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Old 04-30-2021, 10:21 AM
 
452 posts, read 309,505 times
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My spouse and I are in our early 50's, no children, financially comfortable. My spouse is retired and I will be in five years. We wanted children but it just did not happen and we have been talking about adoption for several years but only want older kids. We are not the Ozzie and Harriet type as neither of grew up in loving families but we are very caring people who can provide stability, structure and guidance. We have almost completed the entire licensing process (that was a commitment in itself!!) and expect to be talking about placements soon which is getting me really nervous. I have this huge fear we will not be good enough as parents because we don't fit the "mold" or at least what I perceive as the parent mold. We had two teenage foreign exchange students last year and although there were challenges they still want to talk to us so I guess we did ok but adoption is next level.

The good about us - We don't yell or fight, we are good communicator's, educated, would never ever hit or harm anyone, we are fun and like to travel and experience life and different cultures, we are both great cooks so no one would ever go hungry...Most weekends will be filled with family activities.

What I think could be an issue - I am not driving kids around at all hours so they better get used to driving themselves. My spouse and I are introverts who need alone time to recharge and reconnect after a long day, that means kids need to occupy themselves for a few hours after I get off work, I worry they might feel less important. We are also super late eaters, like 8:30pm and kids usually eat earlier which means I would have dinner for them ready but we probably won't eat together. during the week.

I'm overthinking this but I really do worry about not being good enough. Any experienced foster or adopted folks out there who can share their experience?
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Northern California
73,758 posts, read 6,006,982 times
Reputation: 24598
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayennev8 View Post
My spouse and I are in our early 50's, no children, financially comfortable. My spouse is retired and I will be in five years. We wanted children but it just did not happen and we have been talking about adoption for several years but only want older kids. We are not the Ozzie and Harriet type as neither of grew up in loving families but we are very caring people who can provide stability, structure and guidance. We have almost completed the entire licensing process (that was a commitment in itself!!) and expect to be talking about placements soon which is getting me really nervous. I have this huge fear we will not be good enough as parents because we don't fit the "mold" or at least what I perceive as the parent mold. We had two teenage foreign exchange students last year and although there were challenges they still want to talk to us so I guess we did ok but adoption is next level.

The good about us - We don't yell or fight, we are good communicator's, educated, would never ever hit or harm anyone, we are fun and like to travel and experience life and different cultures, we are both great cooks so no one would ever go hungry...Most weekends will be filled with family activities.

What I think could be an issue - I am not driving kids around at all hours so they better get used to driving themselves. My spouse and I are introverts who need alone time to recharge and reconnect after a long day, that means kids need to occupy themselves for a few hours after I get off work, I worry they might feel less important. We are also super late eaters, like 8:30pm and kids usually eat earlier which means I would have dinner for them ready but we probably won't eat together. during the week.

I'm overthinking this but I really do worry about not being good enough. Any experienced foster or adopted folks out there who can share their experience?
Ok, I have no experience, but you might think about changing your recharge time. to later at night. Kids will need you when you get home. Asking them to occupy themselves for a few hours, while you recharge, sounds like a recipe for trouble.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
57 posts, read 13,662 times
Reputation: 197
I am 50 years old and my husband is 57 and 11 years ago we adopted our daughter as an infant and love her unconditionally and don't have any regrets. We are both college educated and make a decent living. She is our only child.

Before adopting, we were introverts with very few friends but I've found that being a parent forces you to do lots of things you normally wouldn't. Kids are involved in sports and after school activities and if they're involved, you're involved which means transporting them back and forth to places and interacting with other parents even when you would prefer not to. Expecting a child to drive themselves may or may not work out since some just don't want to drive. My kid is a pre-teen and shows absolutely no interest in driving.

Your space will be invaded by your child and you will not have much time to yourself and that will become an issue if you're used to having lots of time to yourself and are set in your ways. Before we adopted, I was able to recharge and decompress at the end of the day but those days are a distant memory because my child's needs come first and I'm always catering to her.

The bottom line is, you'll have to adapt and not the other way around. When you adopt, you'll get a child with a unique personality and will have to love who he/she is unconditionally. You don't want to be miserable and I'm sure you wouldn't want your child to be miserable either so you'll have to be flexible on what your expectations are. I encourage adoption because many kids need homes but you have to be realistic. The things you expect will happen because you want them to, probably won't. I expected adoption/parenthood to be a breeze but it's a lot of work and requires lots of time and effort.

That's what my experience with adoption has been like so far and I don't have any regrets.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:36 AM
 
5,903 posts, read 4,292,711 times
Reputation: 12283
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayennev8 View Post
Most weekends will be filled with family activities.

