Oh I don’t even know where to begin with writing right now. I feel like I haven’t updated in forever because this last week has been the longest week ever and now we have a HUGE weight lifted from our shoulders! We drove to Tulsa today and have our International Adoption course with our agency and 2 other families (adopting from China and Korea). This is a requirement for our adoption and needs to be completed before the home study can be completed and it was just awesome! We learned so much and feel even more prepared now for what is to come once we become parents to an adopted child. I want to mention a few things that I thought were so interesting but I first would like to say we have a VERY BIG step completed in our process….
…Application Part 2 is DONE, hand delivered, and waiting on the desk of our case worker to be reviewed!!!! If you are adopting through Dillon, you know what a task this part is but if you aren’t you’re probably thinking, another application? Because Dillon is our adoption/placing agency and home study agency application part 2 is basically a little part of an application and then much of what is required for the home study and dossier so it included our autobiographies, birth certificates, marriage license, passport copies, 5 reference letters, doctor’s physicals, infectious disease screenings, bank statements, IRS past 3 years tax forms, letters to Ethiopian government, financial worksheets, contracts, pictures of our home inside and out and our immediate family and more! We will have more paper-chasing to do throughout the process of course but this gets us ahead of the game in many aspects. So now the next step for us is to wait to hear back from Dillon if they need anything else from us and then we will be proceeding onto our home study...YAY!!!
Last time I was in Tulsa was about this time last year to take my board exams that I had studied at least 4 mths for and I can honestly say I have about the same feeling of accomplishment right now as I did then. Most of you reading this are in the process or have gone through it so this may not be news to you but these were just a few of the interesting things we learned today.
~ It is strongly recommended to not have many new people introduced to the child when they are brought home and should be taken care of solely by the parents so the child doesn’t attach to someone other than his or her mom or dad. This means diaper changes, bottle feedings, rocking to sleep, etc , needs to be done by the parents only, in the beginning so the child can have optimal bonding and attachment time. Also it is important to remember that this child has already had people leave from their own life and to get attached to someone else who is visiting and will be leaving could be very hard on that child.
~The child most likely did not get the hands on, direct contact attention that most babies do so being rocked, cuddled, fed a bottle, played with and comforted often might be new to the child. It is important to start the relationship with this child doing these things even if they are what we might think is too old to be doing something. It allows them the same bonding and attachment ability as any other child would get.
~Bringing up the child’s birth parents to the child so they know it is okay to bring up and don’t feel bad or scared to do so. Some ideas they talked about were saying “I wonder if your birth mom was good at ___ and that’s where you got it from since your dad and I aren’t good at that at all”. Also honoring their biological mom on mother’s day and saying a prayer for her or talking about her (or dad on father’s day). Another family that was there said they had their son (adopted at 10 years old from China) draw pictures of what he thought his biological parents looked like.
Now...onto getting ready for this upcoming week....Jason's parents will be coming in on Thursday and our big garage sale at church will be occurring this Fri and Sat so tomorrow we will be making our signs, flyers, etc and going through all of our own stuff to get rid of. Our garage is filled right now and we still have others bringing stuff to the church directly for it...I will post pictures of it all so stay tuned...it should be a lot of fun!