I figured I should at least take a stab at my own question.
My personal answer is similar to Yondalia's. We started doing foster care because there was such a need and then we realized we were pretty good at it. And then we concluded that it would be nice to not have to say goodbye to kids, and started adopting instead. Once we got going, we figured that if we already knew what we were doing, were fairly good at it, and had empty beds, with all the kids waiting we should keep going
I think that the journey to adopt has to be headed into with eyes wide open. And there should be a combination of reasons for choosing a difficult path. Some of them are selfish, but not in the ways that most people might think. It meets a need in me, for example, to make a difference in someone's life -- to do the right thing -- to contribute to society -- to do what I feel God has planned for me. I also am very grateful for the life experiences I have had, the ways I have grown, and the incredible people I have met through my journey. But I was a whole person before I became a parent. I didn't need a child to complete me. I'm not saying that this is even a bad thing. But if that is someone's goal, disappointment is certain if they adopt from foster care. The child is not going to give back in the same way that a birth child or a child adopted at birth MAY be able to.
I also believe that there needs to be the knowledge of what we as people can do. I met with a man and his wife recently and he said, "When I read the case file I was worried about how bad my life would be if I agreed to parent these children. And then, a few days later, my thinking began to shift, and I started to worry about how bad their lives might be if I didn't agree to parent them. We have the ability to do this. We can provide them a home. And so, even though we know it will be hard, we need to do so."
The focus of older child adoption must be on the needs of the children. And I think that my frusration and anger in my post the other day has more to do with the crazy myth that is out there that if you get young kids with no diagnosis then life is going to be much easier than if you get an older kid with multiple diagnosis. And the fact is, it doesn't always work out that way. In fact, sometimes it works the exact opposite.
If we head into adopting a young child with the idea of what we absolutely can't handle, we just might get it down the road. And then what? You roll with it, right? And so why not know what you're getting into...
Just a few of my undending thoughts.
I guess my main point was this. Don't not do something because it looks like it might be tough. It can end up being the most amazing journey.
Our most recent adoption came at 12, the oldest kid we ever adopted and he is so awesome at 13. He has not a single issue. And our hardest kid came at 20 months.
So.... sometimes you gotta just do it. Don't assume that the ones that look the hardest are impossible. A kid that's been in foster care for many years is going to have a lot of diagnosis and a lot of paperwork. But currently may be in much better shape at 14 than any kid you get now, at age 4, is going to be in 10 years.
Hope this is making some sense.