With three siblings that were adopted as older children, I witness every day the many blessings that come from having these children in my family. To me, adding a new brother or sister to the family was always exciting regardless of their age – it was one more person to create memories and share traditions with. I spoke to two of my adopted sisters to get their perspective as an older child adoptee. I’m excited to be able to share their feelings with others, and perhaps remold the prospective adoptive parent perception on older children.
Katelyn was adopted as an older child sibling group from Ukraine. She was 7 at the time she arrived home, and is now 14.
How did you feel being adopted by an American family? “I felt like I would no longer have to worry about not being loved. I knew my new family already loved me before I came home.”
What was the hardest adjustment for you in your new home? “Learning the new language, and also getting used to following different rules than I was used to.”
What do you wish people knew about older children who are still waiting for their forever families? “They don’t have much time left. They want to be adopted just as much, actually MORE, than the younger children who aren’t aware of their current situation. I wish more people would be open to adopting older children like me.”
What is your favorite holiday or tradition? “Christmas! We have a tradition where we paint ornaments every year. I also love when the whole family comes together and sets up the tree.”
Do you have any special memories you would like to share? “All of the times that we go somewhere and the whole family comes along – those are most special to me.”
Payton was adopted from Ukraine along with her biological sister Katelyn. She was 6 years old at the time she came home and is now 13.
How did you feel being adopted by an American family? “I felt happy! I was excited and I knew I belonged there.”
What was the hardest adjustment for you in your new home? “Getting used to a new place to live is hard. But I loved getting to know my new family.”
What do you wish people knew about older children who are still waiting for their forever families? “What people should know is that older kids are just as fun, and exciting as babies can be. They have already developed their personalities so it is fun to get to know them and their quirks. Also, I believe everyone deserves a loving home.”
Do you have any special memories you would like to share? “The whole family has all been to Florida a couple times on vacation and it was really fun. Now that a new little nephew has been added to the family, I’m excited he can be a part of the memories too!”