Well, last night was our second of ten meetings in the GPS class. These meetings start at 6:00 pm and go until 9:00 pm. The participants sign up to bring food each week so at least there is something to eat, although it's usually not the healthiest. Oh well.
We start each class with a warm-up; a get-to-know-you exercise. It really helps to break the ice and get everyone working together. Last night we did a memory train. Fortunately we were near the beginning.
Each person chose an adjective with which to preface their name. For instance, the facilitator, Ann, chose Animated and so she said her name was Animated Ann. The next person in the line had to do the same but repeat the names of all the people that came before her on the train. So we ended up with:
Animated Ann (facilitator)
Kind Katy (social worker)
Weird Wanda (she picked it herself!) (social worker)
Kooky Kerri (yeah, I know...)
Magnificent Mike (what else...?!?!)
Sophisticated Sundeena (social worker)
Jack-of-All-Trades Judy (social worker)
Multi-Tasking Mariah (I needed help to remember this one)
Malcontent Michael and
Memory Queen Maggie (facilitator)
Wow, I guess it worked pretty well considering I just did that from memory! As you can see, we were lucky we sat near the front of the room!!
The lesson last night was centered around role playing so we could get a feel for some of the issues involved when a child is placed into protective custody by DHR, the process that might eventually lead to that child being permanently removed from their birth-parents and placed for adoption by people like us! It really was eye-opening to see how a healthy, stable family could go from from a normal life to losing one of two children to DHR in 48 hours. It really helped you realize that not all parents who have their children taken from them by DHR are bad people. Most are just like us.
They took volunteers from the attendees to role-play specific roles and, you guessed it, Kerri was one of the first to shoot up her hand at the opportunity to perform the best non-Shakespeare-Shakespeare she could, wrought with tragedy and strife. Her performance was convincing and, at times, over the top - but what do you expect??? At the end of it all the facilitator asked the group how they did and one guy said "Well, it wasn't Shakespeare, but it was pretty good!"
We turned in our 70+ pages of paperwork that included our family profile and references. Several social workers were there to get to know us since they will be some of the people who taking our cases.
For next week we have to write our autobiography. Uggghh. Although they provide a pretty clear outline of how to proceed, it is is definitely something I am not looking forward to.
Keep praying for us.