I am hoping some of you can share your experience. We are currently in the discussion phase of adoption. We have been throwing ideas around for a while and so we are trying to explore options during this next year as our youngest is only a year old(we would like to wait till he is a bit older before we start with all the adoption prep. Back to the question: as we research we keep finding waiting children listed in different countries. Have any of you adopted a "waiting child" from another country who has been in an orphanage? I am just wondering how they adjust to a home life. We know how vital it is to attach to a caregiver and I just wonder how it is for a young chid to attach when he has been in an institution rather than a home. We would prefer to adopt a child younger than our youngest. So, from birth - 3 or so by the time we get moving on this.
Hi! We adopted a toddler from an orphanage in Rwanda at approximately two years old. We have been home two years. I honestly think there's not one definitive answer to your question...
First off, all orphanages are not alike...I would receommend doing extensive research...
we researched the practices in the orphanages of the countries we were considering. A lot depends on the culture and their attitudes towards children/orphans. We knew that in Rwanda, the culture supports a great warmth towards children and that physical touch would be somewhat of a valued priority. On the downside, we knew that there was great poverty so that nutrition would be an issue as well as understaffing. I did a lot of phone calling and internet research and was also able to find out that this particular orphanage had been through a recent training and were starting to adopt good practices--no bottle propping (which means the child is held when taking a bottle), stimulating environment (music, movement) and an attempt at better nutrition.
Second...each child in an orphanage has a unique case history...our son was abandoned at one year and only got to the orphanage nine months before we came. Which turned out to be good because we believe he had some early attachment in a home environment.
I can point you to two resources...
The definitive book on the subject is The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis and David Cross
I write about the experience of Toddler Adoption here:
Think about several potential scenarios--easy attachment, mildly challenging attachment, and long term attachment issues. Decide how comfortable you are with the possibility of each. Then do your homework to maximize the odds for strong, quick attachment.
And btw, I am SO happy we adopted a toddler from an orphanage. It has been an amazing experience! Best of luck...xoelizabeth