I've grown used to people's eyes growing very wide when I tell them we are adopting a sibling group of 4. It shocked me at first because my heart was so deep in our calling from God that it made perfect sense to me and didn't seem shocking at all. Honestly, I've never been so sure of God's calling on my life!
There are definite advantages to adopting a sibling group. I know it sounds harder then adopting one child and I am not so naive as to not see some of the challenges that will/have come. And I know that adopting an older child/children feels more risky as they have memories and hurts that are firmly established in their hearts.
Here are some advantages that I see in adopting a sibling group AND adopting older children:
~They have each other. They were not taken all alone out of a Protection Center (what they call "orphanages" in Nicaragua). They had their siblings for security. They can talk to each other, comfort each other, and play together. They share these experiences and have people built in to talk to who understand.
~They can help each other keep their birth language. This is our hope. Our prayer is to be able to keep their Spanish alive and spoken. We are on a huge learning curve to try to learn their language fluently. But we would love to raise them to be bilingual. Who knows how God could use this ability?
~Even babies who don't remember the abandonment and loss of being orphaned can have lasting effects from that abandonment. But we don't usually expect them to and I think those effects, while able to be overcome, take us by surprise. With older children, you watch for it and expect it. You pray and prepare and know you'll need to seek help right up front.
So many tell us we are doing a great thing and are very generous, etc. I appreciate the compliment, I really do and I try to express that sentiment each time. But honestly, I feel a little guilty just accepting the compliment. Why? Because, already we are so blessed by these children!
Our children have been LOVED. They express good memories. I've heard horror stories about children who are so neglected they don't cry. They don't believe anyone will meet their needs so they don't even express emotions. (I've read of countless, hero parents who have literally loved them back to life!) Our children, likely because people have loved on them and poured into them, still have their emotions. They are not afraid to share their opinions and preferences, to tell when their food is yucky, to cry when their sad, to be frustrated and aggravated, to giggle with delight, to laugh and play, to be normally naughty sometimes, to share affection... They are right beside Papa, wanting to be involved in whatever he is doing. They had a BLAST learning to wash clothes on the big washboard and even washed clothes that were CLEAN! Love that!! They want to learn to cook and anything else Papa will let them do! They work as hard as we do to build a family with us. We are so blessed!!!
Hard times will come as they do in every family. I can't even imagine how it would feel if my own parents could not or chose not to raise me. Even if they had no choice, I know the hurt would be great. Then to go so long without a mommy and daddy... But in my heart, these are MY children. God has already knit me with them. They are as mine as my first 3 children. And I pray and long to help them, to comfort them, to be a vessel of their healing... If you can imagine if one of your children were really hurting through a deep trial. You would want to go to them immediately and do whatever it takes to bring healing. THIS is how we feel, not because there is anything special about us but because they are OUR CHILDREN and there is something special about THEM.
I can not properly describe the love and joy we feel to get to be their family! They are not a burden, but a reward!
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." ~Psalm 127:3