so guys.. i'm not doing the challenge in the right order so i hope you don't mind

anonymous asked:

Do you think you and DH can really give all your children the love, care and attention they deserve? I'm one of five completely healthy children, both mentally and physically. There was no way my parent had enough time/stamina to give us what we needed. It's so hard for me to imagine that you guys do. Don't you think it's selfish to keep adopting when you have a houseful of children already? I swear I'm not trying to hate but it just seems crazy to me.

I don’t know. The reality is that our lives have never been like this before. I adopted two children. Actually, I brought one kid home from Eastern Europe on a medical visa and she then lived with me for three years; and then I adopted her. I started fostering after she had been with me about four years.

When she was 8.5, I adopted DS. Then I got married a year or so later. I was 35 and initially decided that I wasn’t going to have bio kids, but then DH and I changed our minds on our honeymoon. We lost our first baby due to an early miscarriage, and it took us another year to conceive again. I thought for sure we’d have one bio and then adopt again. However, we decided we’d try for one more bio and here we are.

DS started spiraling last fall. We already had placement of Baby at that time. He had been placed with us the April before. DS got better but now he’s not. I certainly hope we aren’t going to be in this space of not doing well in terms of mental health for forever.

It’s no secret I’ve wrestled with the adoption of baby. I wrestled with DD’s adoption too. I was a single person fairly fresh out of grad school who had zero experience raising kids, let alone a kid with a cerebral palsy from an orphanage that weighed 16 pounds at 2 years old. I do wonder if Baby would be better off with another family. Would they be able to provide him with more normalcy? More resources? A stronger financial future? Younger parents? Maybe they would. Is that better for him than staying with the only family he’s ever lived with, or would asking him to be moved to a different adoptive home be more traumatic?

I don’t know what the right thing to do is here. I think it’s challenging to raise a gaggle of kids. When I was in high school, I said I wanted a large family. I have that now, but it’s more difficult than I would have imagined. Primarily because I think the kids we are raising all tend to be fairly needy. However, we are trying to ensure everyone has what they need. Sometimes one person’s needs get pushed aside in order to take care of someone else if they are needing something more critically.

I don’t see myself as “adopting all these kids.” I’ve been a foster parent for 11 years. I have one child adopted from foster care and Baby will be the second. That’s a fairly low number comparatively. I certainly don’t have all of the answers here though. We are just doing the best we can. Maybe that’s not good enough. Maybe it is. Our kids are certainly well loved and cared for. No one will advocate for them more than we will. But maybe they lack for attention? I’m not sure. I sat down and played games with DS for over an hour today. DD was driven to work and picked up by a parent today. We all went to church as a family. We had lunch together. I pushed Baby on the swing for 30 minutes. I read stories to E tonight and rubbed her back until she fell asleep. It’s hard to quantify what “enough” is and I don’t know that I will really have a sense of how my kids feel about a big family until they’re grown. Until then, I’m loving them the best I know how to do, and looking for ways to continue to up my game in the parenting department. I definitely go to bed at night feeling like I fail more than I win though.