Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Adoption Seminar Recap

Okay, so I meant to post about this a while back but it was so big and overwhelming so I didn't. I'm not sure how much to say but if you are interested in what an adoption seminar is, let me tell you a bit! By the way, some random pictures throughout to keep you entertained.

In order to adopt in BC, the government requires a certain number of hours of education about adoption. We would have done it had it been required of us or not but that is why they have these specific seminars.
(Kai and I going to Toy Story 3, his first movie! He loved it and asked if we could go back in 2 days. He was bored with all the previews and said he found the chair he was sitting in `confusing'. Yes, that is his excited face.)

It was three long days, 8am-4:30pm, of non stop listening. It was exhausting. There were all kinds of speakers. Social workers, counselors, adoptees of all ages and experiences, birth mothers, adoptive parents, international social workers etc. It was informative, emotional and affirming.
Gary and I are going to be putting together a little letter to give to our families and friends in order that they might know best how to support us, our new child, and our current children in this journey. For example, a couple of things we will touch on are appropriate terminology (ex. birth mom/ birth grandparents etc), our desire for openness and what that looks like, and how we will not be handing our child around to everyone at first. We will hopefully have a lot of time of just Gary and I holding our baby and forming a bond and healthy attachment. In my mind, I am looking so forward to just holding the little one (likely in the bjorn as the boys will need me!) for hours and hours. Or, if the baby is older, in the Ergo:)
I think that a few things that stick out are the following:
1. How selfless and brave birth mommas are
2. How awesome open adoption is. They had given examples of starting a book after the first chapter or coming into a movie 10 minutes late...not knowing what happened in the beginning affected the whole experience. It might seem hard for all the parents involved but it's not for us, it's for the child.
3. What an open adoption might look like. They are all so different. For example, birth mom could be like an aunt that you see 4 times/year or they could be someone you write to once a year or they could be someone that comes and visits every month or more. It's all decided by all parents involved.
4. I really, really feel for those that are dealing with infertility. For us, adoption was a first choice for our third child (although really `encouraged' by me having Graves' Disease). I am so thankful that I was able to experience pregnancy, labour, pushing, C-section, breastfeeding and all that jazz.
There are going to be a few things that are going to drive me nuts already, I know it! However, I know I approach things by educating so hopefully I do so nicely:)

The sort of things that have bothered me a little so far are:
1. People assuming we are adopting to have a girl!!!! If you said this, don't feel bad. People I know and love say this all the time! I just can't believe how many times I've heard it (three times yesterday). Maybe I've even said it to someone before?! We want a baby/child. The gender does not matter. I don't know why this bothers me so much. Maybe because I was in a family of 5 girls and there were always comments about how my dad must've kept trying for a boy. Made. Us. Mad. I know some people do choose what gender they would like through adoption, but for me, it really doesn't matter. I feel like if I said I wanted a girl, it would be saying to my boys that they weren't good enough or something. Does that make sense?
2. When I say that we are adopting, some people's first response is `Why?' (with a look of confusion not interest). It's okay to ask why, but the first question?

Things that I know will come up and bother me:
1. People asking about the `real parents'. The child will have two sets of real parents. We are one of them.
2. People asking if Kai and Koen are his/her real brothers. Yes, they will be his/her real brothers. And they will be awesome brothers too.

If you have any questions, please ask. I won't get mad, I promise:)


  1. I totally know what you mean about the comments/questions people would say to your dad about having all girls. My dad doesn't care and neither to we. I find it odd that people are so concerned for him that he never got to have any boys. I love reading about your adoption journey, I find it very imformative and I'm really excited for you guys!

  2. So been there. You're awesome!!! Thanks for the update!! Super great.

    Someone asked me just today if Riley "Was supposed to have been my girl"
    Excuse me? He's only 2 years old, but he can HEAR YOU!
    But what do you say?????

    People don't actually often ask the 'real/not real' questions, even for us, who look so different from M. Sometimes, but not often enough to get me mad. I get the 'why' a tonnnnnnnnne. Why, why, why, everyone wants to know WHYYYYYY? Because we were meant to. Period. Because we love kids.

    How's this for an answer:
    "We wanted to do our part to save the orphans in the world. What are YOU doing for the kids with no families????"

    Hm. Okay, maybe a bit rude....

  3. A friend of mine has 2 biological children and 4 adopted children (two sets of siblings). She often talks about how race and her open-relationship with the birth mothers have affected her and her family. You might want to check out her blog:

    Take care and we are praying for you and your family through this wonderful journey!

  4. I totally here you with being annoyed at the "why" question. I feel the urge to give some snappy response back like... "why not?" or "why are you wanting to get pregnant again?" Kind of bitchy, I know :)

    I feel like I especially get the 'why' or shocked face when they find out I'm adopting a little girl with DS. I never know whether I should tell people in conversation or not. I don't want to qualify it but I also REALLY want to minimize that reaction when we actually have her.

    Why is adoption such a different concept for so many people?

  5. Personally, I think it is so great that you are processing a lot of this stuff now. There will be plenty to process when number 3 arrives, and I think it's great that you guys are doing your best to be prepared :)
    Beautiful eyes in the pic of you and Kai!