Things Parents Need To Consider When Adopting Older Children
There are roughly 100 thousand children every year, in the United States alone, who are awaiting adoption.
And not just babies or infants.
This includes children in their teens and pre-teens.
They often need to be adopted owing to sad circumstances, like being taken out of homes where they were neglected and abused.
Sadly, the transitions into their new life are often turbulent, and while the eventual outcome is often happy, that sadly isn't always the case.
Redditor ComplexPick was curious to hear the first hand experiences of parents who adopted older children, as well as any advice they might offer those considering it, leading them to ask:
"Parents who have adopted a older child (5 and up), how has it gone for you? Do you regret it or would you recommend other parents considering adoption look into a older child?"
If You Want To Do It, Be Sure You Want To Do It For Them.
"Adopted a child who was 11 when I was 21."
"He was my wife's younger cousin and his household was marred with substance abuse, filth, instability, and mental health issues."
"Knew it was bad but didn't know how bad."
"Took him (11) and his brother (14) for a summer once, just to give them a break from, what we thought was, a dirty house with an overwhelmed parent."
"Until I took them back the week before school started and saw the filth first hand, the smell and the random people coming in/out, the wreckage we were about to have to leave them in, the fact that in this time his Xbox and games, I had hand-me-downed him, has been sold along with their TV."
"The two had 1 mattress on a floor and the younger one said 'I can't wait for school to start back' and when I asked why, he said 'Because then I get to eat every day, like when I'm at your house'."
"I told them to just get back in the car."
"His mother never even called to ask why he or his brother didn't come home until tax season, to make sure we didn't claim them on our taxes, etc."
"Never wished him a happy birthday, Christmas, nothing."
"My wife and I grew up very quickly."
"We worked hard and got full custody about a year later when he was 12."
"He grew up healthy and happy, successful with great grades and a good head on his shoulders."
"His brother who was 14 lived with us for the first year then would go back and forth trying to help his mom get her life together before returning again, but for the most part during those years, the younger child we had full custody of and the older child came/went as he needed."
"It wasn't until years later when the younger of the two moved out with his friends, instead of taking our offer to go to college right after school, and began having substance abuse issues of his own that we learned the extent of the abuse he had endured at home for nearly his entire childhood and kept inside."
"Sexual and physical for years starting when he was about 5 from his mothers 'friends' and boyfriends and even a family member due to their terrible situation."
"It was heartbreaking."
"He ended up going through a pretty severe addiction period in his early to mid 20s and regardless what we've tried and how many small successes we've worked with him to reach, he always ends up in a severe depression and turning back to drugs again."
"The last time I talked to him, about a week ago, I told him I loved him and would help him get into a very nice rehab community when he's ready and help him get a good job and place for himself, but only when he's ready to be clean and until then, we simply can't do anything with/for him..and it was hard to do."
"I am in the 2nd half of my 30's now, have 3 children in grade school who need me like he did then who also love him, our oldest looks at him like a big brother, but unfortunately we have to keep our distance a bit so they don't have to see close-up the ugly side of addiction in someone they love."
"Now that he's an adult in his mid 20's himself making these choices, we can't have any real relationship other than the occasional call or letter until he's done."
"He loves them too, but he's got some demons that we cannot possibly understand and until he's ready to get help for them or help for his addiction, we don't have much of a relationship."
"His brother worked hard and straightened their mother out over the years into a functioning adult and mother, got her life together, a job, a place, everything and as adults, never left her."
"In fact, due to him, his brother spent the last year of his teens sharing our household and hers back/forth which wouldn't have been possible without him."
"The older brother and her are roommates now and we are very proud of him for the man he's become, what he's persevered, and the incredible progress he's made with their mother and how he's stuck by her side now providing as equals."
"I never realized it, but he and I really grew up together, only being 5-6 years apart in age and were best friends for years as young adults even after his younger brother moved out."
"One of my biggest regrets is somehow letting those days end."
"He loves his brother too, but his and his mother's relationship with his brother is the same as ours, the delicate balance between helpful/love vs enabling due to understanding the pain he's probably trying to understand/repress, until he's able to beat this, and he will."
