Tuesday's Answers: Adopting More Than One Child at a Time

Our Tuesday Topic last week came from  Wendy, who asked,

What are the pros/cons of adopting more than one child at a time? We are considering also requesting a preschool boy in addition to an infant girl…and we’re willing if God asks us to do it, but quite honestly, it SCARES me to think of helping five children adjust to a major life change!

I made myself wait until today to read through all of your amazing responses.  I have to say, we should just write one big book together because the wealth of wisdom is remarkable.

My personal experience, which I mentioned recently, is that we planned to adopt two little boys at once.  They were unrelated, but from the same orphanage. We wanted them to have each other so there wouldn’t be one little brown face in a sea of white faces. Helping our two little guys settle in was quite a bit of work, but no more than we expected.

In the process of their adoption, God made it clear to us that we were meant to adopt Dimples and she came home two months after Eby and Little Man.  If you have been following my blog for long, you know that  our universe shifted with her arrival.

As Julie (Mamita J.) said in her comment regarding her family,

We were a mature, stable, somewhat energetic family, but when we brought our little girl with multiple traumas home, it was the hardest thing I have ever faced. I did not know if we were going to live through those early weeks.

In the case of international adoption, we rarely have enough accurate information about our children to know the degree of trauma they have experienced, and whether they will adapt to family life easily or with great turmoil.  It isn’t necessarily adopting multiple children that brings  issues, it is adopting children with significant needs and challenging histories that creates upheaval and can drain the family.

If you adopt one child who has a difficult adjustment, it will be very exhausting and painful.  If you bring home one child who has a difficult adjustment and one who has a more typical adjustment…you will be spread very thin and it will be even more difficult.

We brought our three children home within two months, and although the little boys’ adjustment was quite smooth, they had multiple health issues, food issues, sleep issues, emotional issues, etc.  That was all normal – and it was a lot of work helping them attach and settle into the family.  Then Dimples came home and the issues increased many times over.

My advice would be to really know yourselves and what you truly feel you can handle.  Know your other children and their resiliency; remember that their lives will be forever changed.  Pray harder than you ever have in your life, honestly seeking God’s will about how many children, what ages of children, and ultimately, which children you should adopt.  Listen to your husband.  Listen to friends who have adopted multiple children.  Do not be proud; humble yourself and be willing to accept an answer, even if it is not the one you want to hear.

And when it all comes down to it, “Trust and Obey”.

To read all of the great responses, go to the original post, Tuesday Topic: Adopting More Than One Child at a Time.

This week’s Tuesday Topic will go up tomorrow (even if it is Wednesday)!


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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 Comment

  1. Tonggu Momma
    March 3, 2010

    Obedience is definitely key. During our first wait to adopt, I hoped and prayed for twins… but five years ago this week we brought home one child, our daughter, who did NOT have an easy adjustment. And within six months of arriving home, I'd become close friends with two mommas who had both recently internationally adopted twins… and another momma who had just recently welcomed her twins home from the NICU. During the coming years, I learned something important – God did not mean for me to be a momma to twins! Heh. And I cannot imagine life without our Tongginator… if we had adopted twins, I might be a momma, but I wouldn't be HER momma.


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