Saturday, February 03, 2007

3rd Homestudy meeting complete. Seminar attended.

We've now finished the 3rd homestudy meeting with our caseworker and we are making real headway now. This third meeting has brought up some interesting topics that Scott and I have been discussing ever since. We're finding the meetings to be quite fun in addition to being very effective tools in preparation for adoption of our child.

It's quite amazing - we started off thinking this is all going to be very straightforward and obvious, we'd been discussing the different facets of adoption, reading books and making contact with other adoptive parents and parents-in-progress, doing projects and study on the country from where our child will come and ensuring that we are aware of all of the different issues that adoption can bring and end up mid-way through the process learning even more than you ever thought possible.

I'd have to say that we consider ourselves *very* fortunate to have met the people we've met who've shared their wealth of experience with us. It's been fantastic to meet other parents-to-be who are going through the process alongside of us too.

Today we were involved in a learning seminar, as one of seven couples, where we met several families who already have their children home from various countries such as China, India and Korea. These parents and children have overcome multiple difficulties, extremely stressful circumstances and unexpected, unplanned curves in the road.

I know myself that listening to these people, in particular the parents of a delightful young Indian girl, Louise and Louis, and the parents of a sprightly little Indian boy, Veronica and Henry, have had a huge impact on both Scott and myself.

When faced with such trying times as these families were, their spirit and determination to learning all that they could, asking for help to get everyone through to the 'other side' shows a marvellous strength of character.

Parenting an adoptive child is quite different to parenting the biological child who has never been separated from their birth parents, abandoned or fostered out for a time. Parents make the difficult decision to go against everyday parenting skills in order to give their child the needed skills to attach to a brand new family who are, at first, completely foreign to them. This is no small feat as most people assume that parenting one child is just like parenting the next.

The everyday platitudes about parenting that one might hear from well-meaning family and friends often needs to be disregarded when in reference to a child of adoption and this can be confusing and distressing for both the new parents and those giving the advice.

That these adoptive parents, who have been-there-done-that, have been able in the first instance to establish the boundaries with their families and friends, their new child and each other without losing their own sanity is quite amazing.