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I definitely want to have more children. Currently we have our biological 14 month old son and are still deciding on the issue of having more kids, when, etc. But I'm wanting to explore all avenues here so any advice would be wonderful!<br>
I was thinking about adopting an older child, most likely from the state and was wanting any advice/tips you all could give.<br>
I know I'd miss being pregnant and some of the baby aspects, but really, I find that children are so much more fun when they're older...I guess that's opposite of what most people think, but I wouldn't miss the sleepless nights, diapering, etc. Then again, I've never had an older child either, just the one we have now.<br>
One thing that does make me nervous is that with an older child I'm afraid they won't understand or like our lifestyle. We're a frugal family, grow our own food, do a lot of back to basics, composting, foods from scratch, etc. We're not very materialistic and don't shop or buy into mainstream culture too much, which might be hard for an older child...I just don't know!<br>
I'm just starting down this avenue so any help is appreciated!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hang.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hang"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c66/daisie125/crochetsmilie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crochet"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/sewmachine.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="sew"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cd.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cd">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/slingboy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Slingboy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/goorganic.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="go organic">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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i'm gonna sub to this thread. in a couple years we plan to foster/adopt. i don't know what age group. our kids would probably be 2-4 when we are ready.
 

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Well, first of all being pregnant does not make you a good mother (and it sounds like you already know that). It really bugs me to hear mothers saying this and this is a MAJOR sore spot for me being the adoptive mom to 3 children and struggling with infertility for 4 years and losing $40,000 in the process (and that is WITH 70% insurance coverage for IVF!). But I digress....<br><br>
I have always heard that it's really in your family's best interest to keep the birth order, however, I think I recently saw a thread here where women said they have had no issues. I think that's something you need to research and consider. As for your lifestyle, I think any child will blend right into your life and way of living and I really wouldn't worry about that too much.<br><br>
Just my .02 cents. Good luck!
 

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I haven't done this, but my parents fostered a child older than me (I was an only child). She was a teenager (or close to it, I think) when she came with us. I think it was great for all of us.<br><br>
It wasn't a fairy tale or anything; she obviously had hoed a long row before she came to us (she was abused and neglected), and she continues her struggle today.<br><br>
I will say that there was no problem with her accepting our lifestyle. Heck, our lifestyle was a dream compared to what she was living before. She had her own room, for the very first time. She never asked for anything. Every child is individual, but depending on the circumstances, I think it would be less likely for an older adopted child to be overly consumerist.
 

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I have heard that about the birth order too. Even on some adoption pages I have seen that the child either needs to be the only child in the house or the youngest. I suppose then, in the end, it would depend on the specific child you were adopting.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299207"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, first of all being pregnant does not make you a good mother (and it sounds like you already know that). It really bugs me to hear mothers saying this and this is a MAJOR sore spot for me being the adoptive mom to 3 children and struggling with infertility for 4 years and losing $40,000 in the process (and that is WITH 70% insurance coverage for IVF!). But I digress....</div>
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i can't tell what this is in response to....nobody here has said that.<br><br>
if this is in response to her saying she would miss being pregnant - i can relate to that. i loved being pregnant and i loved giving birth. it was something i was very good at and it makes me kinda sad to think i probably won't ever do that again. that has nothing to do with pregnancy making someone a good mother though....<br><br>
am i missing something?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>elf_babykins</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299234"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have heard that about the birth order too. Even on some adoption pages I have seen that the child either needs to be the only child in the house or the youngest. I suppose then, in the end, it would depend on the specific child you were adopting.</div>
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i've heard this too. i guess my big question is why? i mena, i can <i>kinda</i> see how it <i>might</i> be ideal, but i don't see why it is such a big deal.
 

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Hindsight being 20/20, I would stick with birth order unless you are adopting a baby who has no potential outside the norm to have special needs and especially attachment issues.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aja-belly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299330"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i can't tell what this is in response to....nobody here has said that.<br><br>
if this is in response to her saying she would miss being pregnant - i can relate to that. i loved being pregnant and i loved giving birth. it was something i was very good at and it makes me kinda sad to think i probably won't ever do that again. that has nothing to do with pregnancy making someone a good mother though....<br><br>
am i missing something?</div>
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Maybe I just wasn't super clear and I'm not sure how to really say it without being brutally honest (and I don't want to go there in a public forum). It just gets under my skin when I see somebody wanting to adopt, but saying how being not being pregnant will be so hard (and I'm sure it's an amazing experience and it WILL be hard if you enjoy being pregnant). To me, personally, and these are *MY* feelings and issues on the subject, it always just feels like a put down because as an adoptive mom I didn't grow them in my own womb. To me, my infertility and lack of giving birth is a VERY touchy subject and it hurts to hear a woman say that when talking about adopting. I don't know.<br><br>
It's hard to explain, so maybe I should just stop here. Maybe we could talk in PM's about it to avoid a public debate.
 

