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Thursday, November 10, 2011

What determines a family too large?

I've been a huge advocate for adoption for over six years now. We've been involved with the Ministry for over eight. Now that we have a "large family" we have to advocate even more. When individuals hear that we have fourteen children they question why and how. The why is obvious, we love children, we love having lots of children. How? Now this is where it gets tricky. When a large adoptive family grows in numbers, that question becomes a stumbling block for most people to comprehend on how we function as a family. Each and every family is completely different on what they can handle. So for us, we have fourteen children. A 21 year old living independently on her own, an 18 year old that comes and goes independently, a 17 soon to be 18 year old that is graduating and wants to travel, also independently on his own. These are examples of just some of our independent children. We also have a variety of special needs. I often question, would we be denied a sibling to one or more of our children because of our "fourteen children" or because we have a variety of special needs? Right now, we know that there is two siblings in foster care (without a permanency plan) and one to be born. We aren't looking to adopt any more children. (Honestly) Although I truly believe that siblings belong together. (Unless the adoptive family couldn't possibly handle any more children) BUT if we could and were denied because of the size of our family, we'd be upset. Families need to be addressed individually and not by their numbers, not by their challenges but by their capabilities on what and how they handle their situations. Taking a closer look on the progress of their children and their milestones. Ultimately looking into the future - What happens when siblings are adopted out separately based on the decisions merely from wondering or asking, "How?" How might this impact the new siblings adopted within a large family? How might this impact the siblings already adopted? How will this family cope with more children? When they already have fourteen and many with special needs? Valid questions. My answers are, most are independent. Every family has challenges. Children within large families are already used to having many siblings, there won't be much impact. Every time we've adopted, our new adopted children adapted easy because of a larger family. They're accepted, unconditionally loved and welcomed. Denying siblings when there is a chance for them to grow together is not a solution. I believe it's creating a future dilemma. A future question for all the siblings involved. It's not about "How" anymore, it's about "Why" didn't you adopt me? I write about this because I know for many larger families it's harder to adopt. What's being missed is looking at the family........and actually agreeing (concluding)  "Some larger families cope with many children, with many special needs children" and "some families don't" I've written about dedication. When I think about adoption, the first word that comes to my mind is dedication. It doesn't matter if you have one child or seventeen, there is different levels of dedication involved. For us, our dedication is 24/7 and it's the life we've chosen. Many individuals (professionals) probably will never understand the whys and the hows but I also don't understand why some people choose to bungee jump either. That would be more of a pain in my neck then children! You're probably wondering what, how, when, why and where I'm going with this post. Basically I'm a huge advocate for adoption, I'm a huger advocate for large adoptive families because I know first hand that we work. Our numbers are higher, our challenges are higher but we if anybody know; what it takes to run a home with many children. A fact in which shouldn't be denied if a sibling/siblings need to be placed with their rightful family, their family that is already raising their sisters and brothers. A family that has shown they have the dedication to do so, they have the education, the resources, the experience and are on board with what's right. Eliminating the question "Why" for their children's future on why they weren't adopted with their siblings and leaving us answer on "How" we manage. That answer already exists if anyone is paying attention. In conclusion, long story longer - Large families definitely have the skills to add easily another child/children to their home. We shouldn't be booked marked that our capabilities are full because that's when I will care to differ and challenge a decision if denied a sibling needing an adoptive family when we're happily available right here.

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