"Nothing is perfect, just what you make of it I suppose, but it has highlighted to us how important the early years of a child's development are and how damaging all forms of abuse can be, regardless how much effort you put into trying to change things afterward, and also how important it is for a child to have an adult who genuinely cares about them, since sadly many don't."
"Would I recommend it?"
"Yes, but be honest with yourself why you're doing it and know what you're getting into."
"You're not getting a good/bad kid, you're getting an opportunity to be a good/bad parent."
"Children this age need you as much as a baby does, they bring happiness the same as a baby does and also present their own unique challenges the same as parents do, which is what they're signing up for too without knowing, and most importantly the reason you should be adopting is for them."
"You get to give your love, time, affection and a portion of your life, and heart, too."
"Would I do it again?"
"Every single time."- saaatchmo
"My wife and I adopted an older girl from our state's foster system."
"The girl was 13 when we adopted her and we were told she had a rough childhood full of abuse and she had been diagnosed with 'general mood disorder'."
"Little did we know that the psychological assessment was done by an unqualified state doctor and this little girl had severe issues that required more care than my wife and I were prepared for."
"We spent 5 years dealing with fighting, arguing, run away attempts, drug use, alcohol abuse, constant emotional manipulation, constant lying, stealing, etc."
"She was also in constant contact with her schizophrenic birth mother behind our backs, the woman kept feeding our daughter conspiracy theories and lies and constantly making the situation worse for all of us."
"We tried the best we could for 5 whole years, trying various different therapists, trying different parenting methods, seeing different doctors, all to no avail."
"It wasn't until about 5 months before her 18th birthday that we had to have her committed and we finally got a proper diagnosis."
"She was diagnosed with bi-polar and BPD and we finally had an answer to the years of hell we all had to go thru."
"We did our research and learned the proper way to parent a child with these conditions and things began to improve over the last few months she was with us, but on her 18th birthday she bailed and we haven't seen her since, that was 5 years ago."- Dragonace1000
The Love They Never Knew
"I feel I got lucky."
"He was 9 when we adopted him, but he was just grateful to have a home and people who loved him."
"My wife and I love him dearly as he does us."- TyrannoDragon
Have Absolutely No Doubts.
"My pre-adoptive son just moved in 6 weeks ago."
"He’s almost 10."
"Him getting here has been a bit of a long and wild story but he’s been in care since he was 6."
"It hasn’t been easy but there’s SO many older kids who need families."
"My biggest thing is just to make DAMN sure you’re committed."
"Know your limits."
"Be honest with yourself and your adoption coordinator."
"And demand honesty from the social worker as well."
"Ask for psych evals and treatment histories."
"Because if you convince yourself 'oh I can handle this' and you change your mind?"
"You are re-traumatizing that child."
"My son has complex trauma from years of abuse but the thing he talks about most after his meltdowns?"
"Having to leave his first pre-adoptive home because he kept losing his temper and throwing things."
"He’s been in 4-5 placements and a PRTF since then."
"I work with girls involved in juvenile justice so I felt uniquely prepared for this situation and even for me, it’s been physically and emotionally exhausting."
"I’m a single parent and we’re in the middle of a global pandemic so I’m sure that’s a factor."
"But if you choose to adopt there shouldn’t be any 'changing your mind' or 'this just isn’t working out'."
"That kiddo is part of your family."
"My son and I have a little mantra 'together forever. Even when things get hard, even when things get sad'.”- camilouwhooo
Not Everyone Is Meant To Be A Parent
"I adopted a 7 YO from foster care in 2017."
"It was an absolute failure."
"My wife pushed me to choose this child even though I didn’t feel the 'sparks' everyone talks about when meeting or hearing about their kids."
"I separated from my wife in 2018 and we shared custody for about a year."
"I asked her for a short break, and she took the child and never returned him."
"I can’t say I’m unhappy about her choice."
"I didn’t really fight for her to bring him back."
"I have seen him only a few times since then."
"I care for him as a human being and of course wish no harm upon him, but I’m not his parent."
"It’s one of the most difficult things I’ve been through."- bearbearbare
Older children who are hoping to be adopted need love above all else.
Sadly, love can't solve every problem.
But any parent committed to loving their children, no matter how difficult things might get, will ensure that they will somehow, in some way come out on top of all their troubles.
Even if it sometimes takes more love than you can possibly imagine.
