• Erica Rosi Tham

Ups and Downs as we Search for our Kids

Thanks for your comment on my last blog, Catherine! I needed the support that day.

Many ups and downs occurred last month, including a very low point when we found out that the age range for which we were approved had an upper age limit. More on that later along with some advice to help others avoid added wait time and difficulties. On the upside, we are now investigating a new case with twin girls, and we will see how this one goes.

We had looked into the case of an eight-year-old boy who was deaf and mute, and we sought a doctor’s advice about the child. To me, the boy appeared cute and confident in the videos we were sent, and on his paperwork social workers noted that he could cope with his disability. Our doctor, on the other hand, said that we were setting ourselves up for a herculean task. We would have to learn sign language, of course, and make up for the years when he received no schooling at all. Additionally, she was skeptical as to the social workers’ notes on his coping abilities. He had not been in school since arriving at the orphanage due to the virus, so there was no assessment of how much he had learned during any period of time.

I was inclined toward adopting him despite the doctor’s advice, but my husband felt worried about it, especially since he was less than confident about learning sign language.

We decided to look into other children and went back to our original goal of adopting a sibling group. All of the sibling groups on the list have at least one older child, thirteen or more. We were hoping for two younger kids, but as there have been none on the list during the last four months, we decided to remain open to the idea of one older child. Finally, we settled on two boys, one ten and one thirteen, and we emailed our adoption agency.

The case was locked for us on a Friday. The next Monday, our agency wrote us to say that they were sorry, but we were not approved for this age group. In our home study, we were approved for kids from 4-9 years old. I was shocked. When adopting from India, you will learn from the beginning that there is a lower age limit. India combines the ages of the parents to assess the age of the child they are eligible to adopt. An older couple, like ourselves, cannot adopt a child under 8, though they allow for it in sibling groups if the older child is 8 or more.

I never would have guessed that there was an upper age limit as well. Most of the kids on the waiting child list are older, and how can they ever be adopted with a system like this?

Further, I was stunned to realize that our agency had not communicated with us as well as they should have. I will not go into all the details here, as they are complicated. The essential point is that the choice to give us the 4-9 age group was based on our own desires and also a subjective assessment. Knowing the ages of the kids on the list, I believe they should have discussed the age-range with us in more detail and informed us that younger ages could require a longer wait. If they had just expanded the range to 10 or 11, we would have had more opportunities to find a child or sibling group.

If you are adopting older children, make sure your age range is broad and that it realistically allows you to adopt when you wish. Some want to wait two or three years to get the youngest child possible, but others see less difference between ages 10 and 8 and prefer to adopt sooner than later.

Fortunately, we are now looking into a case of twins who are nine with a physical special need that could be correctable. Our next step is to speak with a doctor who specializes in adoption to understand the extent of what we may be taking on. I’ll provide more details when I have them.

2020 is finally over, though I do believe we should remain vigilant and active against some of the forces on the far left that gained power last year. The two most important points to my mind are these: election integrity and the preservation of Christianity. By the latter, I mean that we must avoid allowing Christianity to be diluted to such an extent that its original meanings are lost, as they clearly were in the House’s prayer for 2021, a prayer that was closed with “amen and a woman.” Unbelievable, but on video.

To do my part and also to help others find the faith, I am starting a series of essays inspired by my bird room, a special place in my home :) The first one will be posted next, and I’ll be adding new ones to this blog on a regular basis—hopefully about one per week. Please do share these with anyone who will benefit. My idea is to present Christianity in a way that will resonate with animal lovers while discussing the core concepts. As an English language teacher, I have known people of many faiths, and I respect them all. Frankly, none of my students would expect me to change my beliefs in order to accommodate theirs or vice versa; there is nothing wrong with people of different beliefs existing in one society. That is an inclusive society, not one in which all religions are combined to such an extent that the essence of each is lost. We must fight this trend. We must work for a Christian revival in 2021.

As I move in this direction, I’ve found one Christian social media site, Christians Like Me. If anyone else is on that, please look me up or let me know in a comment.

My best to you all.

Erica Rosi Tham

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