Thursday, February 24, 2011

Am I Too Old For This?

Spielberg, Pitt, Bullock, Crow, Flockhart, Aniston (oh come on, it's just a matter of time) are just a handful of the well knowns that have adopted (or considered it) at a, errr, "seasoned age". I have yet to hear any guffaws over their choice to adopt at this particular phase of life. It is all butterflies and warm fuzzies in the media and public at large. As it should be. I have to wonder, has anyone had the gall to question them if they've done the math?

Because I've sure been asked...

DH and I are well aware of our ticking clock. We started this journey later in life but are far from porch sitters. Yes, it has crossed my mind that when Little Buddy is old enough to vote, I'll be old enough to receive AARP discounts. When Sweet Pea is rockin' her 21st birthday, DH will be considering Social Security options.

No need to remind me, m'kay?

As you all know, at times I struggle with self doubt (especially when my age is pointed out by others). I know some of you may be considering taking the leap into foster care but don't follow your heart because of your age.

So how old is too old to make a difference in a child's life?

A story that really spoke to me was that of county singer Jimmy Wayne. His life started out rough. Really rough. In and out of his birth mother's life, foster care and group homes, he was headed down the wrong path. How could he not? What got him back on the right track was the love and support of a couple in their 70's, Russell and Bea Costner.

At age 16, after mowing the Costner's lawn for a time, Jimmy was invited to live with them. From the People Magazine article from January 21st, 2010 : "I'm here because someone helped me. Amazing things happen when you give a kid a chance.."

For the first time he felt safe. He finished high school, went to college and was later discovered in Nashville. He would go on to tour with the likes of Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley and his star continues to rise.

Not only is he an amazing singer/songwriter, he is a champion for kiddos in foster care. In 2010 he launched Meet Me Halfway (a post to follow about his amazing organization) and walked from Nashville to Phoenix, raising awareness about foster children and their plight as they age out of the system at the age of 18.

Jack, Jill, Mannie, Sunshine, JuneBug, Little Buddy and SweetPea will probably never aspire to some celebrity status. However, no matter where their lives take them, I know we made a positive impact and our time together will continue with them on their journey. Our memory has surely faded for some of our past little angels but their souls will never forget. Did they see us as a number, worry about the extra wrinkles or care about our age? Is there still air in my lungs and room in our hearts and home? How old is too old?

What do you think Mr. and Mrs. Costner would say?


Mrs. Gamgee said...

As someone who has benefitted enormously from a family openning their home to me as a safe place, and openning their hearts to help my hurting one, I have to say that last paragraph brought tears to my eyes. Age is not a factot when it comes to loving a child.

Sunday Koffron Taylor said...

I gave birth to my youngest child at 40, and I am no less able to love her than the one I had at 30. Age is not a factor.

And much like Jimmy Wayne I am who I am today because of those who opened their hearts and homes to me and loved my in spite of myself. Some older and actually some very young.

I say if someone feels lead, called or compelled to make a difference in the life of a child..."Just do it".

And so it goes said...

This topic if a common conversation in our household. I am 34 and my husband is 52 and has grown kids from a previous relationship. whether or not we wanted more kids was a topic of conversation from our early dating years. and while we recognize it is not for everyone, we have no doubt we are meant to have a family - regardless of DH's age or our age difference. while we may not be the "traditional" couple we know we have so much to offer.

Kristin said...

What a beautiful post. Age is but one description of a person and a loving heart trumps a number any time.

ICLW #19

megs said...

I'm 50, my husband is 47, our adopted boys are 7 and 4. Too old? Don't feel it yet, wait 'till they hit their teens!
My eldest has a serious medical condition that meant no-one else wanted to adopt him. So where would he have been without us?
OK I could have been their grandma. OK we get the odd look or comment. OK other mums look so young.
We are a family. That's what counts.

alicia said...

I have a dear friend who started her family "later in life" and she is often shocked by the audacity people have. She says she's used to people asking if those are her grandkids, but just last week almost came undone when a lady just assumed "oh, do you and your husband have kids from your previous marriages also?" Um... yeah, first marriage here for both, but thanks for the assumption.

God has you right exactly where he wants to have you in those children's lives, and honestly I think you are far more able to handle those difficult moments with some grace and maturity on your side... a 25 year old would not fair as well with the roller coasters these kids take you on.

Don't worry about the others, trust in HIM.


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