This past Friday and Saturday we had our intensive pre-adoption training. It was 8 hours each day and it was filled with tough topics that were sometimes very emotional. Because it was also for people who are doing foster care or adopting older children who have been in the foster system, we had to learn about a lot of the things that these kids have gone through in their young lives. We listened to a 911 call that was heart wrenching - a 6 year old girl calling the police because her step-dad was beating her mom. We also talked about the loss that kids experience and how we can help them through it.
Even though there was a lot of doom and gloom, there was also the message that we can be great parents to these kids with the right tools. Although we aren't adopting an older child, every kid has their own unique special circumstance that may need a different approach. I really think that every parent could use training like this.
As I was sitting in our agency's training room, I looked around at the people who I had gotten to know in the last couple of days and I felt a sense of camaraderie. Although there were lots of differences among us - married, single, straight, gay, young, and older, we had something in common. Everyone in that room is longing for a child or children - waiting to have kids in our home so that we can give them love.
I had an emotional week last week. This journey is not an easy one, but to realize that I am not alone in it gave me peace.
The night before the training, I was hesitant about the class and feeling discouraged about the process. When I left on Saturday, I was filled with renewed hope and determination.