Intellectually, we know that kids come in all "flavors," including varying abilities, disorders, strengths, issues, etc. However, it's good to be reminded of the specifics of that. Below, I've written a brief description of several older adopted children I know. I've changed one or two details about each child, but overall, each one is an accurate description of the child. My goal is to show examples to parents-to-be, and to remind those of us who have our children home, that we're all different, but we're all families.
Adopted from Ukraine at age 3. Now age 10. Excellent reading skills. Engaging personality. Is healing from attachment disorder. May have some neurological issues. Has been in special classes in school. Loves his bike and his scooter.
Adopted in US at age 2. Now age 4. Slightly small for age. Loves dance class, her mommy, her daddy, and her Barbie dolls. Enjoying pre-school. Strong willed yet charming.
Adopted at age 5 from Russia. Now age 10. Excellent student. Very athletic. Suffers from PTSD and is undergoing attachment therapy. Very kind to younger children. Curious and engaging.
Adopted from China at age 1. Now almost 3. Cried for three days non-stop when she got to America. Has excellent verbal skills. Is extremely coordinated and does things above age level.
Adopted from Korea at age 4. Now age 6. Very bright. Extremely athletic. Suffers from severe PTSD and neurological issues. Has been in various special classroom settings. Has memory problems. Loves her dad and her dog.
Adopted from Russia at age four. Now age 12. Incredible mechanical skills. Has started attachment therapy which seems to be helping. Has a good sense of humor. Loves his family. Gets frustrated when he can't accomplish the things he wants.
Adopted domestically at age 4. Now age 12. Has severe PTSD, along with some obsessive compulsive tendencies. Charming and friendly. Has been in special classes at school for learning differences. Loves her mom and dad.
Adopted from Russia at six months old. Now age 5. Athletic. On target with learning skills. Slightly behind in social skills. Great smile. Loves school. Has issues of grief and abandonment fears that are being addressed through therapy.
All families are different. All children are different. Whatever issues and challenges our children have, we do our best as parents to find them the services they need so they can reach their full potential. We love them, every one.
Credits: Susan M. Ward, an older child adoption specialist, provides parent coaching and resources for adoptive families. Susan's training has focused on adoption issues relating to attachment, grief, and parenting. She's also the adoptive parent of a child healed from RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Her website is www.OlderChildAdoptionSupport.
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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.