We had our first pediatrician interview today. I guess she was OK. I don't know really how to judge. But we did go over our preference form in detail so we have a much better idea of what is involved in various medical conditions. I was actually surprised with some of them. Things that I was not much worried about before talking to her could be quite significant, while the things I was worried about don't have many lifelong severe implications.
We had our second and final day of training for our agency yesterday. Last weekend we had a birthmother and adoptive parents come in and tell their stories. They had very open adoptions and frequent interactions. Yesterday we talked more about the importance of openness. A few other couples at the training with us asked about what happens when the child is an adult? Does a very open relationship mean they might feel free to move in to birthparents' home when they are, say 19? What is the experience of adult adoptees who have very open relationships? The caseworkers tried to downplay the concerns and just repeated, again, this is not co-parenting. But when you think about it, open adoptions really started increasing in the mid1980s, so children in those environments are really just hitting adulthood in the past few years. So we don't really know their experiences.
I know the birthmother and adoptive family that spoke with us really freaked out some others in our group about openness, but I did not worry because I knew we could set boundaries on how open we are. We would not have to set up a relationship like they did. But the adult adoptee that spoke yesterday freaked me out. She had a semi-open adoption. Her parents and birthparents exchanged letters. She did not meet her birth family until she was about 14. It evolved over time but now she sees her birthmother and biological sister quite often. She started having Christmas Eve dinner at their house every year! That was when my nerves really picked up. I don't think I could handle that.
She had a binder full of all the letters exchanged over the years. She passed that around for us to flip through. It became apparent that the birthmother gave her a different name that was changed by the adoptive family. I asked how she felt about that. She did seem to think it was a big deal to have had a different name at one point. But she did say she was thinking of changing her middle name to incorporate her birth name. She might do it as a mother's day present to her birthparents. I could not handle a mother's day of all days to have my child do that.
She did say her adoptive mother has some anxiety issues about her interactions with her birthmother. And seem conflicted when she talked about that.
I posted on FB that we are adopting. My immediate family and most close friends already know. I even told some close colleagues at the conference I was at this weekend. I figured it was time to tell the world. At least the FB world (is there a difference?).
In other news, we continue to make progress on our paperwork. I have also made some pediatrician appointments to both find a doctor and get answers to questions we have before we make our placement preferences (i.e., raising kids with various medical issues). What do I need to know when choosing a pediatrician?
I just returned from a conference, but still have thoughts from the first day of our agency training swirling around. First, it was much more emotionally draining than I thought it would. The hubby expected it to be so, but I thought it would focus more on legal issues, paperwork, etc. But they jumped right into the adoptive family, who gave their story and had us all in tears (even as they had us all thinking they were crazy for the degree of openness they have). The funny part is they sat in our places just last year and remember thinking the family who came to visit their training was crazy for having such an open relationship with their birthmother. But one year later they have a cute baby and a very open adoption. I guess it just goes to show that you never know where this journey will take you.
Second, we met some great couples. It is hard b/c part of me views these couples as our "competition." But we did connect with some and they seem like wonderful people. And we did bond by sharing some of the feelings of loss we have gone through with IF.
Since we had gone to the adoptive family conference a few months ago, most of the material was actually the same that we learned then (in terms of focusing on how to be successful adoptive parents). So it wasn't as valuable to us in that respect. They even had one of the same birthmothers give her story! There is one odd thing about this birthmother (not that she was odd, but it did make us worry about somehthing). She is local and of my religion. She said it was important to her to have the adoptive parents be of the same religion. She told us many facts about the adoptive parents, including their name, neighborhood, mentioned a church, and names of her birthchild and a subsequent sibling through another adoption. So now we are wondering if the adoptive family goes to our church! On the one hand, it would be great to continue to expand our network of adoptive families. But then it would be odd to meet them and know so much about them already.
Our second training is this weekend. So stay tuned!
Last week, we got our paperwork and thought we should talk about the issues a little bit each night. Well, that first night we picked the worst question and it did not go well. So we changed tactics and dedicated one evening to discussing all the questions. Last night was our night. We opened a bottle of wine and braced ourselves for a rough night.
It actually was a great experience. There were some tough questions, but we tackled them honestly and openly in a way that left us feeling better. We even came to some realizations about ourselves, our values, and how we interact with each other. Who knew adoption was the best marriage counseling you could get?
We met with our caseworker this week and went over all the paperwork. So now we have our assignments. I do think it is a little weird that everything is filled out separately by each of us. I can see that for some things, but for others it would seem we should work on them together. Regardless, we are going to spend an evening next week talking through all the questions. Some of them I saw and was not even sure what type of answer would be appropriate. We are going to talk about them together, write our answers up separately, and then read what each other wrote.
2008 - ditched BC 2009 - Started treatments and testsand got a whole bunch of BFNs 2010 - The year of treatments January 2011 - Starting to look into adoption June 2011 - Homestudy approved! July-August 2011 - First match, and then it fell through January 2012 - Matched again! March 2012 - We finally bring home our baby boy!