We were exhausted, physically and emotionally. This gift was what we needed to fill us back up again, so we could go another day. It brings me to tears to know that I have such support during this journey. It is not an easy journey, nor is it the "normal" journey, and yet I have not had ONE family member or friend say or do anything that is not completely and totally supportive. This gift was a symbol of good things to come...she knew we were doing zebra print in our nursery, and she gave us a gift of hope, a gift of love. I am so blessed.
The classes were crunched, and consisted mostly of panels. We saw many adoptive parents speak, as well as a birth mom and an adoptee. We were in the class with only three other couples, so that was really nice. I didn't learn much...I have done enough research and talked to enough adoptive parents to know about everything they talked about:). But, our conversation when we left was classic:
Jason: So, what did you think?
Me: Eh, it was ok. I was hoping to learn more, hear more about what I don't know. But, I enjoyed it. What did you think?
Jason: I loved it! It made me 10 times more ready to adopt!!
LOL! Funny how two people, going through the same process, have such different experiences. I am so happy that it opened Jason's heart more to this process. I am also thankful that the daddies who presented helped Jason to see himself in their shoes. I am even more grateful that the birth mom, who obviously had pain around the loss of her two children, was able to tell her story and to remind us of birth parents' strength, courage, selflessness, and most of all, love for their children. We will never forget that, not for one minute. And we won't let our child forget it, either.
I could go on and on about classes, but I don't have the time and I'm sure you don't have the patience:). The next big thing that happened was that I took home a bunch of sample profiles (dear birth parent letters and photo collages). So, at 6pm last night, I sat down to edit my letter and work on my photo collage. I ended at about 9:30pm with another revised edition of the letter (I'm not sure how to know when it is done, when it is "good enough") and about half of our photo collage completed. Wow! This is going quickly!
What we still have left to do (notice how short the list is getting!):
Joint and Individual Interviews (Scheduled for March 5, we may have to do our wrap-up joint interview another day)
Medical forms (waiting for our doctor's appointments)
Another Financial Form we received this weekend (will be completed to give to her on Friday)
Letter, form about our family and background, and photo collage for THE book (should be done in next couple of weeks)
So, that is the deal for now! I have to say, everything became very real this weekend. Every parent that talked shared that they were picked very quickly. I realized I COULD be a mom within three months (but I know this may not happen, too). And then panic set in. I know we are ready, but...well, it is overwhelming! One of my biggest fears is how we will pay for all of it when I leave work, which I plan to do for 3-6 months. (And I won't even go into the intense feelings of loss I already feel about my job.) After that, I will probably go back for only 2 days a week, when daddy can be home with baby. That said, our income will be cut in half, and we will have a huge adoption bill (not to mention, baby furniture, accessories, diapers, etc). So, like I said, panic. I guess time will tell how we will do this. I just have to trust that what is meant to happen, will happen...and we'll be ok. And we'll be parents! Wow, can you even believe it??