Well, this Monday night was week 9 of 10 in our GPS class. We are both glad to see this process coming to a close and look forward to being able to stay home on Monday nights.
This week was Panel Night where people from various aspects of the adoption process sat at a head table and took questions. Participants in the class were encouraged to bring with them family members and relatives who might be impacted by an adoption so they could participate as well.
The panel consisted of:
- An 18-yr-old adopted daughter of one of our class leaders.
- 2 representatives of APAC, the organization sponsoring the GPS class.
- A couple who already had one child who adopted one who was later diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (and had a ROUGH time).
- A couple who had three children of their own who have adopted, so far, six more.
- Two lawyers that specialize in adoptions (they will be ours when the time comes).
It was good to hear some of the stories of what happens when your children come home after an adoption, some of the problems and some of the victories. Honestly it was about what I had expected but there was some things we talked about that I had not thought about.
The end result of the night, for Mike, was a real peace about what we're doing and a confirmation that this is what we want to do. There is so much that can go wrong. There is so much that is going to change. And right now, as you read this you're shaking your head saying "You don't know the half of it!"
You're right. But neither did you before you had kids. One of the panelists said something that has really stuck with me. She said there is no difference between adopting a child and bringing one home from the hospital - unless you make it different. They need the same love, attention and care. The same security and consistency. They need the same family and home that you have, and had.
When we talk to each other about why we are doing this, it really makes the desire even stronger that we want to do it not only to have a family, but to be able to provide a home for someone who needs it.
We have been blessed immeasurably by God and when we bought our home, we made a commitment to look for ways to honor God with what He had provided. Through they years we have hosted missionaries, groups of missionaries and a our Thai "son", Beaver. We have never felt put out. We have never regretted a single moment.
We know things will be different. We know things will be tough. We know there will be times we look at each other and say "Why did we do this?" But the bottom line is, again, it's no different than it would be if we'd had our own.
We already love our kids. We can't wait for them to come home.