As Andy posted earlier, today has been a day of leaps forward for us! Weeks back, we chose our agency: Open Adoption & Family Services. After that point, we've been waiting for this next big milestone. With the seminar being a half-day, we spent part of our morning getting fingerprinted for our FBI background checks.
On one side, it was fun to fill out our cards and be fingerprinted. I spent time checking out my fingerprints and comparing them to the poster of various fingerprint types on the wall while Andy was getting printed. (Yes, I'm a dork like that!)
On the other side, it was a reminder that the adoption process can feel rigid and demanding when you know a pair of 16 year olds can get to the same point with an accident in the back of a pickup truck. Of course, we're happy to jump through a few hoops to someday welcome a child into our family. In the meantime, if you're reading this and know you just had an accident in the back of a pickup truck....call us! :)
After getting fingerprinted and a quick lunch, it was time to head to the seminar. We weren't completely sure what to expect. However, we did know we were looking forward to it and the opportunity to meet several other adoptive parents going through the same process as us. Upon arriving, we walked in carrying our Starbucks cups and saw two other couples and the speaker, Katie, also sporting drinks from Starbucks. (Warning: Pacific Northwest stereotype!)
After everyone arrived and gave their introductions, it was intriguing to look at our group as a whole. We had 7.5 couples (one couple split their scheduling between two different seminars). Of those couples, six of us were same-sex couples and two were heterosexual couples. While we expected another gay/lesbian couple or two, we didn't expect that there would be so many! Of the couples there, three already had one child and were looking to adopt a second. Overall, it was a really fun group and we're looking forward to getting to know them better tomorrow and in the future.
Today's seminar focused heavily on dealing with emotions, grief, and the path towards choosing adoption. Luckily for us, we didn't have a whole lot of emotions to process on this front as we've already accepted not being able to have children on our own. For me, the real highlight of the day was getting to meet two actual birthmothers. Both ends of the spectrum were covered as Carrie's 18 year old son is about to graduate high school while Amanda's son was born less than a year ago.
Being able to hear (and not just read) a story directly from a birthmother was an invaluable experience as it felt real and engaging. Carrie had told her story many times before and she was able to provide an eloquent and detailed summary of her journey as a birthmother. With Amanda, I really felt for her as this was her first time telling her story to a group of adoptive parents. Together, they both had tons of great advice and provided heartfelt perspectives. If we're lucky, we'll be selected by a great birthmother that shares many of their caring, sweet, and admirable characteristics.
Tomorrow/Day 2 is a day I'm really looking forward to. Being an engineer, I'm all about the details. Amongst everything we'll cover is the fully detailed process of adoption in all its nuts and bolts glory. Just like today, we'll be posting a fun set of highlights about Day 2. Depending on how detailed things are, new posts for the second day should come up sometime between tomorrow night and Sunday.
Thanks for reading and we hope you're enjoying the story of our journey through adoption as much as we are!