Referrals for Older Children Increase for Families Adopting from Nicaragua


adopting from NicaraguaWe have recently had the pleasure of assisting families who are adopting from Nicaragua. They have been matched with older children and siblings. It all begins when the Potential Match arrives to my email inbox. The feeling of being able to call a family who has been waiting and give them the information that will change their lives is so exciting. I read about these children when they are first matched with a family and quickly realize that in their short lives, they have already experienced so much that is traumatic. Life for these children seems so unfair, but I keep in mind that these children will hopefully unite with their forever families soon. Seeing pictures of these children after they have met their forever families is amazing because one realizes that the bright smile on their faces is truly one of joy and thankfulness.

The journey of adopting from Nicaragua can be an uphill battle. Families are experiencing long wait times to be matched with a child. Even though the wait time to be matched with a child from Nicaragua can be long, we are so pleased that some older children are being matched with families who can meet their needs. The most recent families to be match with children ages three to eight years old did not wait the full two years that the Adoption Council has told us is the expected wait time from dossier registration to potential match. The first sibling group of three children (ages 8, 7, and 3) was matched with a family who only waited 1 month after their dossier was officially registered with the Mi Familia Adoption Council. This family was open to a sibling group of older children and therefore, was able to be matched quickly. The second family waited four months after their dossier was registered. This family was also open to a sibling group of two boys (ages 5 and 6 years old). The third family waited over a year to be matched with a five year old boy. We are pleased and surprised by these timeframes, but know that these short periods can change and become longer.

An aspect of this process that is important to keep in mind is that Mi Familia has complete discretion over the family that they decide to match with a specific child. If you are also open to an older child and have been waiting for some time, it is possible that Mi Familia may pick another family that has been waiting a similar amount of time to be matched with the child. This could all depend on many characteristics, a few of which could be: adoptive parent’s profession, whether or not the family has other children, age of parents, etc. Mi Familia may pick a certain family with a certain child because they feel that the professional experience that family has had may be beneficial for the child. They may feel that a certain child needs to be in a home without other children, depending on what that child has been through and their personality. Mi Familia may also feel that a certain child would do better with parents who are older or younger. We cannot say what characteristics Mi Familia uses to match a child. We do know that they are always thinking about what is best for the children, which is very much appreciated.

We thank these families for being open to adopting siblings and older children and giving them the love they deserve. We thank all of you for being patient during long waits, knowing that it is all worth it in the end.

For more information on our adopting from Nicaragua, please contact us.

Adriana Tebbe is the Latin America Program Coordinator for MLJ Adoptions. With nearly a decade in social work experience, Adriana enjoys watching children from hard places, both domestically and internationally, thrive when they are given the opportunity to develop relationships with adults and families.