Do you remember what it was like to be 4?
All too often children aged over 4 years old are seen too old to be adopted when in reality the world is just beginning to open up and children are exploring, tasting, discovering and taking delight in new things every day. It really was just the beginning…and yet there is a pervading and mistaken idea that only by adopting a baby can new parents make a fundamental impact on a child’s life.
Understandably, this may stem from a fear of missing out. Society puts a great deal of focus on first-times. Baby’s first smile, baby’s first food, baby’s first crawl etc. But these traditional milestones are not a given in any family arrangement. Sometimes babies never crawl but go straight to walking. Sometimes boys don’t want to go to football with their dads.
The truth is that life is full of firsts, maybe different kinds of firsts – but no less significant or crucial to our development as happy and fulfilled human beings. Sometimes it’s the most unexpected firsts that become our favourite memories.
And while all these extraordinary little events are happening, whilst children are developing into fascinating individuals with their own special interests and skills, they still need a hand to hold and a cuddle at bed time. Older children need as much love and reassurance and support as a baby. They need much more direction and guidance.
Adopting an older child means that you can help a child navigate the tricky art of growing up, right at the point when they need it most.