Thursday, June 12, 2008

Older Children

The more I am reading about Ethiopia and in particular the children that are referred to Horizon House, Wide Horizons transition center, the more I am pulled towards older child adoption. This is not an easy place to be. Infants are so much easier. An infant will not remember their birth parents being too ill to care for them or too poor to be able to feed them. There is less likelihood that they have been mentally, physically or sexually abused.
I spoke with AH at WHFC today. She told me that almost all the waiting children at Horizon House are adopted. The reason for this is that most of the children wait at their relative's or birth parents home. They only go to live at Horizon House once a family has been found for them. I have such mixed emotions about this. I understand the many reasons for this but my heart aches for them. As I understand it, and I could be wrong, the family somehow is in contact with social workers who are in the field. The social workers then start working to find a family for the child. Once they do they are taken to Horizon House. I have such sympathy for the family, for the child. Do the relatives, siblings talk about what is taking place? Are the children aware? How does it feel to leave an older sibling and go to a new country? It is all heartbreaking. I am beginning to look into whether we have the skills or can gain them to help mend the broken heart of a 4 or 5 year old who has lost everything. I'm hoping I can answer yes to that question. I've asked WHFC for the names of therapists in our area who work with children who have been adopted.