What I think could be an issue - I am not driving kids around at all hours so they better get used to driving themselves. My spouse and I are introverts who need alone time to recharge and reconnect after a long day, that means kids need to occupy themselves for a few hours after I get off work, I worry they might feel less important. We are also super late eaters, like 8:30pm and kids usually eat earlier which means I would have dinner for them ready but we probably won't eat together. during the week.

I'm overthinking this but I really do worry about not being good enough. Any experienced foster or adopted folks out there who can share their experience?
This is going to be a huge change for you two and I think you need to be ready to change your lifestyle.

When do you plan to supervise the children and help them with homework and drive them to school and sport activities? You seriously don't plan on throwing a foster teen a set of car keys and some cash, do you?
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:21 AM
 
10,759 posts, read 6,744,968 times
Reputation: 28491
I have a few thoughts which are partly speculation since my kids are bio kids and I haven't worked outside the home since the first was born. But maybe some of this will be helpful.

My basic philosophy is that you get out of something what you put into it, and that's especially applicable to children.

My kids are now 16, 18, and 21 (two are no longer "kids," but are still living at home while in school & working). There is a lot of coming and going in our house these days and the only time we are all together for dinner or any activities to speak of is on the weekend, sometimes. That is expected now, at their age, but for many years, I would say until the oldest was 18, we DID have family dinner every night, as well as lots of time for games, walks, movie watching, etc., and of course family outings on the weekends. We expected those things to peter out as the kids get older and have lives of their own, but we made a point of doing them for many years so we would all have strong memories of being a family unit. I think that's really important.

I would be concerned about adopting teenagers and immediately expecting them to spend after-school time by themselves and even eat separately from you most of the time. It is going to be hard enough to bond with teens who have been in the foster system; if you don't focus on them when you can, I'm afraid it may not happen at all. I know you are tired after work and want to decompress, but I think you will at least need to push yourself to stay "engaged" a couple more hours after you get home, long enough to interact with the kids and eat dinner with them, then you can relax and have your alone/quiet time.

About the driving, I have huge sympathy because I hated being the chauffeur. Now my two oldest kids have licenses and the youngest has a driver's permit, so I'm almost off the hook completely. It's reasonable in our society to expect teens to learn to drive when they are old enough, whether they really want to or not. (By the way, my son, the 16-year-old old, had no interest in driving and until last year was actively saying he wanted nothing to do with it. We told him it was a life skill and something he had to do, just as his sisters had done, no other options. After a couple of behind-the-wheel lessons, he took to driving and now enjoys it, though of course he is not going anywhere alone yet).

But how old are these teens going to be? Unless they're over 16 and have had the opportunity to take driver's ed and get a license, you're going to be driving them for a while. You will need to talk up how fun it will be for them when they can drive by themselves, and never make them think you are bored and annoyed by having to take them places. That is part of a parent's job, and it's especially important with foster kids--but with all kids really--to suck it up and not to give the kids impression that they are a huge burden that you're just putting up with.

I think being a foster parent is a great thing and I wish you lots of luck.
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:30 PM
 
Location: THE D.C.
127 posts, read 71,409 times
Reputation: 354
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayennev8 View Post
My spouse and I are in our early 50's, no children, financially comfortable. My spouse is retired and I will be in five years. We wanted children but it just did not happen and we have been talking about adoption for several years but only want older kids. We are not the Ozzie and Harriet type as neither of grew up in loving families but we are very caring people who can provide stability, structure and guidance. We have almost completed the entire licensing process (that was a commitment in itself!!) and expect to be talking about placements soon which is getting me really nervous. I have this huge fear we will not be good enough as parents because we don't fit the "mold" or at least what I perceive as the parent mold. We had two teenage foreign exchange students last year and although there were challenges they still want to talk to us so I guess we did ok but adoption is next level.

The good about us - We don't yell or fight, we are good communicator's, educated, would never ever hit or harm anyone, we are fun and like to travel and experience life and different cultures, we are both great cooks so no one would ever go hungry...Most weekends will be filled with family activities.

What I think could be an issue - I am not driving kids around at all hours so they better get used to driving themselves. My spouse and I are introverts who need alone time to recharge and reconnect after a long day, that means kids need to occupy themselves for a few hours after I get off work, I worry they might feel less important. We are also super late eaters, like 8:30pm and kids usually eat earlier which means I would have dinner for them ready but we probably won't eat together. during the week.

