M.M. asks from Carthage, NC on September 30, 2008
Adopt a 4Th Child?
I was not sure whether to list this request under family or spirituality, but I need some good, Christian advice! I was called to adopt when I was a child, and God blessed me with a husband who is supportive of me. Through the foster care system, we have adopted 3 biologocal brothers. We have had them one year - they are 3, 2 and 14 months. The 2 older boys were wild, out of control, and unsocialized, as well as behind in speach. We have worked so hard this year and they have come such a long way! They are a joy to be around.
Last Friday, social services called to tell us the boys' biological mother had had another baby (now a 3 month old, girl) that has been taken into custody and would we like to foster her? Deep down, YES, I want her so badly!! But my husband and I have many concerns, such as how the boys will handle it/would this make them regress? Can WE handle 4 children under age 4? Bc we had gone through fostering already, we also know the risks of her potentially being returned to the mother. Our pastor encouraged us to read the word for guidance, but nothing has really spoken to me yet. I love my boys dearly and don't want to hurt them in any way, but would love to have a girl too! What a dilemma!
M.R. answers from Wheeling on September 30, 2008
While I can't speak from a foster/adopt background (which incidentally is what we will be starting on next year), I can speak as the biological mom to 3, with a fourth on the way.
They ALL regress. It doesn't matter what their circumstances are or what background they are from.
But, the good out weighs the bad. As long as you are able to reassure them of continued love and affection, and show them how to love and affect others, then you will make a wonderful mom to baby four.
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D.B. answers from Charlotte on September 30, 2008
Bless your heart. You have been handed a hard burden here. I am so sorry that this has come to light because any decision you make will be a hard one.
Sometimes God hits us in the face with realizations of what we should do in our lives. Those are easy. (Well, the knowing is easy. Sometimes the doing is hard!) Sometimes He speaks to us but we don't understand the meaning. And sometimes God shuts doors so that we don't do what we are looking for guidance on. The first and the last ones are the easiest for us. But sometimes God doesn't make things easy.
I personally think that maybe the 2nd scenario above is what might be happening here. (Not a religious inspiration - an impartial view of a 3rd party.) Your older boys are giving you so much trouble, which will undoubtedly cause their youngest brother to continue the pattern if you are not able to get them enough help. You already know this, but perhaps God expects you to use this knowledge to save that little girl from this family dynamic away from her brothers' problems. Perhaps you could look at it this way - if she is adopted into a family without problem children, she has a chance to blossom and flourish because she hasn't been with her mother long, like her brothers obviously were. And she wouldn't be exposed to the brothers' behaviors which will undoubtedly affect her in negative ways.
Another way to look at this, is that God may want you to focus on these boys - the baby will take a lot of time and effort, which takes away from the boys. Boys have so many strikes against them in this day and age - boys in the situation you have brought them out of are at-risk - they need every effort to help them stay out of trouble when they become older. That means you expend every effort on them now, while they are little, so you have a chance of helping gain control before the adolescent hormones kick in. Regular teenhood is hard enough - I know - I have two teens myself! Children who have been abused or neglected, as it seems the boys were, are at risk for alternative school, juvenile court, and worse.
Please think about what I have said. A calling is admirable, understandable, and society owes a lot to those whose callings help society in real and tangible ways. However, a calling should be tempered with knowledge, understanding, and good common sense. There's a point where you should stop and put your energies of that calling where you are now - which means not taking on more.
All my best to you, and my prayers are with you to make the right decision.
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K.M. answers from Jacksonville on October 02, 2008
What dilemma do you see? When God gives you a calling you He also gives you the desire.
God will always bring things into your lives. Yes, your children will have to adjust, all do. Yes there will be trials, that's how we grow in Christ.
Now for some good God talk...
James 1:27 KJV
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
1 Kings 8:28 KJV
Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:
So my final question to you is this... Have you prayed for a girl? Did you have the desire to adopt another before this? Has God answered your prayer? If so, is fear keeping you from reaching out and excepting a blessing from God?
I will pray for you and your husband in making this decision as when two or more come together it shall be done.
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A.C. answers from Wilmington on September 30, 2008
-I believe that if you don't take in your sons' baby sister, you and your family will always regret losing her.
-I acknowledge that life has not been easy with the boys. Yes, the younger 2 might regress and it's not likely to get any easier for any of you, but with God's help, you'll make it.
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A.D. answers from Charlotte on October 01, 2008
Wow this sounds just like my friend from back home. She now has 5 adopted children all together and 4 of them are from the same Mom. She still fosters as well. She is a SAHM though while doing Pampered Chef.
She had adopted the 2 sisters to begin with then a year later adopted a babyboy with Down Syndrome from a different Mom. Thinking she was done she got a call that the Mom of the girls had a boy and since she had the girls she was first pick to adopt this new boy to keep these siblings together. She did because she felt they all belonged together. Then 2 yrs later the same Mom got pregnant again and she contacted the agnecy to see if the newest baby could be adopted in with the siblings. This is where my friend started praying of how to be with all these children. Her heart wanted the baby being the others sibling but her mind was unsure. They adopted the baby on one condition the Mom had to have her tubes tied since she was not wanting or able to care for her children. So they now have this beautiful family of 5.
While it is hard she is so happy and loves them all and the children love each other. While some are not old enough to grasp it all she is warmed constantly by the fact they are all together.
I hope you and your husband pray about this some more and come to a conclusion that sets well for the whole family! I myself do have 5 children of my own and while it is hard it really is a joy!
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R.G. answers from Louisville on October 02, 2008
What a blessing you are to the lives of those boys! And what rare and beautiful people you and your husband are to take on the challenge of three very young siblings.
Adopting children is a very personal thing. Only you and your husband know if you are physically, emotionally, and spiritually ready and able to take on the fourth sibling. Put your minister's counsel aside for a moment. Set the Bible aside. You and your husband both need to, individually, seek the Lord's counsel in what you should do. If and when the process of soul-searching has become a comfort to you, consider how aware your children are of their past life. Do they know they were adopted? Do they fully understand what that means? If so, and if you decide to make the addition to your family, explain to them that they will be having a new baby to join the family. Treat it as though you were expecting and were preparing them for that change. Make it clear to them that they are not being replaced but their new sister will make their lives better.
Bear in mind that the boys will encounter difficult situations throughout their lives. The key to being able to deal with them is how you guide them. Part of the parenting process is teaching your children how to handle the tough times in life. If you teach them how to take the high road in such situations they will be able to handle any difficulty life may present to them. And what greater legacy to leave the world than children who become adults who are courageous enough to be strong even in the hard times?
God bless you for what you are doing.
D.C. answers from Goldsboro on October 02, 2008
Just a thought on the poster who said that taking in the problems of the older two will cause the younger one to act the same...not necessarily true! I have 4 chidren (not adopted or foster)...my oldest had some behavior issues. My younger ones have had no problems. EACH child is different in regards to behavior,attitudes, and personalities. Don't let the problems of the older boys deter you from what you feel in your heart that God wants you to do. As Christ-followers we should celebrate adoption...after all, WE were adopted into His family!
D.P. answers from Raleigh on October 01, 2008
If your inner voice is saying to adopt this girl, then listen (that is God speaking to you!!). The boys are still so young, I don't think I would worry about regression- just prepare them in advance for their sister's arrival and get them excited about it. It will be a wonderful chance for them to grow up with their sister as a family. You sound like wonderful parents, and what a beautiful gift these children have been given to have a life with you (and vice versa).