How did you decide that now would be a right time for you to expand your family through adoption?
To answer this, you should know a little bit of my past. I had a son (July 2000 – March 2015). He was my only son and he died in an accident. I needed time to grieve and come in terms with reality. Now I feel that I am ready to adopt children and interested in bringing home some lost happiness.
What made you decide that you wanted to adopt an older child, specifically one within the 8-10 age range?
There are 2 reasons. First, our composite age allows us to adopt children who are older than 8 years. Second, we feel it won’t be fair to bring home a newborn and end up being too old when they reach college and end up being their dependents
Did you speak to anyone in particular before making the decision? If yes, how did it help?
Actually, we only spoke to each other before deciding. Once we took the decision we informed the family and went through pre-adoption counseling from a professional.
What was the reaction of your close family and friends when you told them about your decision?
Some family members were happy, some nervous and needed convincing especially because we needed an undertaking letter from them, our friends were excited and also offered help to find children (they did not know that adoption rules have changed in India). Casual discussion with extended family showed they felt this trouble that we are taking is an unnecessary invitation of stress in our life.
Preparing to adopt an older child would be different from that for a 0-2 year category. How have you been preparing yourself for it?
The only way in which we are preparing is by reading and gathering as much information as possible about what to expect in older children. While we know the acceptance and bonding will take time, we are remaining positive.
An older child would already be aware of their adoption, and introducing them into a family might take more time. How do you plan on integrating the child into the family?
My son was aware that my second husband was not his dad and I already have an experience of integrating him into my current husband’s family. This time we both will be doing this together. We are positive that it will not be difficult as they all love us and will naturally love our children.
What are the possible adjustments that you will have to make?
Work adjustments – one of us will have to either quit our job or take a long break. Language may be an issue. I know Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam but my husband is fluent only in Tamil. If we are referred children other than Tamilnadu, it could be a challenge to communicate with them for my husband. The major adjustment would be eating habits as we are pure vegetarians. We have to find a suitable school and ensure they are accepted there as well.
As I understand, you are still waiting for a referral. What has been running through your head during this time?
The only thing is, will the children like to come with us or are being forced out of the agencies? If it is the second, how on the earth can we know for sure! Since it is an older age group that initial-connect is very important, and I am concerned if that will be achieved!
Interview done by Navaneeta Manoj, (Intern, Mount Carmel College)