Sometimes I look around at my kids and think how did this happen? How did I deserve to have 10 amazingly perfect children? We struggled in our marriage, we worked it out, and promised God that where He led, we would follow. And He has not disappointed. He continues to bless us with his amazing plans!
We have adopted out of birth order three times. Our children are 19, 16, 15, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6 and 3 years old. Our children adopted out of birth order are Gina, age 14, Sage, age 12, and Avah, who is 8.
Our first out of birth order adoption was our second adopted child, Avah. She was four years old at the time. Mia, who we adopted first, was three. The girls are 10 months apart. We have seen zero problems with this out of birth order adoption. Avah and Mia are best friends.
Gina and Sage were our second and third out of birth order adoptions. These were a bit more complicated because they came home at the same time.
Gina is super easy-going and loving. We had hosted Gina so we knew what to expect. She is our 14 year old. She loves being a big sister, and she loves little kids. She has not had much issue adapting with her older or younger siblings. In fact, Gina even asks for us to adopt more older kids.
Our ’12 year old’ daughter, Sage, had a some big shoes to to fill. Gina is extremely smart. She came home speaking and writing English on a 2nd grade level. Younger than Sage is our biological son, Paul. He is 10 years old… and is a genius. Literally. He seems to just know things and never struggles with school. He is also a strong willed and proud child. It was obvious from the beginning that there could be a huge struggle between these two. Paul immediately took on the role of “big brother” while Sage was most definitely the “younger sister”… even though she is 2 1/2 years older than Paul.
Sage was not well-cared for at her orphanage and foster homes. She had suffered abuse and neglect that I can not imagine. Yet Beauty comes from Ashes. She is the sweetest, most loving, helpful, and caring big sister and little sister.
As soon as she could, she told me she was 10 years old – not 12. I believed this could be true because it had happened to others. She also was the size of a 6 year old. We had doctors do a bone age test and had the dentist give his opinion as well. They both said she was in fact 12 years old.
But she insisted…
Our family doctor advised us to just allow her to be the age she wanted. She had lost so much time, and she was now realizing it. Sage also felt fitting into birth order between Paul (age 10) and Avah (age 8) was a better fit. She is homeschooled so we aren’t concerned about paperwork at this time. So she is allowed to be 10… as she wants to be.
One other issue has been bedrooms. We assumed that 15, 14, and 12 year old kids would want to share a room together. It quickly became obvious that it wasn’t going to work. Sage begged to share a room with our 7 and 8 year old daughters. I was a bit nervous about this, but with monitors, and the fact that my 7 and 8 year olds are not afraid to voice concerns or complaints they may have, it has worked perfectly.
The one rule I always refer back to when considering adoption is: Respect birth order. And we did. Every child was consulted and allowed to see our referred child’s file.
Would we consider adopting out of birth order again?
We would consider consider adopting a child under age 10, unless God has another plan for us….
Adopting out of birth order is not something to be taken lightly. You really need to consider the needs of the newly adopted child as well as the other children in the family, especially the children who are directly older and younger.