As an experienced, single, older adoptive Mom, I have always had a heart for older child adoptions.
Older kids (especially boys) are the hardest to match to families.
After adopting my then-14-year-old son from Colombia 4 years ago, I decided to host older kids for advocacy in my home. It was very successful and fun, and ALL found families they likely would not have found if not for hosting. My last hosting in the winter of 2021 was for a 15 1/2-year-old aging out boy. I asked P143 reps to give me the child that “ needed the most help “ and had not been chosen for hosting. I was matched with a child who had been in the system for about five years, but I was told he had wonderful qualities.
ADVOCACY only, my mind said. Well.., when he arrived on a cold December morning, I saw his face (and his tears), and I lost it. We hugged and cried soft tears together.
ADVOCACY only… he has to understand. I can’t adopt again. I have SO many kids and lots of responsibilities! I kept telling my mind it had to be a NO.
ADVOCACY only… my mind said. He was a wonderful child, and I helped him meet potential families over Zoom. He was nervous, shut down, but hopeful. What I didn’t know at that time is he really wanted US!
I cried when he left. He likely had no idea if he would be adopted, but he expressed his thanks and love for us. He returned to his homeland and, during an interview with his psychologist, expressed his desire to be adopted by us. I was told of this, and that was IT! I missed him so much and realized I was fighting the inevitable all this time.
Next came paper chase, and seven months later, he was home! It has been absolutely wonderful; he is polite, respectful, and motivated. He is thankful to have an opportunity to be in a family and to get a great education. English is coming a little slow, but he is motivated to learn. I am so happy I changed my mindset about our future. It was meant to be.
Providing a life-changing experience and future for an aging-out child is probably one of the most important decisions you can make for their lives. There are kids who are aging out while waiting to be chosen! Please don’t overlook the older kids! You just may fall in love!
Host, Advocate, Adopt!
– Written by Nancy Cronin, a former host and adoptive mom