My sister in law is adopting again, they're also a large family with several different special needs. She called me about a child they're interested in that is located on the adoption bulletin board. A child of many that more likely will be in foster care for the rest of his/her life. She explained to me that her adoption worker mentioned because of the child's diagnoses the likely hood of adoption is harder to find. This is a child that will also thrive within a large family with many siblings. The stimulation just from having multiple siblings is a miracle within itself. Of course I'm saying, "Adopt" During our conversation it was quite funny because it was also explained that this particular child has twenty minute tantrums frequently. My sister in law asked her worker, "IS that it!?" The same reaction I would have asked because we have the experience to either deal with the possible scenarios or eliminate them. I don't look on the adoption bulletin board anymore but most of our children were found on there. (http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/adoption/bulletin_external/) Their identification is private and there is no pictures available. It's only a quick simple summary describing some of the needs the child/children have and if you become interested, you then contact your adoption worker. From what I understand most areas don't agree (Ministry adoption offices) or have some issues regarding large families adopting, (well fortunately for my sister in law), she is in an area that the workers believe large families are indeed the families to place children with. My sister in law's worker we know fairly well and is one of those amazing adoption workers that understand and believe it's not about how large a family is, it's about placements that work. This is where I wanted to write and touch base on larger families. Yes - again. As everyone knows because our numbers are higher, we do have more challenges and we will have different occasions throughout raising children that are basically far out in left field. This doesn't mean we can't handle it or that the family unit is neglected or influenced in someway because of one out of control child. In fact from experience it makes the family unit stronger and tighter. It builds the family base with experience and therefore we can handle much more then say another family with less challenges. For the challenging child, everyone including that child is being dealt with accordingly. I know some families that can't adopt because they have a child out of control. I understand that a new placement might not be the best idea but being the devils advocate, children need placements and not allowing an adoption because of a challenging child in or out of the adoptive parents home is saying what exactly? There is challenging episodes everywhere and including in foster homes. The waiting child will experience challenging moments regardless and if it's discussed where our focus should be.....for example; it should be directed to the already challenging child instead of a pre-placed new adoptive child, I disagree. We have had our moments, we deal with our children in and out of our home accordingly. I find that the "out of control" children seem to power and control the family and personally, the family shouldn't be controlled, the parents shouldn't be controlled by any behaviours but should move forward positively and yes, that could be with another adoption placement. Families big or small will have situations, why would that justify waiting children loosing out on a forever family? If the family unit is coping well.....continue to move forward. I decided to write about his because I personally know other excellent good families wanting to adopt again and can't for either having a challenging situation (and situations are going to happen) or because they're too large and it's sad to me personally to know that potentially waiting children are missing out on a family. The future should always look and believed to be bright. Believe that with every challenge there's an experience and with that experience there is strength to deal with the next one. Our family I find strong, very well connected and we wouldn't be that way without our challenges. Embrace what is.......and I think children should be placed for adoption regardless the size of a family, regardless of some situations that exist because it's better of their unknown futures. Moving from foster home to foster home, aging out of the system without a family is worse then being in a family with challenges I think. The biggest challenge for a child is not knowing their place in this world, not knowing where they will go for Christmas and who to call when there's a real situation not the little ones growing up and along the way. I encourage and will always advocate for children to be placed with larger families and within families that have already challenges with their children because it's better then the alternative like I explained above. We adopt because we want to make a difference, because we want to take on the challenges and hopefully see the brighter side when their adults. When our oldest son didn't want us as his family anymore, I always explained to him, "Yes you will" After his two years of challenging behaviors, he's home and he will personally state to anyone that he loves us and we are his family. I am his Mother. We dealt with his particular situation accordingly and our family is a stronger unit because of it. One thing children are, they're resilient. I wouldn't change anything......because with any challenging experience, not only does it make us stronger as parents, it shows the rest of our children how we dealt with it. They need to witness life. Children will experience and why not experience in a forever home with a family instead of waiting for a family in multiple foster homes with other challenging situations. Again, I can rant, ramble and repeat myself (I do that a lot verbally anyways) and merely this is my opinion that has absolutely no warrant when it comes to adoption decisions. I'm just so happy to hear that another child will be adopted into a large family with special needs, with challenges because it's better then the alternative. And I'm going to be an Auntie again! To conclude we're not looking to adopt again although if there wasn't so much controversy over large or complicated families, we wouldn't say "Never" either and especially knowing that we can offer forever to a child with special needs. What I see is some of these severely compromised children will experience more challenges without adoption NOT..... being adopted into a per-say challenging family. But I'm not a professional, so what do I know? I just know the growing number of children needing families continue to grow and adoptive families could become far and few between so they (even us) shouldn't be eliminated for technicalities and procedure following because there is no perfect family or situation. Definitely leaving a child/children in foster care waiting for that perfect situation isn't the answer either. What it boils down to is there is no right or wrong decision, sometimes for the future of a child, adoptive families that have been successfully through the adoption process should adopt regardless the size or challenges that exist.
(The adoption bulletin board link is there, run your mouse on the black area and it will highlight itself)