Today the hubs and I spent the majority of the day (8:30am-4:30pm) in a class called Adoption 101, the first in a series of classes we are required to take in order to become adoptive parents. It was a fun yet emotionally draining day full of lectures, videos, guest speakers and group exercises. The first thing we did (after we got to see the nursery–currently home to seven babies whose fate has yet to be determined) was an exercise that made the adoption journey much more real.
The front half of the room was asked to find an item on their person (or in their purse) that was of great value to them and hold it in their hand. Most people took off their wedding rings, some people pulled out their phones and others had random objects like glasses or pictures from their wallets. The woman leading the class came around the room with a basket and we had to place our valued items–the hubs and I both chose our rings–in the basket. She then took the basket to the back half of the room and told them to pick out something they wanted. The front of the room was not to look behind them to see what happened to their items. Needless to say, this cause quite a bit of anxiety in the front half of the room.
When asked how they felt about the items, the back half of the room said things like, “It’s beautiful but I’m not sure what to do with it.” and “It isn’t mine.” The front of the room said, “I want my item back.” When asked how I felt about the woman admiring my engagement ring, I said, “Well she seems really nice and I trust her to hold it, but I want it back.”
This experience was meant to simulate the adoption experience. She seems really nice. I trust her to hold it. But I want it back. My words about my ring. Scary when thinking that could apply to a child. However if it were better for my ring to be with that woman. If I couldn’t provide for my ring but the other woman could. If it just wasn’t the right time for me to have a ring. If I could still have a relationship with the ring. It just might be the best thing.
Adoption is the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate act of love. A woman who chooses to place her child for adoption chooses with a heavy and anxious heart but one full of love for her child. And it becomes the responsibility of the adoptive parents to ensure the child understands this–just one of the take aways from the class.
The rest of the day was really informative–especially the conversation we had with an adoptive family and the birth mother of one of their daughters. They have a great relationship and it was just the perfect image of open adoption at its best. The class left me hopeful for the future and ready to continue moving forward with creating our family through adoption.