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no time to read it all -- i will though --<br><br>
jsut one comment<br><br>
yes, norally SW, adoption adgenies and international countries like you to keep birth order.<br><br>
however when you adopt an older child (7 or 8 or older) most adgenies and countries for that matter are willing to "break birth order" -- depending on teh age of the biological child, any specail needs of the adopted child and so on -- case by case, for sure,. but done more often......(can you tell we've looked in to this).<br><br>
I think it is the assumption that older kids (8+) are not going to get placed if they always have to be the youngest.<br><br>
Also I know some international adoptions -- india i know -- greatly reduce fees for older kids (boys in India) -- and speed up the process. again these kids have usally been waiting, and the goal is to get them a family. (we looked in to India actually)<br><br>
AImee
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nitareality</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299409"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hindsight being 20/20, I would stick with birth order unless you are adopting a baby who has no potential outside the norm to have special needs and especially attachment issues.</div>
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is this just because younger kids tend to need more attention, and if you had an older special needs kiddoe that would take away from that? i can see that theoretically, but it seems like it is almost never that cut and dry.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BCFD</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299456"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe I just wasn't super clear and I'm not sure how to really say it without being brutally honest (and I don't want to go there in a public forum). It just gets under my skin when I see somebody wanting to adopt, but saying how being not being pregnant will be so hard (and I'm sure it's an amazing experience and it WILL be hard if you enjoy being pregnant). To me, personally, and these are *MY* feelings and issues on the subject, it always just feels like a put down because as an adoptive mom I didn't grow them in my own womb. To me, my infertility and lack of giving birth is a VERY touchy subject and it hurts to hear a woman say that when talking about adopting. I don't know.<br><br>
It's hard to explain, so maybe I should just stop here. Maybe we could talk in PM's about it to avoid a public debate.</div>
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it just seems like we are agreeing. it seems like you also are sad that you will never experience pregnancy or birth. is the difference that the op has a choice in the matter? is it because she has been pregnant before?
 

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some waiting children are listed as needing to be youngest or an olny -- and from what i have seen that is realted to sn they may have -- not simply an in general need for the adopted child to be yongest...<br><br>
again -- everything is going to be on a case by case basis -- both the adoptive family, the biological kid(s) and the specfic child being placed.....<br><br>
But I would never want someone to not even try for an older child (when so many are harder to place as they age)....<br><br>
A
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Aimee21972</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299513"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">however when you adopt an older child (7 or 8 or older) most adgenies and countries for that matter are willing to "break birth order" -- depending on teh age of the biological child, any specail needs of the adopted child and so on -- case by case, for sure,. but done more often......(can you tell we've looked in to this).<br><br>
AImee</div>
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ok, that's what i was thinking. thanks.
 

