What If We Adopt a Toddler?

Sooo cute but .... he's a toddler ....

Sooo cute but …. he’s a toddler ….

I have never been responsible for a little person all the way through development from a newborn to an adult. The times I have been responsible for children it has usually been for anything from a few hours to a few weeks at a time.

When the adoption people asked us what age range we’d like … we put down 0-2 because the kid still seemed small. We have an unorthodox lifestyle (the whole family is in San Francisco this week since we have two bookings for work this  week up here) it seems like it would be best to ease us into parenthood! Lol We need a kid who is willing to train us a little bit at a time how to be parents.

Anyhoo … it just hit me that “toddlers” are included in our age range. TODDLERS! These are people that are already walking, talking, feeding themselves, etc. Um … I’m not sure if I’m ready for that.

From Illinois.edu:

During the toddler stage, most children learn to walk, talk, solve problems, relate to others, and more. One major task for the toddler is to learn to be independent. That is why toddlers want to do things for themselves, have their own ideas about how things should happen, and use “NO” many times each day.

The toddler stage is characterized by much growth and change, mood swings and some negativity. Toddlers are long on will and short on skill. This is why they are often frustrated and “misbehave.” Some adults call the toddler stage “the terrible twos.”

Aaagh! This also brings up the attachment issue. Where was the child before us? In a foster home? With parents? Will the child be able to attach to us? Will the child have RAD? Wikipedia describes RAD this way:

RAD arises from a failure to form normal attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. Such a failure could result from severe early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers between the ages of six months and three years, frequent change of caregivers, or a lack of caregiver responsiveness to a child’s communicative efforts.

I don’t know if I’m up for this. Should I change the ages from 0 – six months? Has anyone else adopted a toddler? Should I push the ages back? I have not read a lot about RAD, but everything I’ve read scares the hell out of me.

The logical part of my brain tells me that keeping in touch the family and foster family (if the kid was placed with a foster family) is a good idea but the irrational part of my brain is terrified and tells me to run fast. What if we can’t do it? What if the kid is bratty? What if the kid tells us that we don’t make the sandwiches right or tie the shoes right or whatever the right way?

The not knowing is killing me. We could get a newborn …. we could get a 2 year old. This is crazy.





6 thoughts on “What If We Adopt a Toddler?

  1. Many (possibly most?) international adoptions are toddler adoptions, so I would suggest connecting with that community for more info on what that’s like, developmentally/emotionally.

    I would guess that toddlers in U.S. foster care have a variety of experiences, which would affect their emotional development … maybe they were abused or neglected as infants and then in foster care for 1-1.5 years (and then free for adoption), maybe they were removed from their parents at birth and placed in one stable foster home … seems there could be a variety of developmental outcomes (as with any adopted child, I suppose).

    • That’s what’ He says. Children are different and until we are being presented with possible matches it’s a waste of time to think about what might happen. All this worry could be for nothing. This process is stressful! Lol Thanks for the reminder. =)

  2. There is a book titled “Toddler Adoption” that is often recommended to people who adopt toddlers. I actually own a book titled “Attaching In Adoption.” If you’d like it, I’d be happy to send it to you. I’ve never read it; I just have it, so I can’t tell you anything about it, other than that it comes recommended by Adoptive Families magazine.

    • I’m reading two books right now on toddlers, adoption and attachment but I just may have to take you up on that offer. I’m a relentless researcher! Lol Thanks! =)

  3. We had a 6 month old that was the hardest kid we ever had due to exposure in-utero. I kinda prefer toddlers as I don’t have to worry as much about SIDS and they’re more fun in general becasue everything is so new to them.

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