Monday, July 9, 2007

Parenting Class

I never posted anything about my reaction to the adoptive parenting class that we attended in May. I meant to, but never quite got around to it.

I found the class to be very interesting. It's amazing the amount of material they covered in 2 days. Really, it could have been much longer.

The class was small, with only 3 other couples attending. Two were adopting domestically, and one was adopting from Russia. The most interesting parts of the classes were the guest speakers. A birth mom spoke for over an hour and the experience was profoundly moving. She was an amazing speaker and I hope that everyone considering adoption has an opportunity to meet someone like her. She made it clear that while she never had any intention of parenting her daughter, the adoption has been extremely more difficult for her emotionally than she anticipated. Her adoption is an open one, and she sees her daughter on occasion, but only out of a sense of duty to her daughter despite the pain it causes her, "because you should always do what's best for the child, no matter how hard."

The other highlight of the class was much happier. Many families with completed adoptions brought their kiddos and answered questions. The families were of all ages and had adopted kids domestically and from Korea, Russia, and the Philippines. Our favorite couple had adopted a little boy from Korea and arrived home maybe 6 to 9 months ago. They were the only other couple who we felt really similar to. (The 3 other couples in our class were all much older than us and already had bio children, and the visiting families with completed adoptions were also all much older.) They looked to be our age and don't have any other children. It was nice to talk to someone we could really relate to. While the other couples in our class were worried about the adoption side of things, we have the additional worries of how to handle a ~2 year old kid with no parenting experience! We asked them if it was scary to be instant parents of a toddler, and they agreed that it was, but that it passed quickly. They looked very comfortable as a family and I wished we lived closer.


Glen and Andrea said...

We wish we lived closer to you and Kyle for these same reasons.

Hirally said...

We also loved our parenting class -we were all international adopting parents all from Holt (we live in oregon)and one the highlights was the adult adoptee that came to talk to us about his experience as a korean child growing up in white mid-west america...he is about 35 so you can visualize how it was 25-30 yrs ago!!