This seminar was what I was looking most forward to in our adoption process. First of all I got to spend two whole days back to back with my best friend. Nate and I always have a good time together and when there is no toddler to pull our attention we get to focus on each other. The conference being in Dallas meant 1 hour and 15 mins in the car each way. Which means PLENTY of time to talk. Now to other people this sounds like a beating (we had to be there from 9-5) but to me it sounded GLORIOUS! My “love language” as I have previously mentioned is quality time, so this was like 5 hours of unavoidable quality time! I don’t think Nate felt the same way, BUT we enjoyed our time together nonetheless.
The other reason why this was so exciting for me is the fact that we would be learning about adoption. I have learned (through age, CIS, and graduate school) something that I never realized about myself…I am a huge nerd when it comes to learning about things that I care about, and ADOPTION is towards the top of that list. On the first day of the seminar we talked about grief and loss. We talked about the losses for the birthparent, the adoptive parent, and the child. It was heartbreaking in some ways. Really thinking about what the child might be “losing out on” by not being raised by their biological parents. I realize in many cases, such as international adoption, it is not possible for the biological parents to be a part of the adoption, but learning about open adoption has really made me aware of the benefits of the birthparents being a part of the child’s life. The losses for the birthparents are pretty simple to point out, and when you really think about them, are too much to even comprehend. I know some people don’t understand why there are losses for the adoptive parents, but a lot of that has to do with infertility and the loss of not carrying that specific child for nine months along with missing out on the birthing process of that child. I am starting to understand why we were led to open adoption when that was not our first choice. I think that Nate and I can love not only the child but the parents that so lovingly picked us for the adoptive parents.
The second day we spoke about the legal risks that go along with adopting in this way. It started to get pretty heavy until they brought in a couple that had adopted a newborn that was now 8 months old. He was such a cute, sweet little boy. As we were blessed to hear their painful and amazing story, we grew pretty tired. We were then able to watch an entrustment ceremony on video from another couple. During an entrustment ceremony the birth parents literally hand the baby to the adoptive parents. It’s beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. On our way home Nate and I were exhausted so much so that I am just writing this post and its been 4 days since we attended the seminar.