How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
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Welcome to the journey!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adopting TWO (or more) at one time.

Pros for adopting ONE/Cons for adopting MORE than one
Will get our full attention
Financing one set of costs is all most people can manage
Adjustment for family is not as extreme
Bonding and attachment will be less strenuous (not that it won't be strenuous)
Processing the grief of one is an armload in itself, two is a mountain
Two is more expensive than one in daily cost of living

Pros for MORE than one/Cons for ONE
If you live in a very homogeneous area, it would be nice to have someone who is like you
Siblings would always have each other
Having a sibling would help them adjust to a new environment.
If I am processing one's grief and attachment why not two (this is hard!)
I want to adopt two eventually, why not just get it over with now, plus the fees will be reduced
If you wait to adopt another child later they may not be close in age, you may loose heart and never do it, etc.
instant family

Our experience:
We adopted our two boys at the same time, they were 3. We also have two daughters who are older and close in age to each other 20 mo, sibling adjustment is another post!). We are glad we did it, but we could not have picked a more difficult path, or been given more grace in doing it. If you are up the the challenge it is well worth it for all the reasons above and more. But, challenge it is. We are two years home and that is a lot different from 6 months or one year. You might have read other blogs or have friends who have adopted more than one at a time, wait until they have been home one or two years before considering their answer to your questions as full experience. They are still becoming family. With more than one, that is a longer journey.

Our boys presented opposite everything so we got to see the variance in kids all at once. (Definition of terms: attachment = feeling of love. Bond = trusting parents to meet all needs). Son 1: transferred attachment within the first 3 months, then tested hard for another four months, bond took an entire year to establish. Son 2: no attachment to transfer. Teach attachment, struggle and work hard and terribly tired, combating fear and anger. Attachment took about a year, bond took an additional 10-12 months after that. We are in a good place with both of our sons at this time. We would not have survived so well if we had not done our homework beforehand. We read everything and had a game plan for any scenario and we used them all and had to come up with more and read more.

There are two ways to go about the multiple child adoption.
You can adopt siblings. That is the most common way. Social workers will tell you that because siblings already have a bond to one another they will not have to expend so much energy bonding to eachother and have more energy to bond to you. If you have other kids in the home then that is only half true because they still have to bond to them too. And you will have to consider if they have even been living together. Many are separated by living with different relatives or different child care facilities due to age or gender. That sibling bond can get in the way of forming a bond with the parents until you gain the trust of the most dominant sibling (usually the oldest). Sometimes that is not so hard, other times it is the hardest part of the entire attachment/ bonding thing. Siblings also share almost all the same history (sometimes there are different fathers).  That is a big plus and if there is an older sibling they remember for everyone and will have more for you to write down. However sometimes there are different life experiences due to gender or age. Siblings can be manipulative and controlling. But, really don't all kids try this. If you adopt just one and have another child at home you are still going to deal with this. For that matter, an only child will pull that one. It is the nature of children! It is also less expensive, adoption fees and validation and USCIS, etc. for siblings are just less.

Or you can adopt two unrelated children at the same time. Not so common, and lots of agencies will not allow you to do this. Ethiopia DOES allow this. Mainly agencies discourage this because they say it is harder to form a bond with two (but they don't apply this to siblings for some reason). Since this is what we DID DO, I will say that most of their issues are well founded, but also apply just as well with a sibling adoption. The benefit of non siblings is that the children do not already have a hierarchy nor a leader to block and usurp your authority. To me that is a big bonus. Of course this does not always occur, just like the horror stats for unrelated adoptions do not always occur (like in our case).  If the children come from the same child center then they may already have an attachment or bond to each other. They at least have feelings about each other. Siblings may not like one another but they know there is nothing to do about that. Unrelated kids may not like each other but they don't automatically think there is nothing to be done about that. Of course both scenarios will have manipulative and controlling behaviors and well, you have to work that out with siblings no matter how they become siblings. Everyone will see the opportunity and charge you fees for two, ok the paperwork is slightly more. Even after they are home and ARE siblings you still get to pay twice because they don't share the same blood line. Even though at this point it is not more paperwork.

It comes down to what you feel is most important for your children and family and what you feel you and your current family (and marriage) can handle. Two is a tough road but it is soooooo worth it. By researching and reading all you can you are doing great thinking on this and you will make a good choice for you. The best thing I can say is if you choose to do two, do not be afraid. Trust that it is what you are called to and you can do it.

Do your research, learn all you can, make your plan, bring  your kids home, work your plan, learn more, make more plans, work your new plans, repeat...... and one day you will wake up and find that you are really really truly feel like family and you are glad and you are not as tired as you have been. That is a good feeling.

Resources for adopting more than one child at the same time:
the above article covers: adopting unrelated children and siblings

If you have done this and would like to share your blog, please post it in the comments.

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The content on The Wayfarer:Ethiopian Adoption Resource Blog is for informational purposes only. We are adoptive parents, but we are not professionals. The opinions and suggestions expressed here are not intended to replace professional evaluation or therapy, or to supersede your agency. We assume no responsibility in the decisions that families make for their children and families. There are many links on this blog. We believe these other sites have valuable information, but we do not necessarily share all of the opinions or positions represented by each site, nor have we fully researched every aspect of each link. Please keep this in mind when visiting the links from this page.
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