Saturday, January 21, 2012
Nick and I had the opportunity to go to "Infant and International Adoption Training" this weekend. It was a a 10 hour course, which took place over a period of 2 days. They gave us a 2 in. binder when we walked in and said "start reading". Not really! Well, we did get the binder packed full with information, but we didn't have to read our way through training. That would have been a really long 10 hours!
There were about 7 other couples taking the course with us. (For those adopting international from Hauge countries, this training is required. We fell into this category.) It was great getting to meet these other couples and here a bit of their story. There was even one couple there who had 2 biological children in the home and were adopting from Thailand - just like us! We look forward to connecting with them in the future.
The course was a mixture of lecture, discussion, videos and exercises (activities). All of these were quite informative and raised plenty of issues and things to think about/consider before and after you add a child to your family.
On of the exercises that we did really sticks out to me,
so I thought I would share it with you.
Grab a piece of paper. Go ahead, grab it. Now write down the following:
1. Most important person in your life.
2. Your most important role in life.
3. Your support system (family, friend, etc)
5. The word 'Knowledge' - represents all that you know/have learned.
6. Your favorite place to be.
7. The words 'Cultural Information' - things you know and are familiar with about your culture.
8. The word 'Resources' - your money, home, job, etc
9. The word 'Values' - represents your beliefs that shape who you are
10. Activity that is most precious to you.
(I don't specifically remember this one, just made it up based on the answer I have written down!)
Now then, once your list is complete, cross off 6 things.
6 things you can live without.
Now cross off 2 more.
And just because I feel like it, cross off 1 more thing. Nah, make that 2 more things.
Hard isn't it?
Now imagine if that wasn't just a list but instead it was your life.
Wow. Really puts yourself in the shoes of the adoptive child.
Even if the child has no family. No home, other than an orphanage. No resources.
They are still coming to join your family with loss.
Every orphan has lost something. Someone.
While adoption is a beautiful thing. It is founded from loss.
And that loss must be dealt with in a healthy and loving way.
So one of our first roles as new parents will be to establish emotional trust with our child. To really let them feel. Discover who they are. Discover that they have a place. A home. A family. And to process all that they have lost alongside them. Walking through it hand in hand. And then rejoice, when they are ready, for all the gains.
For beauty is brought out of ashes.
I'm sure we can all speak to that on one level or another in our own lives.
I know that for me, from the ashes, from the darkness of my sin, God rescued me. He pulled me up out of the mud into His glorious light. But that came with a loss. A loss of my pride (to put it mildly) in order to gain what was not mine, but was offered as a gift.
Beauty from ashes.
Thank you Lord.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10