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We had a bio four year old and an adopted 3 year old when we adopted our older child (11 at the time).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Abarat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7298303"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I find that children are so much more fun when they're older...I guess that's opposite of what most people think, but I wouldn't miss the sleepless nights, diapering, etc.</div>
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That's part of why we chose to adopt older children (our son was around 2 when he joined us). We didn't want any more babies. With our son it worked out fantastically. He is definitely our easiest and easiest-going child. None of the adopted-toddler issues that we prepared for materialized. He's been phenomenal since the day we came home. (I'd suggest reading Toddler Adoption, the Weaver's Craft if you are interested in adopting a toddler or preschooler).<br><br>
The challenges presented by our 11 (now 12) year old have dwarfed any that diapering and sleepless nights could have presented (and btw, you won't necessarily miss the sleepless nights thing with an older child; lots of older adopted kids have a lot of nighttime needs and sleep can be a big issue for them). I believe, based on my experiences and those of people I know, that the challenges only increase as the age of the child increases (in general; I'm not saying this is the case every time).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">One thing that does make me nervous is that with an older child I'm afraid they won't understand or like our lifestyle. We're a frugal family, grow our own food, do a lot of back to basics, composting, foods from scratch, etc. We're not very materialistic and don't shop or buy into mainstream culture too much, which might be hard for an older child</td>
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We worried about this, too. We are a vegetarian, Buddhist, homeschooling, living-lightly-on-the-earth family. I make our food from scratch. We grow a garden. We have one tv that is rarely used. We don't buy "stuff." Our child came from an orphanage in Ethiopia so to her we are not necessarily weird because, as she has been homeschooled thus far, she doesn't have a whole lot of other families to compare us to (most of our homeschooling friends live similarly to us). However, we did have to contend with her ideas of what life in America would be like: everything she had would be brand-spankin' new, she could get new toys or clothes any time she wanted, she would have a tv and computer in her room (in fact, she asked me while we were still in Ethiopia how many tvs we had. When I said one, she said, "One in every room?" and was quite appalled that it was one, period). She expected us to be much richer than we are, and she expected me to be a girly-girl, which I most assuredly am not. Although we have not pressed the vegetarian issue on her, we do not serve meat in our home, so she is unhappy that she doesn't get to eat meat every day. There have been lots of adjustments.<br><br>
The biggest issues for us, which may or may not be such big issues with a child from the States, have been the issues surrounding what are appropriate expectations for parents to have of a child in a family in America. (I realize that these expectations can vary dramatically from family to family.) The people that cared for Desta in Ethiopia were paid to do so; there was affection but there were not the type of reciprocal relationships that are typical of family life. It has been hard for Desta to adjust to the idea that, as a family member, she has responsibilities to us and to the general harmony of the home and family. We are contending with her survival behaviors that may have served her well in an Ethiopian orphanage but which hinder her greatly in a family setting. Another huge factor has been that Desta sees how life is for Efram and Ramona at ages 3/4 and 4/5 and feels cheated that she was not here for that part of her life. She struggles greatly with the idea that 12 year olds have more responsibilities than 3-5 year olds and she often fails to see or appreciate the attendant privileges.<br><br>
This has been a very hard time in our lives. It has been so hard, in fact, that this momma who swore that none of her kids would EVER see the inside of a school is putting her 12 year old in school next week.<br><br>
It has been really heartbreaking for me to watch all of us struggle so greatly over the last 8 months. It has been devastating to me to realize that no one in my family is getting what I want to give them.<br><br>
It has been exceptionally difficult for Efram and Ramona (3 and 4 when Desta arrived, now 4 and 5) to deal with both Desta's behaviors and the fact that Desta has sucked so much of my time and energy that I have had little leftover for them. I have told people that Desta has required 80% of my time and energy and that Efram and Ramona have had to battle for the remaining 20%. And where does that leave my husband?<br><br>
I do not regret adopting Desta. I am sad that the challenges she has brought have been so hard for our family and that I, personally, have not been able to "rise to the occasion" better.<br><br>
I do not necessarily think that adopting "out of birth order" is a huge deal in and of itself (my son is most likely older than my bio daughter, although his official birthdate does not reflect this). I do, however, think that dealing with an older child can significantly stress the family, and having been through the experience once, I would not do it again unless my younger children were much older. I think that they have missed out on too much time and attention this past year, and this is time that we, and they, will never get back. I would wait to do this again until my younger two were more independent of me both physically and emotionally.<br><br>
