We attended our adoption information session a few nights ago, and it went exactly how I thought it would and completely surprised me at the same time.
On the drive on the way there, my husband-to-be asked me what I was hoping to get out of the session. At first, I didn’t really understand what he meant, because the only expectations that I had were that they would tell us about the process and how it works, and that they’d talk frankly about the challenges of adopting children with special placement needs. And so, I told him that I was just going to see what happened. Really, I was just hoping that I would come out of it a little smarter than I was on the way in. And I was also hoping not to be scared off.
It was a lot of information to take in, even though I felt as if I knew a lot of it already from my research. I was pretty much engrossed, as were the rest of the people in the room. We listened to the social workers talk about the adoption process, tell stories about adoptive families, go over the paperwork we’d be required to fill out, detail statistics about how many kids are waiting for families, and much more. Every so often, I would look over at my fiancé and give his hand a squeeze — it was just so much to take in, but with every passing minute, I felt more and more sure that this is what we should be doing.
In the car on the way home, and in the hours we talked after we got home, we decided to apply, and to apply soon, and that we wanted to get into the September adoption class if we could. This was the surprise! Before the session, we’d both wanted to wait a little while before starting the process, and weren’t even sure that adoption was the way we were going to go, and now we just can’t wait.
In the days since then, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. The day of the information session, I bought a copy of Attaching in Adoption by Deborah D. Gray. I’ve almost finished reading it, and it’s been absolutely eye-opening for me. I had an impression for a long time that adopting a child who had been in the foster care system would be much harder than adopting an infant or child through private adoption or internationally–but the session, and this book, have taught me that all adoptions have similar issues that need to be worked through, to varying degrees.
I can’t wait to finish this book, and move on to the next book, or the next DVD, or the next class. One of the seemingly-hundreds of documents we were given suggests that we keep track of all the research we’re doing, so we can tell the social workers about it during our home study. I may end up going even further than that and doing little mini-reviews for this website, in the hopes that one day this will be helpful to someone else out there.
Right now, I am happy. Happy, hopeful, and excited. And becoming more and more aware of how much I need to learn, which isn’t a bad thing–I love research and learning, and am going to jump in to this with both feet.
Step two is done, and step three is in process. Yay!