Thursday, December 13, 2012

How Adoption Affect Siblings

For families who already have children, one worry about adopting is "how will adopting affect our children?" This is a legitimate thought. The worry of the negative influence could be a barrier for some families adopting. No one wants to harm the children they already have.

I would love to reassure you that if you adopt, it will be a positive thing for your children. But since I haven't experienced adoption yet and we don't already have children in our home, I can't speak from experience. So instead, I will have to rely on families who have had biological children and then adopted. Hear, in their own words, how adoption has changed them for the better!

From the Kids

The Weimer family had four biological children and six adopted children. Their mother, Heidi Weimer, asked them "What does adoption mean to you?" Here are there responses.

"Adoption means giving up and sacrificing a part in my family so that somebody else can have a family." 

- Brandon Weimer, age 12

"Adoption = life + awesomeness. Adoption rocks. When we adopted, I got a bonus because I got sisters!" 

- Isabella Weimer, age 9

"Adoption means that you take care of others and you try to bring home kids that don't have parents and then you teach them English. People should adopt because some people have leprosy and if their skin falls off we can bring them home and give them medicine. I'm glad we adopted because I get to have new people in our family. It makes us more happier to have more kids in our family. When you just play with other kids all the time, it's so boring, like it's like how the Israelites got bored eating manna every day. When we adopted, I finally got new kids to play with and I was so excited." 

- Justice Weimer, age 6

From Mothers

"I have heard it said by others that they would never adopt for fear of how it will affect their biological children. Since adopting, our children now love deeper, think of others more, pray for orphans across the world, pray for families adopting by name, pray for our sponsored children by name, will not let anyone refer to Elijah as their adopted brother, he is their brother (period), save their money to help adoptive families and orphan care ministries, share the beauty of adoption, share that we were all orphans, adopted through Christ. I would say they have been affected alright."

- Amy
Mother of four children: three by birth and one by adoption 

"I am thankful to have experienced the joy of watching my biological children become transformed in His grace through the blessing of our adopted children with special needs.  Just coming off of a Mother/Son retreat this last weekend, I am refreshed in seeing the attributes my oldest biological sons carry because they have understood the difference between want and need.  They have seen those who have suffered and gone without.  They know that when they receive a gift- it is something to cherish.  They have learned to wait.  They have learned that in waiting- God will answer.  They have learned that perfection is not something to be seen with the naked eye but through the lens of mercy and grace.  While they have given up vacation times so their brother and sister could join our family- they have experienced an enlargement of the heart that only comes when we say no to pleasure for a temporary "high" and trade it in for joy that comes through love of acceptance of family.  My children, biological or not may only experience Disney World once in their life and they might be doomed to sales racks and second hand wear but my children will not suffer for loving more." 

- Tina Kacirek
Mother of six children: two by birth and three by adoption, in process to adopt two more children

"I’ve had families ask me recently, and understandably so, how adoption will impact their biological children. I think that perhaps there is this fear of whether it will disrupt their sense of security, or short change them in some way. It’s funny though, I don’t remember wondering that when I was pregnant with child number three. I don’t remember thinking, 'What if the boys feel short changed? What if I can’t give them all that they need? What if they feel put out or left out?'

So I wonder why we think that when it comes to adoption. Adding a child to a family is simply adding a child to a family. I’m not underestimating the difficulty that comes with adopting children who are hurt and wounded. It’s hard work. But this post is not about that. This post is about loving and growing.

This post is about children gaining siblings, learning to love in deeper ways and growing into incredible human beings.

The three beautiful people above have done just that. They opened their hearts, sacrificed personal space and quiet moments, and they have loved extravagantly. We have done our best to make sure to give each of our children quality one on one time, to respect them as individuals in the midst of a large family, and to encourage them to have personal time and experiences to follow their dreams and develop their talents.

We function as a family and love as a family, every one pitches in, not always joyfully, but we do it. It’s what families do. Families love and care for each other.

Several months ago, we were on the porch sitting with our three Oldest while the three Littles played in the backyard, and we were talking about how the Littles have changed all of our lives.  I was overwhelmed with love as I heard my Olders talk about how the Littles have caused them to be better people, more capable adults, more loving, more giving, less selfish, and more qualified for adulthood and someday parenthood.
After a long talk, they shouted out to the Littles, 'HEY GUYS, THANKS FOR MAKING US BETTER PEOPLE.'

And as a mom, I’d like to shout from the rooftop, 'HEY NICK, TAYLOR, AND ISABELLE, thanks for loving well, giving big, and making ME a better person!' "

- Tracie Loux
 Mother to seven children: three by birth and four through adoption

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