If any of you have read my “about me” section then you know that I was a Houseparent working with 9 at-risk youth prior to working in the international adoption world. Those children ages ranged between 13-18. Before my role as a Houseparent, I worked at a residential treatment center with 30 girls who were between the ages of 14-17. With all of this being said, I have had my fair share of interaction with older children in the foster care system and who are labeled in the international adoption world as “waiting children.” Many days I come to work and this is a hard topic for me. Of course I want EVERY child to find their forever family and in a perfect world the term “orphan” would not exist. But, the reason this is a hard topic for me is because unfortunately a lot of families are only open to adopting younger children. There is a huge stigma that older children will not be as resilient or they will not form attachment or the bond just will not be the same. Now, a lot of this can be considered true but not just for older children but younger children as well. A younger child may not remember a lot of the past and yes they may adapt easily in the beginning but do you know how long the “waiting children” have longed for a forever family? Because I have worked with older children in the system I know the struggles and man can they be hard but I also know how great the rewards are of breaking down those walls and bonding with a child who has longed for that feeling their entire life (whether they knew that wanted that relationship or not). Will it be easy? Not always. Will it be worth it? It always was for me! “Waiting Children” constantly see adoptive parents coming to creches and taking children home and wonder if anyone will ever come for them. This is a sad and unfortunate reality. A lot of these older children eventually are even seen as caretakers to the younger children and their whole idea of what a childhood should be is quickly diminished.
While I was in Haiti, I met ALL of the children at the creches I visited and they are ALL incredible! But, there are a few “waiting child” sibling groups I met that really stood out to me and I would love more than anything to help advocate to find them a forever family.
Help me, help them find their forever family!!