I am finding it very difficult to put all of this into words. We had our 2 training days for this month that the agency requires us to do and I have been trying to find the right things to say about our days spent there. I don't think I can describe the emotions and excitement I had during those days but I'll give it my best. One of the counselors said it best on the first day...you are getting in line for a roller coaster ride--full of waiting, highs and lows. The training was held Thursday from 10-8 and Friday from 9-4.
First of all, Matt had to work the night shift the night before the training. He came home and took about a 45 minute nap before getting up to shower and head to the agency with me. We called the bank regarding our loan on the way there (we had dropped of our papers about a week and a half earlier) and the loan officer told us flat out that he forgot about it and hadn't looked at it since we dropped it off. We arrived at the office about 15 or 20 minutes early and both had to use the rest room so we headed into the building . We were the first couple there so we got to pick our spot in the conference room. We introduced ourselves to the next two couples and started chatting with them.
As the day got started, we introduced ourselves and told about what we did and what we were leaving behind. There was quite a mix of people/ occupations in our group of 6 couples. We have a contractor, pediatrician, airline upholstery person, financial adviser, attorney, sports guy, gal from the college of nursing, masonry guy, substitute teacher, and a mechanic. Only one of the couples besides us had a child and they had an 8 year old daughter. They also lived either in our area or with in a few hours. Most talked about leaving behind their work, cell phones, emails, etc but Matt said he was leaving behind sleep.
The day was led by the adoption supervisor and the three counselors. After introductions we got into some history and then and now type stuff with video and discussion. They reviewed positive adoption language and many of us laughed and how many members of our families need educated on this. We watched another short film that was basically an inspiration type.
Lunch was brought in and by this time Matt was dying. He thought he was going to be able to do it on no sleep but he couldn't take it. He looked terrible! It was only noon and we had until 8 PM. I was teary and tried to tell him that I wouldn't be mad if we needed to pull out and apply again in the spring for the program. He insisted in not doing that but he was a mess. Lunch was lasagna and watching a movie on birthfathers. I now he was having such a hard time with just sitting and listening.
By the afternoon, they told us over the break that if Matt wanted to go home and miss the birth parent panel, he could. I hated for him to miss this opportunity, but he had to work that night and be back at training the next morning. We decided that he would go home. I drove him back during the dinner break and got back just in time for the evening portion.
We had 3 birth moms speak on the panel. This is the part that I have the hardest time putting into words. It was amazing to hear these three speak. Two have participated in the panel several times and have great contact with their 13 and 9 year olds, respectively. The new speaker has a 5 year old and still has a difficult time with her decision, even though she knows it was the best choice for her baby.
We had some really good questions for the birth moms and everyone enjoyed hearing them speak and learning what they had to share with us.
The second day Matt got off work and drove to the parking lot of the agency to sleep for about 90 minutes in his truck. I drove up and met him there. I tapped on his window and woke him up about 5 minutes to start time. Two of the biggest items we discussed on day two were hospital stays and change of heart. The discussions were good and everyone was starting to open up a little more in the room. Matt was doing much better on day two.
Most of us went to lunch together during our 75 minute break. It was nice to get to chat with some of the others and one couple in particular Matt and I really enjoy. I hope that we are able to keep in contact with them.
This brings me to the thoughts I had during the informational meeting with the other couple. I felt so competitive for one of the spots. I wished them luck wholeheartedly but I felt like everything was a contest for those select spots. In the room with the 5 other couples, I felt nothing but a bond with these people as we prepare for this journey together. I want nothing more than to encourage, support, and celebrate with these families as they are all selected for their baby that God has in his plans for them to parent. I can't wait to hear the news when each one gets a placement. I do not care if we are the last in the group to get our placement, for I know this baby will be the one for us. The competitive feeling came from just wanting a chance- I just wanted to be in so I knew that we were actually working towards our baby.
I will be back this week to post some facts/ statistics about the placements the agency has done this year and a few other pieces of info I want to share.
We booked our first appointment with our counselor for visit #1 of our home study. She is coming down tomorrow afternoon, so needless to say, I spent the weekend cleaning the house. I really am not worried about this, even though I hear so many people stress about their home study. I did go out and buy a fire extinguisher- they said that is one of the things they are looking for. I'll let you know how it goes!