If you read Bart's post last night you know that Leon wrote this note at wrestling parents night to us from him and Ricardo:
Dear Mom and Dad ... Both me [Leon] and Ricardo want to thank you for everything you've done in our lives, like adopting the both of us, when nobody wanted us and giving us a better life.
I haven't had time to do it yet, but I will pull them aside later and I will explain to them that it might have been true that nobody wanted them, but that it was not because there was anything wrong with them. I want to explain to them that people are sometimes confused and that the only reason they didn't want them is because they didn't know them.
These two are by far our easiest children. One came at 10, the other at 12. They are absolutely wonderful young men. I love them just as much as my other kids, but they make it a whole lot easier. They are just beyond words amazing.
I was told by Pat O'Brien years ago that latency kids are some of the hardest to adopt. He said that kids ages 6-10 generally, are young enough to not remember what life was really like with birth family and so they blame their adoptive parents for everything. He said, "Adopt a kid 10 or over and they will end up much more grateful and appreciative eventually.' He couldn't have been more right with these two.
I can write this in my blog 100 times and probably have. I can tell you that Tony, who we started fostering at 19 months and Dominyk, who arrived at 9 months are way more difficult than the others. I can tell you that my sib group of 3 kids, ages 8 6 and 4, were wonderful for their first few years with us, but their adolescence has nearly killed us.
Sure, it depends on the kids, but younger doesn't mean better -- it just means longer. Ricky and Leon are in 9th grade. I dread the day they will move out of my home already.
I'm very grateful that a whole bunch of people had their homestudies written to only adopt kids up to age 9 a few years ago. Because had they been open to age 12, Leon wouldn't be ours, and I can't imagine my life without him. And I'm glad that people flipped right past Ricardo's profile because he was too old as he sat in the orphanage in Guatemala, because my studly 18-2 wrestler wouldn't have been here winning yet another match last night had they stopped and considered him.
The only reason they didn't want you, sons, is because they didn't know you. And I can't help but believe that there is a whole slew of older kids out there that are the same way. Nobody wants them... because nobody knows them.