IA of toddler or older, and working moms — The Bump
Adoption

IA of toddler or older, and working moms

Hi all.  I've not posted here before, but I've been starting to think about adopting a second child (we have one bio DD).  We were planning on IA before I became pregnant with DD and are considering it again for her sibling.  We are open to adopting a somewhat older child (maybe between 2 and 6?), which is good because I'm close to being too old to adopt an infant under many countries' programs anyway. 

My concern is that DH and I both work outside the home, so DD is in daycare, and our second child presumably would be as well.  Do you think it would be ill-advised to adopt a child through IA, particularly an older child who will have spent even more time in an orphanage and might be even further behind developmentally and/or have attachment issues, if one of us won't be able to be a SAH parent?  Would it be too difficult to bond with the child under those circumstances, and/or would the child not get what he/she needs to catch up developmentally?  With daycare, I would worry that the child wouldn't get enough one-on-one attention, and with a nanny, at least in the early stages of bonding, I would worry that the child might be confused about who mommy is.  We would be attentive, loving parents in the time that we did get to spend with the child of course, as we are with DD, but with an IA child, is that enough?   

Would you mind sharing your opinions on the subject?  And if any of you have any real-life experience to share, I'd love to hear it.  We have a while to think about this, as we wouldn't adopt out of birth order anyway, but this has been on my mind as we start to think about how we will complete our family.

Thanks!

                              

  
                               

Re: IA of toddler or older, and working moms

  • Hi,

    I don't think that you would be definitely ill-advised.  I think it would come down to your situation at the time and the particular child.  Can you build up leave for FMLA or take some unpaid time off?  If it's a school age kid, 5 or 6, they'll be gone most of the day anyways.

    I do think that you are right to be concerned about this and it will take some thought and planning on your part.  IA or any older adopted child, for that matter, often needs more attention than a child of the same age.  We ahve an adoption counseling center in our area.  Something similar in your area might be a good resource to talk to about this and get their opinion.  I adopted a 12yo from Russia but she had only been in the orphanage for a short period and had the capacity to bond.  However I still took the full amount of time allowed by FMLA to be at home and bond with her and give her a sense of security.

    Good luck with your research and decision.

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  • Hi, and welcome.

    I adopted a 7 year-old from Peru last July.  My initial plan was to stay at home for up to 6 months, but since he was school-aged, I worked part-time for the remainder of the first six months instead, once school started.  My husband and I were his only caregivers for the first six months.  In January, we hired a nanny to watch him after school until we get home.

    While our adjustment was predictably bumpy, we are doing very well.  There's no doubt in our son's mind about who his parents are.  He knew that from day one, in fact, and because of his prior losses, was petrified of losing us.  It's something we're working on, among many other issues, to help him form appropriate attachments and relationships as he grows.

    If you'd like to read more about my story, check out some of my older posts.  I've always been very open and honest about our adjustment year, because I think most people gloss over the difficulties in fear of scaring people off.  I just put all the good and bad out there, because I think it's important for prospective adoptive parents to have a good understanding about what they might encounter, and that it's a normal and healthy part of the attachment process.


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  • Thank you so much for the thoughtful responses, ladies!  I still have a lot to think about, and a lot of planning to do, but your insight definitely helps.  And CS, I will definitely check out some of your older posts -- thanks!
                                  

      
                                   
  • I adopted DS at 2 years from Russia, almost 2 years ago.  He went into daycare f/t a month after we returned home.  There were pros and cons.  In general we had (and continue to have) behavior issues.  In my opinion they relate to his very early experiences, his personality and his age, with the emphasis on personality.

    Daycare was helpful to me in that I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom.  He also has always (and continues) to love being with other children.   As I said, I do think there are pros and cons.  We might have gotten his behavior under control more quickly if I had been at home, but it might have had an effect on our relationship (or my mental health).

    He wasn't that far behind developmentally.  He has always been physically healthy-except for colds, has not been sick at all.  He has (and continue to has) great language skills and picked up english very quickly.  He continues to be a bit behind in his gross motor skills.  He qualified for EI for gross motor skills and they went to daycare to work on these skills.

    We had no issues with his attachment to us.  He did get very close to his teachers (although they did change as he has changed classrooms) which was a little concerning.  But we put limits that they weren't to hold him, no lap sitting etc.-recommended by a number of professionals.

    I'm happy to discuss any other issues.

  • We adopted DD from Canada at 26 months. She was in foster care and her grandparents were her FP. Canada likes for one parent to stay home one year and this was discussed as we both work.

    DD came home 9/23 with here GM. GM stayed at our house with DD for the first week. Then GM stayed at our house upstair away from DD for a week and we took care of her totally. Then DH and I rotated days that we took off work with GM taking care of DD during the day 1 day  a week while we worked. Then we went back to work with GM taking care of DD from 8AM until 11AM then from noon until 3PM. I would come home daily for lunch and to put DD down for a nap. This continued until mid-November when GM was arrested in our town for shoplifting. We put her on a plane the next day with no contact with DD after the arrest. GM was suppose to stay until 12/1 but our trust was broken and she had to go. It took a couple of months for DD to relax enough with us to go to sleep in our arms or to seek more than a quick fix when she was hurt. DD bonded first with my older kids then DH. DD is bonded more to me now but for about 6 months she was more agressive towards me and DD1. When DD would ask for GM we would let her call her on the phone and that helped.

    Our situation was very difficult because it involved extended family. We are on good terms now but I do not want GM back in our house. We visited all the extended family Thanksgiving weekend last year for DD's birth aunts wedding and everything was great. We do not have contact with BM but we do with all the other family. Our was a very strange situation I know but it worked out. DD wanted her GP while we were with them but when she fell she came to me then them which made me happy and sad at the same time.

  • Welcome!  The fact you are even asking the question is a good sign.  I think being acutely aware of the needs of an older IA child will help you be prepared to adapt yout life to meet his or her needs.  In my mind, that doesn't necessarily mean you must not work.  Rather it is educating the child care workers, making sure you address needs, being on the look out for signs that something might need to be addressed, etc. 

    So exciting!

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
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