I'm overthinking this but I really do worry about not being good enough. Any experienced foster or adopted folks out there who can share their experience?
It doesn't sound like you really have time or are willing to make all the changes necessary yo parent a child. Teens need more parenting than little ones and their problems are a lot more complicated. They need a lot of supervision, many agencies don't allow foster kids to get driver's licenses (you'd also have to work that out with your auto insurance - it's expensive to add a teen driver to your policy). You absolutely can't expect them to quietly wait for you to complete your "recharging" time until you feel like eating dinner.

Not to mention that the majority of teens in foster care have experienced a lot of trauma and most likely will have some very challenging behaviors - stealing (from you & others), lying, deliberately destroying your property, tantrums, drugs, running away and even aggressive behavior. They're not necessarily bad kids, but they need A LOT of attention.

You'll be expected to attend IEP meetings at school, meet with teachers, deal with meetings over any behavioral issues monthly visits with your caseworker and then also the child's caseworker, take them to/from counseling/therapy appointments which can be once a month or 3 times a week, doctor visits, dental, hair appointments, clothing shopping, hanging out with friends, arrange for them to get to/from school, visits with their birth family, plus all the normal activities teenagers are involved in. Many of them are required to participate in independent living activities so they'll have to work (you'll have to drive them back & forth). You'll need to eat dinner much earlier because you'll need to supervise homework, make sure they do their laundry, and be working with them on life skills. If you want to go out of town without them, you have to arrange to have a certified caregiver look after them. It's A LOT of work. I'm younger than you and have gone through it 6 times.

The one thing I have to STRONGLY suggest you consider VERY carefully are allegations. You'll definitely experience them, especially with teens. The most concerning and most difficult to protect yourselves against are allegations of sexual abuse. Especially towards the husband. It will destroy your life. The child is ALWAYS believed, and you don't get a chance to defend yourself. They have an entire system in place that is impossible to stop, even if the teen recants. I don't say this to scare you but to make sure you truly understand what you are taking on.

Maybe consider offering respite care for foster and adoptive families. That way you can help the foster or adoptive family get a break while you & your spouse get a taste of the type of disruption.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:48 AM
 
Location: NJ
16,730 posts, read 25,270,907 times
Reputation: 17115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayennev8 View Post
My spouse and I are in our early 50's, no children, financially comfortable. My spouse is retired and I will be in five years. We wanted children but it just did not happen and we have been talking about adoption for several years but only want older kids. We are not the Ozzie and Harriet type as neither of grew up in loving families but we are very caring people who can provide stability, structure and guidance. We have almost completed the entire licensing process (that was a commitment in itself!!) and expect to be talking about placements soon which is getting me really nervous. I have this huge fear we will not be good enough as parents because we don't fit the "mold" or at least what I perceive as the parent mold. We had two teenage foreign exchange students last year and although there were challenges they still want to talk to us so I guess we did ok but adoption is next level.

The good about us - We don't yell or fight, we are good communicator's, educated, would never ever hit or harm anyone, we are fun and like to travel and experience life and different cultures, we are both great cooks so no one would ever go hungry...Most weekends will be filled with family activities.

What I think could be an issue - I am not driving kids around at all hours so they better get used to driving themselves. My spouse and I are introverts who need alone time to recharge and reconnect after a long day, that means kids need to occupy themselves for a few hours after I get off work, I worry they might feel less important. We are also super late eaters, like 8:30pm and kids usually eat earlier which means I would have dinner for them ready but we probably won't eat together. during the week.

I'm overthinking this but I really do worry about not being good enough. Any experienced foster or adopted folks out there who can share their experience?

How many kids are you thinking of adopting? You're saying kids, so I assume at least 2. What ages are you thinking of adopting?

As others have said, kids can be a lot of work. It really depends what ages they are and if they're even into after school or weekend sports. We're not a sport family thankfully. My son did play baseball for a few years, starting when he was 5. I think he played about 3 years. It takes a lot of your "free" time. Parents usually have to work the snack bar at least once during the season, you also have to sell things.

I have an 8 year old grandson who's pretty self sufficient. He knows how to use the microwave, can make himself chicken fingers. He can also make his own sandwich and pour his own drink. He's learning how to make ramen but is afraid of the flame on the stove. He can occupy himself. He's in the 2nd grade and is almost at the point where he can do his schoolwork without much help from my daughter. He's currently doing online school because he has a weak immune system and health issues, my daughter isn't comfortable sending him to school yet with COVID. My hub put him in soccer 2 years ago but he didn't care for it, his coach really did not teach them the game. He focused on showing them how to kick the ball and how to score a goal but never taught them how to play the game.

