I have the privilege and honor to talk with a lot of adoptive parents throughout the week and because they often come with similar questions to one another, I want to start sharing some of the questions on here along with my answers. I know there are several people that read along that have shared with me that they are considering adoption or special needs adoption and I hope this may help others with some of their own questions as well...
So, here goes...
What was it like to adopt two children instead of one? What are the pros and cons to adopting two, and even though I know you wouldn't change the past, would you recommend adopting 2 at once to someone else? For our family adopting two children together meant more snuggles while in country, more paperwork, and more diapers. Once we were home it was two more to care for, two more to love on, and two more to receive love from . Because of the circumstances of their lives and the limitations on their futures, it also meant that it was two less children to meet the fate of death, alone, in a mental institution.
Here are some pros to adopting two together:
friendship: My two little ones have a sweet kinship. Really all 3 of my little ones with Ds do, and it's so nice for them each to have a sibling that is going to grow up with them and be a friend and not bypass them on the road to maturity. They will have each other in a lifelong friendship and bond that is wonderful!
fees:In Ukraine a majority of the cost of an adoption is travel and the amount of time a family has to spend in the country. Fees for facilitation are only about 1/3 of the total cost. In general these fees for a second child are 25% of the fees for a first child. There are other fees to pay to the US such as embassy fees, visas, medicals, and such, but these are still less than $2k. Then you have airfare and food/clothes etc.
timeline: For us we knew that we could not afford to go back on another trip, not any time soon anyway, so we knew that if we were going to adopt two at all, we had to do it at the same time. So our timeline was part of it. The lowered fees helped, but we knew we wouldn't be able to do the extended travel again soon.
Here's some cons to adopting two at one time:
adapting: Instead of one child to acclimate to the house we had two. Honestly it wasn't so bad because we all did it together. But I imagine with older kids it may be more difficult if they play off of one another to have two children that you are trying to acclimate to the house/culture/environment/foods.
caring: Of course there's more diapers, more bottles, more laundry, more sheets, more messes, more chores, more lunches, more trials, more schedules. But there's also more hugs, more kisses, more successes, more love.
medical: The medical side of things is a big one for many people. Honest thought, considering your support system, considering whether your employer will allow sick leave for your child's surgery so one parent can keep the healthy child and the other stay with the hospitalized child... these things are what are necessary to evaluate to find out whether you can handle the situation. And even if you're adopting two 'healthy' children that don't need immediate medical care... my 'healthy' little one ended up in the hospital with pneumonia for 4 days right after the other got out of 2 days at the hospital. You never know what life will throw at you with ANY child... so having the thought to talk about and plan it out is always a good thing.
I would, absolutely without a doubt go back and adopt two children at the same time. God just needs to show up and tell me to GO and I'll be there :) Would one have been easier? God calls us out of our comfort zones sometimes. It would have been much easier for me to have gone with "my plans" of a healthy 5 yr old that was walking and talking. But He stretched us with the two children He sent us home with and we have been abundantly blessed by every moment of it. Heart surgery, throat surgery, pneumonia, ear tubes, ER visits, and the like, those overwhelming periods of time when you think "WHY God??" are nothing when compared to the joys, the love, and the peace that we have with our kids. And to have been able to experience the Miracles of Christ's power in their lives has been overwhelming at times. God is good, follow Him and you're in good shape :)