Friday, February 15, 2013

Adopting Older Children

"...And I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty."   
2 Corinthians 6:18

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."   
Ephesians 1:5

 "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."   
James 1:27

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  
 Galatians 6:2

I read an article today about Kelli Higgins, a photographer, who recreated "newborn" photos of her adopted son...who is now 13 years old! Kelli mentions in the article how she received an email from a couple who was planning to adopt a newborn, but since seeing her photos, changed their mind and is now seeking to adopt an older child.

It occurred to me as I sat reading the article that most people seeking to adopt are only willing to consider adopting newborns or infants. I can certainly understand why. Older children come with painful memories of abuse and abandonment. This can be extremely difficult to bear.

Because many people are unwilling or unable to make the sacrifices necessary to adopt an older child, there are more than 20,000 in the United States foster care system who age out of the program every year. Who will they celebrate the holidays with? Who will make them feel loved on their birthday? Who can they go to if things get tough; if they have questions? Who is going to show them how to break the pattern of neglect and abuse and to be a strong, loving parent to their own children? 

I cannot imagine the loneliness and fear of "aging out". Possibly having lived your first 18 years of life believing that no one loved you; that no one wanted you to be a part of their family. What happens to them? According to Wikipedia: 
  • Less than half of them graduate from high school. 
  • 36% are homeless.
  • 56% are unemployed.
  • 27% of young men who age out end up in jail. 
  • 4 out of 10 are involved in unplanned pregnancies.

You can view Latrell Higgins' "newborn photos" HERE.

You can read Kelli & Latrell Higgins' story HERE.


1 comment:

  1. This was so funny/wonderful! I read the story that you posted the link to. It makes sense, alot of people finally have the skills after raising their own children through the difficult years. What a blessing when a family can keep loving and giving: the simple gift of a family.