Kids don't say the darndest things.
They say the craziest things.
I feel like some kids are dark psychics here to throw us off our game.
But I dislike children so I could be exaggerating.
Some of the phrases and prophecies I've heard children espousing have left my head spinning.
Where do they learn this stuff?
Redditor Eli_JMI wanted to hear about the things children have said aloud that left people SHOOKETH, so they asked:
"Parents of reddit, what is the creepiest thing your child has said to you?"
I once had a kid, stop me in the mall and just point at my head and go... "BOOM! HEAD!"
Over HimBig Brother Reaction GIF by Big Brother After DarkGiphy
"My then 2 year old accidentally locked himself in a room and was crying hysterically while I tried in vain to coach him through unlocking the door. My then 5-year-old pulled me aside and said, in perfect seriousness, 'Forget about him, Mom. He's dead to us.' I'm a little worried about that kid."
In the Fire
"Not my child but my grandchild. She was about 3 years old when her parents were expecting another baby. She kept talking about how she was so happy she'll have her sister back once the baby was born. The sister that 'died in a fire before.' At the time she only had an older brother and had never had a sister, let alone one that passed away in a fire."
"My youngest daughter has always had a fear of the water that’s gotten better as she’s gotten older. But when she was a toddler, it would have been easier to baptize a rabid cat than try to get give her a bath. One night at around age 3, I was doing my routine of trying to get her in the tub to wash off when she said to me 'I scared of the water. It’s how I died before.' Yeah, the bath definitely didn’t happen that night."
"My grandma used to tell this story all of the time! Apparently when I was a young kid, I saw a big blue lifted truck and began talking about how I used to drive one like that, and I had gotten into a car crash and died at a young age and talked about missing my life. Kids either have wild imaginations, or they remember some stuff from an alternate timeline."
Bye DaddyExcuse Me No GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"As I was leaving for work, my daughter said 'bye daddy, have a good day. I hope you don't get shot' and then went back to playing with her toys."
Kids know jobs are dangerous.
ThinkOkaay What GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Woke one morning before my alarm went off to my three year old son standing next to my bed. He then says, 'Go back to sleep and think about your life.'"
"My son used to say when he was younger that he used to fly around at night. Jumping from lamppost to lamppost in the neighborhood. That it was hard to get there because of the connection to his body through the belly button."
"I would have considered imagination if it weren’t that my dad told me he had the same type of dream when he was little as did I."
"Not my kids but I used to work with toddlers."
"We had one girl who got so upset at changing time. She would cry and say 'No, the man is watching!' When she was on the changing table. She would point to the ceiling tiles (sometimes the wind from the garden door knocked one out of place) and say he was watching."
"Freaked all of us staff out, we all looked but there was definitely no one there. We had to change her on a mat on the floor inside of a stall because she was so upset. We did that for the rest of the year."
"The next years class starts... A little boy (these kids did not know each other at all!) starts crying on the changing table. 'No! The man is watching!' Pointing at the ceiling tiles again. Same situation for the rest of the year. Had to change him in a stall on the floor."
"There was never anyone in the ceiling but it freaked us all out constantly!"
"We were living overseas and the area we lived in had been an old Chinese fishing village. Locals were superstitious about the area because the village had been removed to replace with modern housing and it was supposed to have made the spirits angry. My 5 year old son had an imaginary friend named Timmy but he didn't actually like Timmy. He complained about him so much it got creepy."
"For instance, Timmy didn't like certain people... Timmy told him to misbehave... anything that was misplaced was lost because Timmy took it, etc. I joked that at least we knew Timmy wasn't a ghost because a Chinese kid would not be named Timmy. One day my son drew a picture of Timmy to show me. He labeled it 'Tai Mei.'"
Stick with ChickenWait What Sudden Realization GIF by Nick JonasGiphy
"Went to check on my five year old daughter who was asleep. She rolled on her back, still asleep, and said, 'I must not eat humans, humans aren't food.' Before rolling back over."
Kids are crazy. Thank the Lord I don't have any of my own to terrorize me like this.
Do you have any crazy kid-related stories? Let us know in the comments below.
Do you notice how food courts in shopping malls have different types of cuisine–most of which are very westernized interpretations of food from various cultures?