I don't mean to be a naysayer, and this is just my experience. I hope what I have said is helpful in some way.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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thank you dharmamama. i <b>really</b> appreciate your honesty and insight. i guess it makes sense that it isn't birth order so much as your families resources vs the children you currently have and younger children need alot.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aja-belly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299343"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">i've heard this too. i guess my big question is why? i mena, i can <i>kinda</i> see how it <i>might</i> be ideal, but i don't see why it is such a big deal.</div>
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Do you mean why maintain birth order, or why should the child be youngest/only?<br><br>
If you mean the latter, often children in the system have been sexually abused. If a profile says a child needs to be the youngest (and they usually mean youngest by several years), or needs to be an only, it is often because that child has acted out sexually against other children in the home, or is at high risk for doing so. It can also mean the the child's behavior issues are so extreme that a younger child might be in danger, or that the parents will have their hands so full with this particular child's needs, that they will only really be able to focus on that child and not other kids. Sometimes, they've just noticed that the child has done better in foster homes where s/he is the only or the youngest with much older sibs, and they decide to stick with that family set-up to optimize success.<br><br>
When i first began the adoption process, i heard alot of people say to maintain the birth order (and it was recommend to keep my son--an only child who is now 10--the oldest by about 4 yrs)---i didnt buy into it. I thought "sure, in a family where the oldest child is given all sorts of priveledges, where being the "oldest boy" is somehow a big honor, in which there are all sorts of rewards/punishments, this might apply, but not in MY family!"<br><br>
After reading reading reading about older child adoption, and after really discussing it with my child, i decided i needed to keep him the oldest. Right now i'm approved for boys 0-7, but will consider 8 and 9 yr olds. I would really love to adopt a preteen or young teen boy, and there are so many needing homes, but many of the kids do have significant issues, and its not always something a lot of love can cure. Even an older child will usually need to be treated as a much younger child, given firm structure and alot of "babying"/bonding activities (rocking, possibly feeding with a bottle, depending on the age of the child...check out Parenting the Hurt Child by Keck and Kupecky)...only you can decide if you are able to do that while also parenting other very young children.<br><br>
Also, when i was thinking in terms of rewards/punishments, and how my child doesnt get special incentives for being a certain age ("when you are 10 you can stay up until 10pm, when you are 12 you can stay home alone" etc), i came to the realization that it isnt really true. But because this lessoning of the parental "reigns" comes so gradually when you have a child from birth, its easy not to notice it. I'm comfortable letting my 10 yr old ride his bike within a couple mile radius around our home, alone, or running to the corner store by himself. I am fairly comfortable leaving him home alone (with my cell ph number nearby of course)while i run to the store. I am totally comfortable in his ability not to do anything dangerous in the kitchen, and to stay up as late as he wishes because i know he will go to bed when tired. I don't put limits on what he eats because i know he will stop when he's full, and will generally make "good choices" in the course of any given day or week.<br><br>
But, lets say i adopted a 13 yr old. This may be a boy who can't yet be left home alone, who doesnt know how to safely use the stove, who would wander off or get into "trouble" if he spent large amounts of time outside by himself. He may never have been able to learn how to use good judgement. He may have biological damage as a result of prenatal drug/alcohol exposure, or mental health issues as a result of early neglect, all of which can impact a child's behavior and decision making ability. On top of having to deal effectively with his behavior, i may also run into sibling rivalry issues due to my son not having such limits placed upon him.<br><br>
Not all older kids will have such major issues, but you would need to be prepared. I also decided that since i hadnt yet parented a teenager, it was probably best if i had some experience doing so with an "easy" kid (mine)before i jumped into that.<br><br>
Many (most?)kids in the system are both "street smart" in that they have witnessed things your children will likely never witness (drug abuse, domestic violence, a lack of food/shelter/safety, sexual abuse or inappropriate sexual exposure--pornography, parents having sex, lots of people in and out of the house--etc), while at the same time they may have developmental delays due to prenatal exposure and lack of stimulation, and immaturity---a 5 yr old may both act very seductively and know more than she should, but also may need to be rocked and fed with a bottle.) You of course would want to be very careful about finding the right child for your family.<br><br>
One thing you might consider is fostering, as a way to find out the types of children you think might fit well in your family.<br><br>
Sorry to be such a downer. I've been waiting over six months for a match, and very open as to the type of child i will consider. You would not believe the types of profiles/child histories i've read. Very very sad stuff. People can be very horrible to their children, and children can end up very damaged in such a short time. I've been able to read about six profiles that were all pretty indepth (much more so than the short blurbs on the internet photolistings), and only ONE of those was a child that didnt seem to have any issues. (And it seemed to me that perhaps he should never have been removed from his mom in the first place.) Of course, i'm looking primarily at kids on state and national photolistings, which are generally the more difficult-to-place kids, and will therefore have more extreme issues.<br><br><br>
Katherine
 

