Day one of our 2 day adoption seminar is complete. We arrived at Buckner around 9am and wrapped up at 5pm. As expected, we were joined by three other prospective adoptive couples and will have three more (who have adopted previously and are back for #2) tomorrow. Overall, our day was very informative and left us with some information we already knew and more to think on.
We began by talking about the losses involved in adoption. I think most people have a very joyous idea of adoption. While the idea of adoption is a happy one, the reality is that it involves a great deal of loss. Loss of the birthmother's right to parent, loss of the adoptive parents' hope for a biological child, and loss of a child's genetic identity...just for starters. Open adoption definitely helps to ease some of the losses, but pain is still a real part of this type of family union. As prospective adoptive couples who have experienced infertility, all of us shared many common losses, and we talked more about how we had learned to face and cope with these hurdles in our relationships. We had a fun exercise similar to the Newlywed game, where they separated the husbands and wives and had us answer some questions about each other. Some serious (What did you feel like was your biggest loss?) and some that we were able to laugh at (What is the most outrageous thing someone has told you during your infertility/adoption process?). Somehow, the two teams of boys and girls tied...pretty sure the wives should have taken it though!
Next we talked about the baby's perspective, and how it is important to have a smooth transition from pregnancy to adoption, the research and facts around bonding as a newborn, and what the adoptive child needs from us from infancy. We watched a really good film on this called Gentle Transitions: A Newborn Baby's Point of View about Adoption. Very eye opening.
The last part of the day was centered on helping us understand what Buckner does for the birthparents. One of the reasons we chose our agency, was because of the resources available to all parties involved in the adoption process. They provide in-depth counseling and education for birthparents so that they can make an informed and confident decision about the future of their child; whether that is to raise them or place them for adoption. It was a lot of information to take in, and a long time to sit in one place, but we enjoyed getting to hear more about process and are looking forward to tomorrows discussion.