Friday, June 15, 2012

Fifty-somethings refill nests with adoptions

From the Tennessean:
At 57, Marla and Dwayne Hastings have a house full of child playthings and little feet running around. Again.

The Franklin couple, who have five grown children, just a few weeks ago brought home their third child from an orphanage in China, a 5-year-old boy with a huge smile whom they’ve named Hudson.
He’s quickly adjusted to life here with the help of big brother James, 8, who joined the family in 2008, and big sister Gracee, also 8, who came home in 2005.

“People think we’re crazy,” says Marla, who adds that people thought they were crazy when they kept on having children back in the day. Or when her husband left a corporate job for seminary.

“They ask, ‘Why?’” she says. “We say, ‘Why not?’”

At a time of life when many Americans would be checking on the 401(k)s and helping the kids move out of the nest, the Hastings are part of a close-knit group of faithful 50-somethings who are starting family all over again through adoption.
One of the adoptive parents in the article credits her decision to adopt to a colleague who said "Better old parents than no parents." What do you think?


Sunday Taylor said...

I am kind of torn on this one. I just don’t know. Mom will be 70 by the time he turns 18...

LisaLew said...

I say better to have older parents than no parents. If Birth Parents arent up to the task, it is better to get these children a new family.

Even research has proven that children thrive much better in a permanent home.

The alternative is an orphanage or foster care. Oh, yes. Great that these parents stepped up to the plate.

Korean War Baby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Korean War Baby said...

I have spoken, written, met, hundreds of adoptees, adoptive parents/family, natural/birth family, social workers, etc in This Thing of Ours-Adoption. I can tell you this: the great majority found that adoption was the next best option to being raised in institutional care. Even foster care is limited because children have no sense of Permanence, they are moved from one 'home' to another 'home. I am the Korean War Baby, and I challenge anyone, yes, anyone who claims that IF the Biological/first/natural/birth mother/and or father GIVE UP in a legal way, or the Child IS ABANDONED or LEFT without contact- to then claim that the person is better off in the country THEY ARE STUPID, IGNORANT, and BLIND. Let a child have a home, if not adopted within the country by others, then by ethnic people of another country, i.e. USA, THEN let it be by even CrossCultural or Transracial adoptive parents. Family Preservation can only take place when the government of the Sending Country helps those WILLING to try and keep their child. In Korea right now, around ten thousand babies are born and given up. Some mothers keep and raise their children, but 8,000 are given up for adoption, with 3 to one adopted within the country. Only 1,100 are sent overseas. Mothers cannot or do not want to keep their babies. This is the grim reality, Supply exceeds even the local demand for infertile couples. Those who are against adoption need to realize that many factors are involved. Adoption is not the first nor the best option, even infants suffer from separation/loss but to grow up without love is a crime. When so many are ready to give them a home. It is a heck of a lot better chance than growing up as a third rate citizen. In Korea as a half-breed I was not even considered a person, not registered with the state, a Persona Non-Gratus. I thank God that I was one of the first sent from Korea in 1956 to a home in the USA, and I thanked my Father who is now 88 years old for becoming MY FATHER.

The Gang's Momma! said...

I think that the 50-somethings I know who are parenting "again" either by biological means or by adoption are completely honest that it is in some aspects much harder and certainly more exhausting. But they are also clear and emphatic that the pay off is that they are wiser, more well-rounded parents, and more circumspect in their view of the journey. They feel they have a much better perspective on the really important parts of life, parenting, and their culture. The kids get the benefits of that broader perspective and gentler long-term view. Granted, that's a bit of generalization but applies to those older parents that I personally know.

I am definitely in the "better older parents than no parents" camp for all the same reasons the others articulated, too. Better to be well-loved, nurtured, and raised to 18 in a loving, attached environment by that 70 year old than by a host of non-permanent, unattached nannies and institutional workers.