Age and Gender :
Since our first adoption would also be our first experience parenting, it made sense that we would request to adopt an infant (~0-12mos). Even our social worker and agency encouraged us in this decision. I believe most social workers/adoption agencies recommend families to adopt children within age-ranges that they've had previous experience with -- however, there are always exceptions to this recommendation.
Vince and I were confident that adopting an infant was the right decision for us. That said, our firm decision still did not shelter us from sadness. Sadness that our narrow age-range EXCLUDED SO MANY CHILDREN. There was a hint of consolation because we did not specify a gender, but the age-range request still left a sinking feeling in my stomach.
We had to put this request in writing with China, Ethiopia, and once again with our 2nd Ethiopia adoption. The third-time around, it was even harder. Probably because we've seen first-hand the children whose chances of being adopted grow slimmer and slimmer every morning that they rise...because they are one day older.
Vince and I had a serious discussion about this very heart-ache just last week. Vince feels that at this point, that it's important to establish a birth-order for our children. And I agree. At least I think I do?? For for some reason, I continue to be haunted by that "check here for infant". I suppose my struggle is really more of a spiritual one: how can we trust God to sovereignly place an infant into our family, but not trust Him to be sovereign over an older child joining our family. Somehow, that our adopting an older child is beyond His realm of expertise?? I know. That's ridiculous! Birth order is not sovereign...God is sovereign.
But, that said, we continue to move ahead, establishing a birth order. At least for now. We do trust God's discernment and wisdom, and we do believe His discernment and wisdom have led us to our decision. We also trust...anticipate...our concern for older children is a seed He has planted. And when the time is right, He will cause that seed to bloom. We have no idea what the blossom will look like. But for now He has left us with an aching, a longing for older children without families -- and we fully expect that our Heavenly Father will graciously put this aching into action according to His perfect will!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.