500th post and back at it.
This past Friday, we ventured about an hour away to our agency's main office and participated in an "Experienced Parenting" class that is the official first step in our home study for baby #2. The class was really enlightening. Honestly, we rarely think about Declan being adopted. He's just our son. DNA doesn't really come in to play. On Friday we had to think a lot deeper about things. The speaker talked about how to handle questions at certain ages as well as how to integrate Dec's adoption story in to his life as he gets older. At this point, we talk about being in his birthmom's tummy and how they picked us to be his mommy and daddy and that's the extent of it. We see both birthparents as well and that's so important, especially as he gets older and understands things.
We also talked about balance. How do we balance 2 open adoptions? This is something we hadn't even thought about. Right now, we see Dec's birth parents separately (they aren't together anymore) every 2-3 months. It works well and we love our time together. What will this picture look like with another set of birthparents (+ their parents?) to the mix? Sounds tricky to me. Our family unit is of most importance and the speakers encouraged us to set clear boundaries and do what feels manageable for us. What will this look like in the future? Total unknown.
Lastly, there were panels of adoptive parents that had multiple open adoptions. Their stories were encouraging, challenging, hilarious, and thought provoking. More than anything we learned that there is an extra layer of "stuff" to deal with in all age brackets when it comes to being an adopted child. At lunch we talked about continuing to shower Declan and our future children with love and offering them a secure environment. We want them to draw security from being a child of God. We want them to draw security from us as parents who have a strong marriage. We want them to draw security from the fact that they are so very lucky to have birthparents who love them and made a difficult and selfless decision.
We walked away with our minds rolling. Definitely in a good way. We are so excited about now moving forward. I've got be honest- we're not so excited about all the home visits, fingerprints, back ground checks, physicals, etc. Bleh. But those are steps towards our next child and that's what excites us.
My heart is so full thinking of Declan as a big brother. It's full with excitement over how this next child will come to be in our lives. And it's also overflowing with the blessing of having Declan in our lives right now. Our little family of 3. So happy.