This weekend, we attended the first half of our training sessions, which are mandatory to the adoption process here. I’ll admit that DH and I grumbled about attending. I had no idea what to expect from this training and I’ve been doing some reading on my own, so I questioned the value of the whole thing.
BUT, after two intense days, I can definitely say that I got a lot out of it. We covered a whole range of topics… from basic parenting (wouldn’t it be great if everyone could take this… though I’m sure there would be huge resistance), to attachment concerns.
The section on grief and loss from the adopted child’s perspective really made an impact on me. As a potential adoptive parent, I’m always thinking about what I can offer a child, what I can give them. I rarely considered what that child is losing… maybe it’s because we’re hoping to adopt an infant, but I just assumed that some of that loss that older children would feel would somehow not be an issue for a baby who would only know us as parents.
Someday though, the questions will come. They’ll wonder about their birth family and history. That’s natural. Those children who are a bit older will have very strong memories of their life before they were adopted. These are just some of the things that create a strong feeling of loss and grief in a child and are such important things to remember.
It also made me think about my own grief. Even though the loss from our miscarriage has dulled… it will always be with me and sometimes even surprise me, like a slap in the face. It was nice to speak to other women who have gone through this infertility roller coaster too and know that it was ok to acknowledge our grief and loss. Hopefully, this will make us more sensitive with our children when they’re overwhelmed by their emotions and try to cope with them.
It was pretty powerful stuff and we covered a lot of ground. Definitely, just the tip of the iceberg though. I’m happy I went, and I loved the fact that it enabled DH and I to really talk about some of the scary issues. Sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s easy to not talk about the hard stuff. We still have one more weekend to go, but I’m sort’ve looking forward to it.