Panda Express, for instance, is supposedly Chinese food, while Sbarro claims to serve Italian food.
While mall food is not fancy–and it's okay if you thought they were–it's not necessarily everyone's cup of tea.
Yet, some of these walk-up establishments have huge lines because shoppers either don't know any better and think the offerings are authentic, or it's just a matter of convenience for them to look for a quick bite.
Curious to know about the types of food that are given more hype than they deserve, Redditor Faihus asked:
"What cuisine do you find highly overrated?"
Unfortunately, many Redditors misunderstood the assignment and named examples that were not a style or method of cooking that represents different countries or establishments.
Nevertheless, here we go.
It's crazy how marketing adds crazy value to edibles that are nothing out of the ordinary.
"Yeah. I would have to agree with that. It may be an unpopular opinion but I still love the Duncan Heinz or Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffin mix. Grew up on that stuff."
Store-Bought Reigns Supreme
"I fail to see what's wrong with a normal cupcake. Hell, even boxed cupcakes are super good. I would rather have 10 delicious boxes cupcakes than one mediocre, overpriced one."
Some people use condiments to enhance a flavor. Others prefer methods that induce an eye-roll.
"Gold leaf on food is bullsh*t. It does not add flavour, only makes it look gold and increases the price. If you want to sh*t good like a Lannister, it’s good for that. The instagram food trend is all about looks not taste."
"Social media-oriented cuisine, like those milkshakes where they spread chocolate outside the glass. The only point of doing that is looking better on Instagram since it objectively worsens the product"
Some establishments would do well serving just alcohol.
That, or patrons shouldn't expect much fro the menu at their local watering hole.
"As an American, any 'American' restaurant eatery without a speciality. It’s all bar food that’s SLIGHTLY better than actual stereotypical bar food (Chili’s, Cheddars, Logan’s etc) Hell, actual bar food is probably better honestly."
"You don’t want an 18 dollar cheeseburger with onion rings and 'our house made barbecue sauce' that you have to unhinge your jaw to eat?"
Sticking To The Basics Is A +
"There’s so many 'brew houses' and 'bistros' where you cant get just a regular cheeseburger. They’ll have a first time chef trying to be fancy but if you can’t make a plain cheeseburger made with upscale ingredients taste really f'king good I guarantee you your bacon jam’d, house made ketchup’d, unripe off season tomato, 3/4 lb patty on a brioche that doesn’t hold together just doesn’t taste that good. And what do you mean you don’t have pickles? The acid is there for a reason. As a veteran of the business it drives me insane."
Finally, we were going somewhere with the assignment in reference to naming a cuisine.
"I want to say Italian, but sometimes my italian friend will make something for me and I will eat myself stupid so I think it's probably just americanized italian that I'm not into."
We Need A Re-Introduction
"I told my Italian friend I didn't like Italian food and she almost fell off her chair. I think I've eaten too much domesticated Italian and need some re-centering...for her sake."
I can't say with absolute certainty which particular cuisine is overrated, but I can say which type of food is overrated.
Under that scenario, I can say smoothies sold in chain restaurants like Jamba Juice are overrated.
People seem to think that just because they're having a fruit smoothie, it does their bodies good.
Most smoothies are pretty much fruit juices, not actual fruit with fiber, and are loaded with tons of sugar.
They may taste delicious, but that's because all of the added sugars tantalize repeat customers.
Seeing so many locations selling smoothies, in general, makes me question the nutritional value of many of their menu options. But, that's just me.
History is one of those subjects that often gets a bad wrap because of all the dates and cities we had to memorize to pass a test in high school. But when we actually take a look at what our history entails, it's pretty interesting.
Some historical details are so interesting, in fact, it's hard to believe they aren't made up.
Fascinated by this, Redditor jdward01 asked:
"What is a historical fact that seems unbelievable?"
"The first 200,000 years or so of being highly sentient human beings are lost in history. We only know the last circa 2000-4000 years from texts."
"The first recorded joke, a fart joke that is 4000 years old, uses the term 'since time immemorial' (or the Sumerian version). Even though one should not take that literally, it suggests that you could travel back in time to find people who consider their civilization ancient already."
