Monday, January 12, 2009

Second Visit

Eric and I enjoyed our second visit this weekend. We had a chance to spend some more time with the residents where K lives, and that was nice. There are some really neat kids there. One in particular has taken to Eric, chanting his name and just telling some jokes and things like that.

We had a chance to go to McDonalds. Even though they did have a Play Place, it was outside. So that didn't work out so well. But there were a couple of games inside. We spent a little time doing that, and then we went bowling. I was impressed that K took some direction when he wasn't listening or was too excited to focus clearly. We had a lot of fun, and I definitely came off the visit feeling very good about things. The assistant director of nursing came with us to supervise the visit. It was neat to meet someone who has known him since he was VERY little and who is obviously very protective of him. I think it helped her to get to spend some time with us and see where we're coming from and what we're bringing to the relationship. We also were able to assure her that we plan to continue contact between K and the home by bringing him back to visit, etc.

So now we're to the point where they are going to explain to K that we are planning to adopt him. We decided that we needed to tell him before we bring our son down to meet him on Saturday. The nurse is apparently going to do this on Wednesday, and that she will call me to tell me how it goes. I can only imagine how huge that will be for him to hear. I hope that he is open to the idea, and that he is able to process a little bit before we meet again on Saturday. They asked today if our decision to adopt him would be based on how Saturday goes.

Here's what always gets me. I know where these types of questions come from. There are a lot of people that think, "It would be so nice to adopt" but they don't realize the realities that go with it. So often people back out of these decisions after the kids have already been told what is going on. This just leaves the kids scarred and not as open to accepting or fully understanding the next time the possibility comes around. K has had a couple near adoptions so far, so I can understand if this "announcement" makes him a little more anxious around us. To this point, he just knows us as two folks who come to visit and spend some time with him.

So, would we change our minds if the boys don't get along? Absolutely not! It's like asking a parent if they're going to give their newborn back if their older child doesn't get along with him/her when they come home from the hospital. We EXPECT this to be rough - for both boys. One is going to learn what it is like to have a brother living and sharing a set of parents that he's had almost exclusively to himself for the past 2.5 years. The other is going to work on figuring out just what it means to leave the only home he has ever known to live with almost complete strangers and go from having five other kids in the house to just one. And we are going to need to try to rise above it all to keep things going as smoothly as possible, identifying problems along the way and working to find whatever is needed to help everyone navigate this maze.

Today we learned that we will need to have CPR and First Aid Training. This is a requirement for all parents removing a child from this home, and something we'll have to complete before we can have an overnight visit at our home. Fortunately, we were able to find two classes within the next seven days! We'll be able to fulfill our First Aid qualifications by Saturday, which means that we will be able to go on our first unsupervised visit with both boys in the community. This is a huge step in gaining our identity as a family. It's a little scary, of course. But we feel ready. We've done this before. Typically, we don't get any chances to meet the children that come to live in our home until the day that they move in. So we feel really fortunate to be getting these chances to get to know our new son before he comes home. This is such a difficult transition for the kids, and I really feel like it's helpful for him, too.

Anyway, four more days. We're all really busy with details at work, home, and with the upcoming adoption and transition--but we know that we'll be able to get through this, and that it's all worth it. I just keep bringing myself back to what we could have done in an international adoption, and this seems like a very small price to pay. I'm trying to use my time wisely to get my stuff together at home. There is a lot of organizing that continues to need to be done (it seems like even if I make progress, it doesn't take long before I need to do another big stretch of it. Such is life. Better get to it!

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