurts even more, do it quick, and do anything it takes, but force the move. Problem, I don’t like to quit, in fact, I hate quitting. First, it was the beginning of summer break, and Tyler began hanging out with only older kids, two years older, and not the good ones. He also kept going over to a girl’s house, she is 14 and a HS sophomore, what on earth would she have in common with a 7th grade 12 year old?
Another painfully honest guest blog from John, who tells it like it is when it comes to adopting older children from the foster care system. John is a retired commercial airline pilot who has adopted five boys from domestic foster care as a single parent. John and his family live in southern California.
‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, and all the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again.’ Is a sad story about hopelessness and the need to quit. My story has sadness and pain, but it is not about hopelessness and giving up. This story is about my son Tyler, he is 12 years old, indeed, he had a great fall.
Tyler came home in adoption one year ago, after five years of foster care. On October 15, I placed him in a group home. It is hard to describe the pain of realizing that you are going to have to place your child in a facility. This is your child, someone else will be raising him now, and for a long time you will be a very small part of your child’s day-to-day life. Failure? Yes, it feels that way. Surely, there must have been something I could have done differently? Yes, the first time you have to place a child that feeling is very strong, two of my older sons had to have placements in a residential treatment. I knew that I had tried everything with Tyler that I was capable of doing. The pain is difficult to describe, it is so bad that it is difficult to breath, very much like the feeling of someone dying that you are very close to.
Tyler, age 12, is my youngest son. He came home October 29th, from foster care. This was straight adoption, meaning no foster period, adoption from day one. On April 15th, we finalized our adoption in court.
This was my first instate adoption, and Tyler’s worker’s first straight adoption. CA does do some things differently, but mostly it was very smooth and well thought out. The worker and I only got to hissing at each other twice. That is remarkable considering the problems that had to be addressed.
Our guest blog is from John, a retired commercial airline pilot who has adopted five boys from domestic foster care as a single parent. John and his family live in southern California.
Michael, (aka Califdads), brought out an important issue, the view that Dads are usually seen as auxiliary parents to Moms. Michael and his husband would tend to get the most disbelief on being the only parents due to the age of their sons, one only a few weeks old, and the other just entering toddlerhood. Surely, men are not suited to raise children without a Mom to be the primary parent, especially with very young children. Why? Other than breast-feeding, what unique talents do women have that automatically makes them a likely better parent than a Dad? Let’s look at this.
Our guest blog is from John, a retired commercial airline pilot who has adopted four boys, and working on number 5, from domestic foster care as a single parent. John and his family live in southern California.
Adopting an older child from foster care has advantages over infant adoption. Agency fees and direct adoption costs are much less. We hear of $40,000 for an infant adoption and compare that to perhaps $3,000 or less for agency costs. Yes, there is visitation, but that still doesn’t get us to a lot more. Another advantage is that you have a good idea of the personality and traits of the child you are adopting. For some of us, no diapers, is also a large advantage.
There are some disadvantages that are real considerations. First, there is no diaper stage, for those who really do need to start from day one. If he is 11, you will never get to have any of his experiences in those first 10 years. Trust me, you miss that, lots of firsts that other people did with your son. Then there is the biggie, what your son has lived through. This child did not become available for adoption because the stork brought him; he suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment or a combination of these. The degree of badness has to be very substantial for the judge to agree to terminate parental rights so that the child is available for adoption.