"And it was. When that joke was written down in cuneiform, the Pyramid of Djoser had already been standing for 700 years. And when that pyramid was built, the city of Catal Höyuk was 3000-5000 years old!"
"And still, that was built during the latest 2.5% of human history."
"We have lost so godd**n much history, it hurts to think of it."
"We live closer in time to the T-Rex than the T-Rex did to the Stegosaurus. Dinosaurs were here forever."
Only in Ohio?
"In 1895, the entire state of Ohio had only two cars."
"Both cars managed to still smash into each other."
The Space-Stegasaurus Continuum
"The rings of Saturn are younger than Stegosauruses."
"Stegosauruses roamed the earth approximately 150-180 million years ago. Saturn's rings have only existed for approximately 100 million years."
"The last execution by guillotine was in the 70s."
History Keeps Going and Going
"There were archaeologists in Ancient Egypt studying about even more ancient Egypt."
"Bobby Leach was the second person to ever go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. He survived, but his injuries kept him hospitalized for six months."
"He died 15 years later from injuries sustained after he slipped on an orange peel."
A Long-Held Position
"Elizabeth II was on the throne for over a quarter of the United States' existence."
A Shrinking Population
"In 90 years from 1841 to 1930, Ireland's population halved, from 8.4 million to about 4 million."
"The Famine started the decline, but emigration sustained it. Ireland's population didn't start growing again until the 1960s, and there are still about 2 million fewer people living there (Eire and NI) than in 1841."
No Invitation Necessary
"Abraham Lincoln's son (Robert Todd Lincoln) was present at three different presidential assassinations."
"After McKinley, he decided not to accept any more invitations."
A Bittersweet Ending
"There was a molasses flood in Boston in 1919 that was 25 feet high that killed 21 people."
Whose Weather Station Is This?
"In 1943, a group of German sailors on a U-Boat emplaced a weather station on the Canadian coast (Labrador) so the Germans could more accurately predict the weather for military operations (since the weather in the Northern hemisphere generally moves west-to-east)."
"The weather station was marked with fake signs, indicating that it was a Canadian military facility and for unauthorized personnel to keep out."
"The weather station was eventually discovered by the Canadians..."
Storm of the Century
"In 1972, as much as 26 feet of snow fell on small towns in Iran, killing 4,000 people."
They Finally Got Off His Lawn
"The first battle of the American Civil War was fought on land owned by Mr. Wilber McLean."
"After the battle, he decided to move further out in the country to avoid the war... where four years later, General Lee surrendered to General Grant in Mr. McLean's house."
"The war started and ended on his property."
Who Came First
"The University of Oxford is older than the Aztec Empire."
Some of these are so hard to believe, but they truly put history and its chronology into perspective.
So often, we think of an event occurring in another decade or another lifetime, and we fail to realize just how closely connected some of these events are.
Every family has their secrets.
Not every family is good at keeping them, however.
Certain things people hoped would remain with them to the grave have a way of getting out.
Sometimes, they leave what they think are minuscule clues that can actually give away far more than they realize.
Other times, people share their secrets with folks who they think are trustworthy, who in reality have trouble keeping anything to themselves.
Resulting in privileged, sometimes wild information, being known by people who were never intended to learn it.
"What’s a secret your family doesn’t think you know, but you do?"
A Very Close Family Indeed
"My nan and my grandpa are cousins."
"I'm from Yorkshire England."- Substantial-Fig-1907
Dark Family Secrets
"My dad didn't go to another state for a job opportunity. "
"He went on a drug binge."- alaskalovepup11
Secret Life Of Mom
"I absolutely adore my mother."
"She's a single mother who got a master's in education while taking care of three of us all the way up to working being a head of a department in the DOE."
"I've never seen her drink, shout, act immature, act out in any unbecoming way etc."
"My whole life the one thing people commented on was how 'classy' my mother is."
"Then two years ago when moving out, I ended up accidentally taking one of her boxes of papers from the attic thinking it was mine."
"It was full of court documents talking about an affair my mother had with a married colleague where she got allegedly got so upset he ended it that she started to stalk and harass him and he filed criminal charges on her as well as brought it to HR at her former job."
"The things he says my mother did in those documents, I can't imagine in a hundred years."
"Yet I also couldn't imagine her having an affair with this guy at all but she admits it in the paperwork."
