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We have twelve children, two who joined our family by birth and ten who joined by adoption in China. I thought that our family was complete after our first two children had joined our family, but my wife wanted to add another child by adoption. I resisted the idea for several years but eventually came to share her view that raising children was the most satisfying thing that we did, so it made sense to expand our opportunity to do that. I was convinced that it was important to adopt an infant. Because of our age, China was one of the few places in which we could do that. We adopted our first daughter in China in 1996, our second in 1998, and our third in 2002, at which point we thought that we were done adding children to our family. However, my wife suggested that we consider adopting a son in China, which I readily agreed to do. Because boys are usually abandoned in China for medical reasons, in contrast to girls, who are usually abandoned because they are girls, we knew that we would be pursuing the adoption of a comparatively older boy with special needs. We proceeded to adopt two boys in China, in 2004 and 2005, followed by another daughter in 2006, and two more sons in 2007. We adopted our last two sons in China in December 2009, who were 11 and 13 years old, respectively, when we adopted them. In addition to our oldest son and daughter, we have virtual quadruplets grouped around age 14, a twelve year old, and virtual quintuplets grouped around age 10. Our Chinese children are bilingual, and most of them are in Mandarin immersion programs in school. They feel closely tied to China while also viewing themselves as typical American kids. Our experience adding older children to our family, including children with health conditions and challenges, reflects a progression in my views. I had thought that it was important to adopt healthy infants in order to ensure that we could successfully integrate them into our family. I came to realize that that was not true. The challenges that we have faced in adding children to our family have not differed significantly among our children, even as our children have been progressively older at their adoption. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn that. And my wife and I feel very fortunate to have been able to create our family through the adoption of many of them in China. We believe that our family is complete, which probably is a good thing for people in their 60's!
posted 2 years, 8 months ago
posted 2 years, 8 months ago
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