We had been focusing on finding children that fell within our specific parameters for age and disability. We had to stop and pray, asking God to show us our child, even if they didn't fit neatly into our plans.
When we found our nine year old daughter, we realized that God had burdened our hearts to make a home for an older child. And that put is in a category few families find themselves in. These sweet children have waited for years and years, and now find themselves unadoptable. Why? Because no one wants them. Even advocates for orphans find themselves not pushing as hard for the older waiting children, because they know that, odds are, no one is going to step forward to bring them home.
I hate to compare these sweet children to animals, but think about the dogs and cats waiting in shelters for a family to come for them before it's too late. Which animals are chosen first? The puppies, the kittens. They're cute, fluffy, and your kids are begging you for that bundle of sweetness.
When we rescued our cats from the shelter, Ayden was BEGGING me for this tiny orange fluffball, and like all the cats there, he needed a home. But there was this "adolescent" cat there that I just couldn't stop loving on. He was already 6 months old, almost full-grown, and he had been passed over, because all these little kittens were there. The woman running the shelter told me he was most likely unadoptable, because he wasn't 8 weeks old. People don't rescue older cats, even cats just a few months older. Of course, we brought both cats home. (Hardy and Ollie are both laying in the open dining room windows, enjoying the sunshine today.)
When you rescue an older animal, you know what you're getting into. The shelter knows their personality, their likes and dislikes. It's just a matter of bringing them into your home and giving them a little extra time to adjust. It's the same way with the older children.
These children have spent more of their lives without a family, but it doesn't mean they should spend the rest of their lives without a family.
There are many more older children waiting, so please ask yourself if an older child belongs to your family.