The Boys

Posted On: Friday, October 7th, 2011 at 9:45 pm

[Written October 7, 2011.  Published November 9, 2011.]

Todd is hilarious.  Once we made our big decision he asked, “Well, who is he?  What’s his name?  Is it the boy from Jasmine’s orphanage?  I figure you have it all planned out and I’m just waiting for you to tell me.”  What???  I had been looking at profiles of children on different advocacy sites, but I honestly did not know who our son would be!  When we had discussed it earlier we both wanted a boy, but couldn’t decide on an age.  Todd was thinking younger, maybe around Spencer’s age (4-6).  I was thinking a little older, closer to the girls’ age or possibly closer Michael’s age (8-11).  But that’s as much as we both knew.

Ah…those older boys.  I have to admit, the older boys have been pulling at me for a long time.  It has taken me a while to figure out exactly why.  I thought maybe it was because I could see my own 10 year old boy in them.  And then there is the waiting.  These older boys wait and wait and wait for families, and see the younger children chosen first time after time.  Many of them are never chosen, and will never have a family of their own.

Most people adopting from China want a child as young as possible.  About 72% want a child age 1-4.  And about 77% of adopters also want a girl.  So if you’re wanting a girl under age 4, you’ll have to get in line.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for a boy over age 4 (and especially over age 5, 6 or 7) THEY wait in line.  There are even “healthy” older boys, with no special needs, just waiting for families.  It breaks my heart.  In China, children “age out” of being adoptable on their 14th birthday.  You can adopt a child up to age 13 and 364 days old, but not a day older.  Many girls, and many more boys, age out and will never have a family.  It’s true the older children don’t seem as cute and cuddly as the babies and toddlers and preschoolers, but they really are still children on the inside.

Back to the older boys.  So, I had been looking at advocacy sites and really had not seen “our son.”  (By the way, most people are matched with a child’s file by their adoption agency.  But I felt that if we were adopting older I really wanted us to be able to choose ourselves.)  There were lots of lists and lots boys, some with no special needs, many that had very manageable, minor needs, but there wasn’t any one child that kept pulling me back. One thing I did realize was that I wanted a “special needs” child.  (I say “special needs” because it’s such a misnomer.)  I remember thinking about the older children, knowing there were “healthy” boys and thinking how easy it would be to choose one.   But I really couldn’t. It just didn’t feel right for our family at all. So the decision is made–an older, “special needs” boy!

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One Response to “The Boys”

  1. […] Our Journal for 民娇 (Min Jiao) Our journey of 10,196 miles–and just as many prayers. « The Boys […]

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