Friday, June 15, 2012

Forever Friday: Alec (plus the FIRSTS of older child adoption)

Today is June 15th. We are halfway through June, but we are only 30% of the way to our goal of $500 for the June Fundraiser for Jack. If you haven't already checked it out, please do so. If you haven't donated yet, please consider donating today. We have some wonderful prizes available, and every penny you donate helps Jack reach his family as soon as possible!

I have a day off today. My oldest is at her internship at the local university's medical school. My middle kid is visiting Grandma in another state, and this morning I dropped off my son with my dad for a two-night sleepover. What a luxury to have a day to myself! My thoughts, however, are never far from the children who are growing up without families to love them and grandparents who give them special times. Children like ...

Alec! Alec is seven years old this year. He is described as a friendly boy who is active and inquisitive. He likes to play with older children and is interested in many things. Alec always wants to learn about something new. Like my own son, Alec is more interested in real-world items than in toys. He likes to be read to and listens with interest and appreciation. He responds emotionally to stories and tales. Alec is HIV+ and, like my own son, he has motor and speech delays. But none of these are insurmountable issues! HIV is treated with daily medication and quarterly trips to an infectious disease doctor. Speech and motor issues can be improved or corrected with speech, physical, and occupational therapy. 

Alec has approximately $50 in his adoption fund. Alec is available for adoption by married couples who are no more than 45 years older than he is. There is no restriction on family size.

Alec needs your help to find his forever family! He has several strikes against him. He is older. He is a boy. And he has health issues. Boys like Alec are frequently overlooked. But they can make such wonderful additions to a family! I have heard before that, by adopting an older child, you miss out on so many firsts: first smile, first step, first word. But I have to say, having adopted two older kids, that I find this not only to be untrue, but I find the exact opposite to be true! With older kids, there are so many more firsts. Your baby or young child does not remember his first trip to the grocery store, or the swimming pool, or the library. These are routine events in the life of a baby or young child raised in a family. But many older kids adopted from orphanages have never experienced these things. Almost every outing in those first weeks and months is a new experience, a first. And these older kids are old enough to talk about these things with you! Even with limited English, these children can convey their delight and wonder at all their new experiences. I have thoroughly enjoyed introducing my two older adopted kids to all the things life in a family has to offer. I don't feel like I missed out on their lives. I feel like I got to experience so many new things with them!

One of the first English words my son learned was "water tower." He pronounced it "wah-too-tow-uh." He was so excited to show off his new word, and every time we saw a water tower, he would shout, "Momma! Momma! Wah-too-tow-uh!" He would continue to shout, "Wah-too-tow-uh!" until I acknowledged him with a, "Yes, son, I see the water tower!" Eventually he was not satisfied with just my acknowledgement, and he would point out the water tower to every person in the vehicle and require that they acknowledge him, as well. It was a red-letter day in my son's life when we passed a pair of water towers. "Momma! Momma! TWO wah-too-tow-uh!" He could barely contain his excitement.

There are two things that I will always remember about my daughter's introduction to life in America. The first is her fascination with the faucet in the kitchen. It has a button to press to change the flow of water from running normally to spraying. She used to stand at the sink and change the water to spray and back again, over and over and over. The day that I grabbed the faucet and pulled out the detachable sprayer to clean out a pan, she was astonished. "Water come out!" she exclaimed.

Also, when I arrived home from Ethiopia with my daughter (my husband had stayed home with the other two kids), my husband took two weeks off from work to help get his new daughter settled into the family. We took a few car trips during that time, and my husband always drove. A few days after my husband went back to work, I took the kids somewhere in the car. As I climbed into the drivers seat, my daughter, who had already gotten into her seat and buckled in, unbuckled, got out, came around to my side of the car, and asked, incredulously, "Momma drive??" When I assured her that yes, I drove, and was, in fact, quite proficient at it, a look of sheer admiration came over her face and she repeated, "Momma drive!" with visible approval. I think the fact that "Momma drive" went a long way in cementing her approval of me.

Alec deserves the chance to experience these kinds of firsts with his family. Please donate to increase Alec's adoption fund. Please share his photo and information with those you know. Please consider becoming Alec's Guardian Angel, and please consider whether Alec has a place in your family. This little boy has a whole life of potential ahead of him!


  1. This is my favorite post that you have written so far! I LOVE the addition of the anecdotes from your own children! Keep you the writing and advocating! - Mom of three boys

  2. Thank you very much! I feel that it's very important for adoptive parents to share their experiences and stories as encouragement and assistance to prospective families. I will keep writing. Please keep commenting! I like to know that people are "hearing" me. :)

  3. I am hearing you! :-) This post was great! I am one of those prospective people thinking of adopting! :-)