Saturday, July 21, 2007

One More Task Checked Off the List

Well we've just finished the second and final day of our adoptive parenting classes. Today was emotionally draining for me. There were a lot of difficult moments for me when listening to adoptees and birth parents discuss adoption from the perspective of those who lose the most through the process.

One thing we've known from the start is that adoption is built on loss. That doesn't make it bad or wrong in any way but it does make it emotionally challenging. Beginning this process--attending classes--has forced me to take a look on the inside and consider adoption from all the different perspectives.

There are so many unanswered questions and so much I need to figure out within myself in order to move forward. I think a lot of it will just get pieced together as we go along. I don't think all the details can be planned out since every situation is unique. I'm feeling quite antsy - I want to get all the paperwork done today so we can move forward as quickly as possible but by sheer volume that is impossible.

I am struggling with the fact that I am a finisher. I tend to be very task oriented and want to see projects through to completion once I start them. With adoption that is just something that cannot be done. It is not a fast or predictable process in any way so on a major level I have to LET GO and let whatever will happen happen. Needless to say that is hard for me. The process of letting go (in general) seems to be a recurring life lesson for me. Go figure.

I also struggle with the fact that Michael and I deal with this process differently. He is more laid back and able to view our tasks as things we'll complete when we have a chance whereas I want to get everything done NOW. Other days I'm also very laid back though so this feeling of needing to control and conquer the process comes and goes within me. I guess it's all normal and I just need to work through my feelings as they occur and literally go with the flow. I'm working on that.

Overall I do know that while our adoption journey will most certainly not unfold the way we think it will, it will happen when and how it should. I feel a great deal of comfort in that, even when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. More than anything that is what I took away from the classes we attended. A feeling of hope and faith that all will be as it should and priceless.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day 1 is Done

Well classes one and two are now under our belts. Overall they were great! We learned/soaked up a tremendous amount of information in a very short period of time so needless to say I'm still processing a lot of what we heard. The best part of yesterday was the adoptive families (three in all) who came in to talk to us. It was such a tremendous comfort to see and hear them in living color. All of what they had to say about adoption with CSS was positive and they each had unique stories with some wonderful lessons and advice to impart. They weren't perfect people, just average, everyday people who have been where we are. Overall I walked away with a strong sense that this is all going to work, even if that doesn't happen the way we expect it to. That's been such a great feeling and while I do feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information there is to think about, I mostly feel happy.

Next Saturday we'll head back for classes three and four and then we're done with formal adoptive parenting education. After we complete classes and the mountain of paperwork I talked about in my previous post, all we need to do is save up the money for our pre-placement assessment (home study) and we can keep the ball rolling. Of course updates will be forthcoming...


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two days to go...

until our adoptive parenting classes begin! I turned in our application and fee Monday so it's official now.

Today I'm feeling a little...nervous maybe...or anxious if there's a difference. I don't know quite what to expect from these classes. I've read all the information there is on them and I know what I think they're about but I don't know...I'm just feeling edgy about Saturday at the moment.

I think the whole process of emotions I'm going through relating to our adoption plan is so strange. I've thought for a long time that adoption was the right choice for us but I've had a harder time convincing Michael of that. Now that we've finally reached this place together I am experiencing such a wide range of feelings.

There is joy and excitement at the forefront but not far behind them lies fear and nervous anticipation. I guess I'm stressed about what the road ahead will bring and how we will handle all the many twists and turns along the way. Then of course there is some sense of sadness. While I know this doesn't have to be an end to the road we've been on it does feel like an end.

We are completely changing our tactic and pouring our resources, tangible and otherwise into a completely different entity than we have been for such a long, long time now. Some days I just feel very overwhelmed by all the emotions I have. And other days I only feel happy and relieved that we are pursuing adoption. I guess it's all normal stuff but I don't really know since I don't know anyone else (yet) who's in the same place we are.

who knows...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Details and more details

So we had our intake appointment on Thursday. It went well but was much quicker than I had anticipated. I'm not sure what I expected exactly but she basically just showed us all of the forms we have to fill out and briefly explained each one. I had a couple of questions but really it was hard to think of them right then and there. I know that once I read through all the forms and paperwork we received, and especially once we begin filling out forms I will have questions.

The packet we received includes the following paperwork we have to complete before our home study can begin:
  • Two mini-books for us to read on open adoption
  • Two two-page "common fears and concerns of adoption" forms, one for each of us
  • Two one-page "fantasy child" questionnaires, one for each of us
  • A form asking for three personal references
  • Two criminal records petition forms, one for each of us
  • Two two-page adult medical reports for each of us to fill out with our doctors
  • A two-page family financial assessment
  • A CSS Fee agreement
  • A home study checklist including several additional pieces of documentation we will need
In addition to all of that we also have to fill out an online family background analysis that's four typed pages. She said that one will be the hardest because it's all about family history, etc. and it's very detailed which means it can take some time to complete.

We also received the forms for and learned more about the adoptive parenting classes we will be attending in July. They are broken down into four sessions, each about three-and-a-half hours long.

Here is the blurb from our paperwork about the classes:

"We believe that these classes are beneficial to anyone interested in or seriously pursuing adoption, whether through Catholic Social Services, another agency, an attorney or internationally. Please think about joining us. In a fun, non-threatening environment, our series of four classes attempts to prepare families for parenting through adoption by "walking in the shoes" of all members of the adoption circle. In addition to the didactic presentations, each session features a panel of adoptive parents, birth families and/or adoptees who will share their experiences with adoption.'s a lot of information to process and I am feeling slightly overwhelmed but I have a feeling this is only the beginning. Still...I said I wanted more information so I could stay busier and stop thinking so much about what was to come so I guess that particular wish was granted!