I have a 4 year old granddaughter who needs more done for her then her brother. She doesn't know how to use the microwave yet but she's pretty good with being able to occupy herself when my daughter or I need to do something. She's not involved with any activities yet but if she's like her older sister, she will be doing dance or some sport. My daughter doesn't have custody of her because the father did my daughter dirty after she gave birth. Her birth almost killed my daughter. She passed out because she needed a blood transfusion. They admitted her. My granddaughter started going into distress, she they did an emergency C-section. My daughter wasn't emotionally prepared to deliver 3 weeks early. They hadn't even bought a car seat yet. It wasn't a good birth experience, my grandson's was bad too. The whole ordeal set my daughter into a mild depression, CPS ended up going to the hospital. The father talked my daughter into signing over custody, telling her what if CPS takes her which they would not, he would just take her home if my daughter didn't get to. So now she's been locked in a nightmare with him. He did similar with her older sister who he's raised since she was a baby. He also has a teen son but he's not interested in even seeing his son.

Anyway. Depending in what ages you adopt and if they're into sports and whether they're a decent student or not can dictate what kind of life you'll have with them. They can end up being "easy" kids where you will be able to decompress when you get home. You may even find it easier come home from work, get them situated doing home work while you cook dinner, then the rest of the night is yours to decompress, which they'll probably appreciate too then spend some family time after you've all had your alone time. We all enjoy our own alone time, we need it after a long day or work and school. You'll know what kind of routine your kids will dictate once they start living with you. You may find that they're better doing home work after they've had their own time after getting off the bus. They may not be the type to ride a bus home, then go straight to home work and eating dinner. They need that "me time" in order to get back into school mode. Every kid and family is different.

I think it's wonderful that you want to adopt older kids. There's a thread in retirement on the same section. I'll have to see if I can find it for you because it's what that OP wanted to do too. They had more then enough love, time and money, wanted to set a teens life up by having a home and being able to go to college on their dime. A lot of people brought up stuff I wouldn't even think of. I'm not sure if they ever adopted the teens or not. I left her a rep comment on her thread, maybe she'll come here to give you advice.


Adopting in Retirement age? Has anyone done this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
We are not retired but we are in our early to mid (DH) 60s. We have one son and a daughter. We see our son more frequently, but still not enough for us. Our daughter is very involved with her SO's family and spends all holidays with them,

We did a great job in raising independent children who We enjoy being around younger people, and guiding them into adulthood. I really enjoyed helping and encouraging both to select a college, an appropriate major, and find professions. They have both graduated, our son with honors, and they are working in their field.

Grandchildren, which most of our friends talk about constantly (we understand) do not appear to be in the near future. Or ever. So there's that.

We are realistic about this. In no way do we want an infant to a baby. Or a child younger than a teen.

When children age out of foster care, many fall into crime, drugs and prostitution. I find that to be unspeakably tragic.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
57 posts, read 13,662 times
Reputation: 197
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnSmithJones View Post
The one thing I have to STRONGLY suggest you consider VERY carefully are allegations. You'll definitely experience them, especially with teens. The most concerning and most difficult to protect yourselves against are allegations of sexual abuse. Especially towards the husband. It will destroy your life. The child is ALWAYS believed, and you don't get a chance to defend yourself. They have an entire system in place that is impossible to stop, even if the teen recants. I don't say this to scare you but to make sure you truly understand what you are taking on.
Before adopting, we took classes to have our home certified to become foster parents and they warned us about allegations. They told us that if a child who was placed in our home made an accusation of abuse of any kind, there WOULD BE an investigation and the child would be given the benefit of the doubt. We were also told this could easily happen if a child didn't like the placement. It would be the easiest way to get removed and placed elsewhere.

An accusation and investigation like that could ruin some families and their reputations. Not to scare you, but this post made me remember what they told us during the certification process.
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:18 AM
 
5,903 posts, read 4,292,711 times
Reputation: 12283
My son and DIL fostered 3 siblings and then adopted them. To protect themselves and the children, they have cameras all over the house and can quickly review them on their phones. This has protected them from multiple allegations and has allowed them to see who did what to whom when the kids accused each other.

I want to add this, be extra careful if you foster two teens of opposite sex, even siblings. Two of my friends had very bad experiences with this.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:43 PM
Status: "Here comes the Summer!" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
21,136 posts, read 26,691,155 times
Reputation: 57157
Not EVERYONE who does this has a bad experience. As with almost any other endeavor, you will likely hear about those who have had terrible experiences.

When I posted, I received such a negative barrage of posts that I stopped reading.

I don't think that the OP is looking at pre-schoolers or infants. Neither was I.

In our state, people in their 50s and 60s are actively recruited to be adoptive parents. There is no upper age limit.

However, there is a course requirement. We are taking the course now. That course is for anyone, regardless of age, who wants to adopt a child from foster care.
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