Tuesday Topic: When Do You Adopt Again?

This great Tuesday Topic question comes from Lisa H.:

“What are the non-negotiables that you feel must be in place before you feel free to adopt again?”

I love this question and my answers are already flowing through my head.  Please leave your answers as comments.   I will hold them until Tuesday, February 16th, and share them all together along with my thoughts.

Don’t be shy, and don’t agonize too much over it – give us your “gut” reaction.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. laurad
    February 11, 2010

    well. we're not there yet–just home 4 months, but i am assuming that once your family starts to gel and the major adjustments that needed making don't seem so major anymore we could be ready. i've been thinking about this for our family and i do know we are so not ready and not sure if we'll ever be. however, i would consider adoption again if all 5 of our boys were really good with one another, and if i was really 'good' with my new role as mom to 5. this sounds all ambiguous…but i know what i mean. ;o)

  2. Marissa
    February 11, 2010

    Wow! This is a great question. My answer is, "I have no earthly idea." 🙂

    But seriously, I'm very hesitant to insist on certain conditions that must be met prior to adding to your family. I had conditions I wanted met before even having children, but God had different ideas. I tend to resort to a ton of prayer, a whole lot of reflection and listening, tons of discussion with my spouse, and more prayer. The process of spirtual discernment is extremely beneficial in my opinion, and is often neglected.


  3. Marissa
    February 11, 2010

    (cont. from previous)

    When it comes to practicality, I appreciate that I've had an opportunity to really understand what makes my adopted child tick. Having that time to really get to know him, to understand his fears (a major priority I think), and to feel like our family is dancing to the same tune has been a HUGE blessing. When we started our second adoption I'll admit I didn't feel I was ready to add to our family, but I resorted to the activities in the previous paragraph. This bought us a lot of time, giving us an opportunity to reach a place I really wanted to be. It will be a year and a half between our two adoptions (maybe a bit more) and I feel like we're ready.

    My husband often talks about his fear of changing our family dynamic and this beautiful thing we've got going. (This has been his concern in adding each of our children, even the first.) I suppose that's a good indicator that your family might be ready to endure the change and uncertainty that adoption poses.

  4. Kathrin
    February 11, 2010

    As a single mom I fell that 2 children are perfect. Otherwise I would love a big family and my answer would be as soon as the last adopted child is bonded.

    1. OneThankfulmom
      February 17, 2010

      Good advice Kathrin – and that amount of time will vary from child to child.

  5. Caroline
    February 11, 2010

    Thank you for a sharing so much on your blog! It is fantastic! We adopted after 2 years and people said that it was too soon but we felt it was the right time. When we got our babygirl it was excactly 2 years after we got our boy. He was 2,5 at the time and the first words that he said when he saw her picture for the first time was” She is brown as I am”. I love her! Then two weeks later and still today he loves her and she loves him very much!
    Thank you again!

  6. Karen
    February 11, 2010

    With our first 2 adoptions, we were being selfish–I just wanted to be a mommy. We started adoption #2 when we felt we could. I would have started it the minute that kiddo #1 arrived home at 4 months of age (ha!), but WE weren't ready then. So, when kiddo #1 turned 3 years old, we began adoption #2. The girls are 3 1/2 years apart in age. 2 kids–just right, right? Then, God put a little special needs girl on our hearts. We prayed about it for months. I felt certain God was calling us to do it. My other half? Not so much. to be continued…

  7. Karen
    February 11, 2010

    part 2
    We met with our pastor and he said that one of us wasn't listening to God (meaning either I was thinking He wanted us to adopt or my other half was thinking He was saying no way!) OR that God hasn't spoken to both of us yet. He felt certain that we would feel "on the same page" whenever God had clearly given his direction to both of us, which ever way that would go (adoption or not). We continued to pray and, sure enough, we both felt God calling us to adopt her. Is it convenient? Is it what WE had in mind? Nope, but it's God's plan for our lives and for our family. While girlie #3 isn't home yet, she is definitely our daughter and sister to our girls already home.

