Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jie Jie Thoughts

I read some of the comments on Rumor Queen on her post mentioning the new Special Interest child list. One comment did say that a single woman did adopt concurrently so I'm continuing to give this much thought and research.

The more people I tell about it, the better because it helps me think of it more and more to hear myself talk about it. I'm getting some valuable insights from moms with more than one child, too.

Here are some things I thought about today...

1. If I adopt a much older child, like a 10 yr. old, she will be 11 or 12 by the time Apple comes home. Will it be harder with that large of an age span to bond as sisters and develop and strong enough relationship that will last through adulthood? Remember, if Jie Jie goes to college at 18, Apple may be only 7 yrs. old.

2. If I adopt a toddler or preschooler, do I give her the things I've bought for Apple or buy for her specifically in mind. I began to imagine Jie Jie in Apple's crib and that was fine, but what about Apple's bedding? What about the baby doll I bought for Apple? I feel VERY loyal to Apple and in the things I've done to specifically prepare for HER. I don't feel that way about the clothes. In fact, adopting a toddler means I already have most of her clothes.

3. If I get an older child, do I put her in Apple's room then move her later to the "small" room or put her in my current room, which is the only room that can accommodate two children? How would Jie Jie feel being moved for Apple. I know this happens to bio kids all the time, but if I have Jie Jie for only a year and then Apple's referral comes, Jie Jie may feel displaced.

4. If Jie Jie is over 8 years old, she will have been in school and have highly developed Mandarin skills, reading as well as writing. I want to preserve this and I think the only way to FULLY preserve it is to enroll her in Chinese school, higher a tutor (my own Mandarin teacher comes to mind), and I plan to bring back as many children's books from China as I can pack. The public library also has a Chinese branch with good selection. If Jie Jie is not in school when I adopt her, I will homeschool her as planned with Apple.


Karen said...

The things you are considering are superficial, really. Clothes, bedding, toys....they are all replacable. What you really need to consider are bonding issues-If Jie Jie has not bonded with a particular nanny in China, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for her to bond with you, and it might be confrontational when you bring Apple home in 2 years or so, as that is not much time for an older adoptee to adjust before introducing someone else into the mix. Trust issues (both ways). LOTS of melt downs (because the older the child is, the more they grieve their losses),. Integration into being an American child..She will be Chinese but her mother will not...this is very different than being Chinese with Chinese parents as we have found with our own daughter and her Chinese friends who have Chinese's a very different experience. Consider also, that there might be possible abuse or neglect at the orphanage. I hate to say it, but the longer they are at the orphanage, the more potential there is for emotional, sexual, or physical abuse from other older children, or staff, etc. It's not something we like to think about, but the potential is you need to consider how you would handle finding out about that later, and the long term effects any of these tragedies would have on the child, or how Jie Jie's past might effect Apple-how she might act out against Apple if Jie Jie had these things happen to her. Hoarding issues are also a possibility, although not as important. I have two younger brothers adopted from Korea. The older one was 5 or 6 at adoption. The younger one was 1. The older brother hoarded a lot when he first came home. He also had many emotional delays. Today he is 30 years old, and is still very manipulative-and living with my dad and step mom still, because he never got over some of the abuse/neglect from the orphanage. The younger one is just fine, and an over achiever.
I mention these things only because these are very REAL concerns of adopting an older child before Apple. I follow a blow, in which they have adopted a couple older children with physical SNs. One of the children they had to relinquish because they found out after a year that it was not simply speech delays but she actually had mental retardation that was not disclosed by the orphanage before adopting her, and it was consuming their entire family. The found another family that has adopted other mentally retarded children as well, but the emotional toll on the parents was very hard, thinking that they failed her somehow.
Have you checked out any forums of adopting older international children? That would be the best place to find out more. Try and look for their international adoption then adopting older children. I would look for everything from every angle with a comittment this large. And you ALWAYS have to consider the worst and hope for the best when considering adoption of any kind.

Vicki said...

I think it sounds like you have and are preparing for the idea and that you are going into into it realistically. Yes, there are risks in older adoption, but I have seen people come home with the youngest children with no special needs known only to have many attachment issues, RAD,etc. Adoption is a risk just as childbirth is.

My first hand experience is that it has been a blessing. We have adopted in the NSN program as well as the SN program. Our first was 9 months old, our second 2.2 years old, our third was 6 and now we are waiting for a almost 3 year old.