We got our official invitation to the Adoption Education Seminar. Let me tell you what we will be learning about:
Overview of Agency Services and Laws
Infertility and Readiness
Dealing with the Wait, Your Family and with Disappointments
Getting to Know Birthparents and Their Families
Openness in Adoption: Building a Relationship
Transracial and Special Needs Adoption
Effects of Substance Exposure in Pregnancy
Wow, that's a lot to learn in a day and a half! It's hard to know that we will have to talk more about our infertility, and about the ups and downs that are adoption. I want so much to just enjoy this new path, but I also know that truly accepting this new path, means also accepting the hard things that have brought us here, and the very difficult things we may encounter as we continue. Sometimes, I just want to be HAPPY, though, and just enjoy what is. I will NEVER forget our losses, and our infertility. They will always be a part of me. But, I would like to move forward, into a place where our lives don't revolve around infertility.
I also have been reading "Dear Birthmother, Thank You For Our Baby." It's a good book, by the way, and I would recommend it to ANYone considering adoption. I am realizing more and more how much I still have to learn. While many of us adoptive parents would like to think so, raising a child who joined your family through adoption is NOT just like raising a biological child. Already, the comments I am receiving from people in my life have made me realize how different this will be. I know it is a new concept to everyone around me, so I accept that there will need to be a lot of learning for ALL of us. But, it's becoming more and more clear that part of being an adoptive parent will be about educating myself, my child and EVERYone who comes in contact with us. There is one particular thing, though, that I am struggling with. I am trying to wrap my head around the idea that I will not be my child's ONLY mommy. This is something that parents of biological children do not have to adapt to. My child will always have a "first" mommy and daddy out there who no doubt love him/her VERY much. I will have to make room in my heart for that first family, because they will give us a gift no one else can, and for that, we will always love them. In fact, I already DO love them. I already can feel a warm part in my heart reserved for my future child's birth family. So, on top of adapting to knowing I can't be everything to my child (but, really, can anyone be EVERYthing to their child?), I have to also be sure that family and friends understand our love for the birth family, and share in that love, if they are to be around my child. Wow, that's a lot to think about. Deep, huh? This is one of a few thousand things we have to learn and to do differently than other parents we know. I'm ok with that. I really am. But I am scared. We will be faced with challenges that are unique, and we will have to surround ourselves with other adoptive families, and we have to be open to learning new things, for the benefit of our child. I know all parents, when faced with an impending birth , realize they have things to learn. But, often, our families and our culture prepare us for those "normal" questions and reactions. Often, our families and our culture readily teach us, just through experience. Well, that is not true for us. We have to accept that the way we THOUGHT we'd raise a family is not the way we WILL raise a family. Then, we have to throw all of who we are into this new way, which is JUST as beautiful and miraculous as the other way. But, it is different. I know when our precious angel comes home, we will be fully wrapped around his or her little finger:). And that means we will be fully committed and ready to face the challenges that arise in adoptive parenthood.