"I know why she left her state job and we moved to DC."
"Basically there was some kind of deal made where she would leave and it would go away."
"And the criminal case was also pretty much dropped with the expectation and deal she would never contact him or bother him again."
"It's made me really realize that you don't know ANYONE really."
"Everyone makes a lapse in judgment sometimes especially when it comes to love and it seems she owned up to it and took responsibility."- iwant_torebuild
Mother Nature Can Be Cruel
"That my cousin’s Papillon didn’t run away."
"I was with my Uncle drinking on the porch and watched that poor pup get snatched off the ground by a massive hawk."
"A blink and it was gone."
"There was nothing we could do."
"We looked at each other after a solid few minutes of silence and he leans over: 'That f*cking dog ran away'.”
"I nodded and that was the last we discussed it."- ZedisonSamZ
Oh Sister, Where Art Thou?
"I have a half-sister."
"No one in my family has ever spoken about her, and after putting the pieces together I understand why."
"Being young, unwed, and pregnant in the South in the early sixties could be f*cking tragic."- howlandwolf
Not Exactly Affectionate
"The fact my grandmother basically ordered my father to give my old sister and I to the state since we were too 'rowdy'."- BluEyed_Lich
Love Is Stronger Than Blood... Most Of The Time...
"My Dad drunkenly called me and told me my younger brother is my half-brother."
"My mother doesn’t know that I know."
"Long story short is that my Mom cheated on my Dad and didn’t tell him till the child was two."
'To which she then divorced him and left him for the guy who she cheated on him with."- Comfortable_Safety11
Cheating Hurts More People Than You Realize
"The part they know I know now, because I vocally expressed my knowledge, is that my dad cheated on my mom while she was pregnant with my younger brother."
"There are a couple parts they don’t know I know, and one they don’t even know themselves."
"My dad actively took me to see his mistress, my now stepmom, while he was still with my mom."
"I was really young, but I remember being around her while my parents were still married."
"It didn’t click for me until I got older, and the rest of the family was really mad to find out when I told them."
"The thing I know that my dad and the rest of my family doesn’t know themselves is that my paternal grandpa continued to give my mom $1000/month on top of what my dad paid in child support, because he was pissed at my dad for cheating."
"My mom actually told me a story about my dad trying to bail on a dinner where the divorce was going to be discussed, and my grandpa straight up said, 'You’re taking your f*cking bitch a** to that dinner'.”
"My dad started favoring the kids he had with my stepmom, and my grandpa wasn’t having it."
"Until the day he died, he would secretly give my brother and I 'extra' for Christmas, birthdays, etc., because he knew the other two kids were getting treated better."
"My mom told me many times that my grandpa was the only member of my dad’s side she truly still loved after the divorce because of everything he did."
"My grandparents paid for the house my dad and mom lived in, but my dad wanted to leave it when he got remarried."
'He didn’t want the memories from it."
"Note that this house was three years old and really expensive."
"My dad threw a fit, because he wanted to build a new one family farm land."
"This pissed the rest of my family off, because it was active farmland."
"This fit split the family in half, and it’s still not fixed."
"My aunts and uncles still don’t like my stepmom because of her role."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
Um... An Explanation Is Needed!!!
"My parents borrow a lot of money from me because supposedly they own it to an Italian businessman, but when I went to the bank, I saw they had paid the amount to an Austrian bank."
"Never asked them an explanation."- Tribeworth
Love Conquers All
"I am from a very conservative country, and arranged marriages were the norm here, until a generation ago.'
"My uncle's marriage was the first love marriage in our family, and it happened after a lot of persuasions with the Elders."
"Long before that, my uncle once took me to see his gf in the McDonalds."
"I was hardly 5, and I remembered the woman as a tall amiable one, who gave me her burgers to eat."
"As we were going away, I told uncle that I am gonna tell mother how fine this lady was."
"We lived in a joint family."
"Uncle was terrified."
"He said there is no haste, and made me promise to never tell again."
"They married next year."
"21 years from then, and they are still married with a boy and a girl."- BackgroundResolve476
It's easy to understand why these families wanted to keep these secrets under a rock as long as they could.
Unfortunately, all secrets have a way of getting out, no matter how hard you try to bury them.