  8. Matt
    February 12, 2010

    My gut reaction to this question is when we get our tax refund. The adoption tax credit has allowed us to adopt our second and hopefully soon to be third child. We adopted Lleyton in 2008 from Russia, and once our tax returns were filed for 2008 and we received our refund, we were prepared to adopt Parker from Ethiopia. Now 2010 has rolled around and our tax refund will be here soon and we are eagerly awaiting word that our case is moving forward to adopt our little girl from ET.

    There are other factors, such as how the kids are adjusting and their feelings regarding another sibling, but, even if we wanted to and were prepared to, we couldn't move forward without the adoption tax credit. So please write your congressmen and ask them to support the bill that allows that tax credit to continue.

  9. Kelly
    February 12, 2010

    Great question. I can't wait for to see the answers. 🙂 With our first 2 adoptions, we did mild or no special needs, and they were domestic. This time around we are doing 2 girls at once that are both special needs… so to adopt again, if we do, there will have to be more specific criteria met. First is finances. Not so much for the adoption, but the actual support and cost of raising more children. Also, I have to feel that the girls are in a good place, and will still get the extra attention they need, while not taking any more away from the other kids. More kids, more needs, more specific criteria.

  10. Lauren
    February 14, 2010

    We have just started our second adoption. My children are 4, 2.5 and 2 and all my ideas about when we would adopt have been blown away with the wind. With our first adoption we felt like we needed to have all the finances together before starting (we didn't) and have our youngest be at least a year old (he wasn't). And it was the best decision we made. This time we wanted our youngest to be home a year (he hasn't been) and to have our bedroom addition finished (it's not started).
    Each time a child has joined our family it was sooner than we thought it would be. The seed is planted by God and there nothing we could do to stop it. The yearning is there. I don't like saying "it just feels right," but there is a peace with the decision.
    So I guess the non-negotiable in our family is when my husband and I both have a yearning for our next child and a peace about beginning the process.

  11. Nancy
    February 14, 2010

    My husband and I are so so excited to adopt again but haven't even started for many reasons. We completed our last adoption 18 months ago. Now just isn't the right time.
    Our youngest daughter, adopted just after her first birthday, is still quite developmentally delayed and still is having issues with attachments. She currently has 3 therapy sessions a week. We don't feel adding a child under these circumstances would be helpful to her or another child. We'll choose to adopt again when she is
    With the economy still in a tale spin in our home, there just isn't the money. We're slowly saving. Very slowly. But it'll take a while. We'll choose to adopt when our finances are more stable.
    Our family has chosen to adopt in birth order and since our littlest ones are only 2 1/2 years old, and were not interested in adopting highly sought after infants, waiting is best.
    The country we would love to adopt from again (VietNam) is now closed but hopefully will open someday. If it stays closed, we'll choose a different country but for now we want to wait and see if it opens.

    My only hesitation on waiting to adopt again is that I'm getting old! I'll be 42 soon, and although that's not ancient, I realize that the day will come when it just isn't fair to a child to be adopted by senior parents. I'd love to have a discussion (from both those who have adopted and those who haven't) about when is too old to adopt/what age child! I wrestle with this everyday and hope this factor doesn't make me jump into adoption prematurely.

    Nancy-The Crazy 8s

  12. staci
    February 15, 2010

    since we are still in the middle of our first adoption i don't know the answer. BUT, i will say this. one of our reasons to adopt is my debilitating pregnancies. so for us, adoption process is CAKE. i mean it. take all the heartache, paperwork, waiting of adoption and it has been the calmest most wonderful process for us compared to my pregnanies. so really, it will have everything to do with what happens when the new children join our family since the process is such a walk in the park for us, relatively speaking.

    how they are doing with attachment, if we start adding trips for therapy. if we think the youngest or most needy of the children (whether they are bio or have been adopted) will do well with another addition, that could be the green light.

    prayer doesn't hurt either. 🙂


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