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my parents fostered my brother who is 2 years older than the oldest bio kid. Not only did they have 2 little kids when they started fostering him, but my brother and I were born after he joined our family.<br><br>
For us siblings it was great and we never had any problem I am aware of when we were little. I think it was always hard for him to accept my parent's crazy ass lifestyle (cult). He left at age 18 (after being my brother for all 8 years of my life) and none of us have heard from him since (probably because of my parents).<br><br>
but then again 3 out of 4 us biokids all left around the age of 18 as well.<br><br>
Sounds like a sad ending, but I really think it shows that the issues families have are shared across bio and foster/adopt lines and really have more to do with my parents.<br><br>
For instance if you told new DC "well no more ##### because we don't do that, end of discussion" you would probably have a problem, but I feel you can be successful if you did the usual gentle negotion and more importantly compromise (a concept which my parents will never grasp).
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>aja-belly</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7299591"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">it just seems like we are agreeing. it seems like you also are sad that you will never experience pregnancy or birth. is the difference that the op has a choice in the matter? is it because she has been pregnant before?</div>
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I used to be sad and I still *DO* have a choice in the matter. I still have a ton of frozen embryo's at my RE's clinic, but I am thinking that they would be better suited for stem cell research because adoption, to me, has been more rewarding than ANY pregnancy could have been. Pregnancy used to be important to me because I was caught up in the IF rollercoaster and that's what it does to you. It's more of a challenge to make your body "work" than it is about having the final outcome - a baby and being a mommy.<br><br>
After many years, I have really examined my feelings on this and I have made peace with my evil fibroid filled uterus. My anger on this topic stems from an AP mother's group that I once belonged to and how they made me feel about using a bottle/formula to feel my child and also how they treated a non-biological mother in their little group. As I fed my baby, they would talk about the benefits of breastmilk, extended nursing, NIP and how they would organize nurse-in's if they ever got static over it, their birth stories, etc. WHILE I SAT AND BOTTLED FED MY ADOPTED CHILD! Then they'd glance over at me with this look like "we're so sorry you'll never know what this is like". Why I stayed in that group for a year, I'll never know. I think it was because it gave me something to do, to show off my child to other mothers, to be able to say, "look, after a 4 year struggle I'm finally a mommy to this beautiful little girl!", and "See...I can be a proud mommy, too!". Adoption truly became something I advocated for and maybe I stayed in that group to shove in their faces that I was just as good a mom as they were, if not better because I actually put some thought into motherhood (a few of them discovered two lines on a pee stick and said "oops" after that). Those lactivists made me go off the deep end trying to induce lactation for my child, pumping like a mad woman, pissing off my 8 month old baby who didn't want my boob in her face, and feeling like a complete failure as a mother. My body could not grow life inside of it nor could it sustain life to my new baby. When my 2nd daughter came to us as an infant, I got permission through our SW to nurse her, and we had a HORRIBLE 6 month nursing experience with a Lact-Aid (not horrible because of the baby, but horrible because of the clumsy Lact-Aid). These women (and other lactivists) made me feel that the ONLY way I could call myself a "real" mother is if I was producing milk and feeding my child at the breast. I was devastated that I didn't feel that special nursing bond and after 6 months we went back to the bottle. And I felt like a huge failure.<br><br>
I know this is WAY off the subject and I apologize to the OP for hijacking this thread and taking it into this direction, but I am extremely frustrated with mothers who have bio kids and then make it seem like they are either a) doing their good deed in this world by adopting or b) making adoption sound as if it's ALWAYS a 2nd choice. Not saying that this is what the OP is doing at all. But to me, when you have to talk about "missing the pregnancy" part maybe you really aren't ready to adopt. One of the women in my AP moms group had one bio child and was preparing to adopt a little girl. In the middle of the process they decided to stop the adoption process and "get her knocked up" (her words). She just gave birth to a little girl a week ago and what that says to me is that she wasn't really ready to not have that bio connection and she would have "missed being pregnant", so I'm glad they didn't make the choice to adopt. That wouldn't be fair to the child and other waiting adoptive parents who really WANT to adopt.<br><br>
Again, sorry for the rant and maybe we can start a new thread on this topic instead of continuing to hijack this thread.
 

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I guess for me, having a child, and experiencing a pg are two different issues. Adoption was always my first choice, but when i was in my early 20s i got very interested in midwifery, homebirth, breastfeeding, and since i didnt know how to go about adopting a baby (i wanted a baby really badly, not really an older child at that point)--this was before i had the internet and so there was less info out there for me---i ended up having one biologically. But i never stopped wanting to adopt.<br><br>
I'm thinking i might want to have one more bio child, since i'd love to compare the experience as a 23 yr old to a 30-something yr old (i'll be 34 in May and don't think i'd have another bio for at least another couple of years), plus since i don't have the money for a domestic infant adoption, and my state doesnt really have a defined foster/adopt program, the only way to get a newborn is either to give birth to one or foster with the risk of having to give the baby back months later. And honestly i think it would be cool for my son to have a bio sibling too (i dont know why i think that...i should probably explore that),but i see these things as somehow seperate from adoption. I would love to have a dozen kids, bio, adopted, foster...whatever! I'm kind of shooting for five though....we'll see how i do with TWO!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
Katherine
 
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