Sunday, March 20, 2011

The adoption seminar

We attended about half of an adoption seminar at our church on Saturday morning. I had written about feeling some anxiety about attending, but, thankfully, I was cool as a cucumber while there. No tears. No threats of tears. I felt like a pretty normal person attending a seminar - not the heart broken and confused one I am on many other days. Including the day before. (Which, by the way, I ended up watching a TV episode on Hulu after writing that post to just get my mind to hit the reset button and stop freaking out on me. It worked.)

Overall, the seminar was great. I enjoyed the speakers, but I confess I did feel like an outside observer. I wasn't really engaged as I listened. Also, I did feel different than most of the people attending. I only knew about 25 of the (75?) people there...and of those, only one may be considering adopting because she has been unable to have children. Maybe.

Anyway, I didn't feel out of place in the awkward sort of way, but I felt like our main goal was very different than everyone else. The speakers' messages, and the choices of which break out sessions people attended, pointed to the goal of orphan care, which is sometimes done through adoption. These people want to respond to God's directive to care for the fatherless and the widow.

Me? Well, I just want to have a family. If I end up loving and caring for an orphan in the process, that seems like a bonus that God orchestrated.

There were break out sessions offered - a foster care panel with foster agencies speaking and answering questions, how to care for orphans without adopting, international adoption, etc. There was also one on private domestic adoption led by an adoption lawyer who attends our church, and this is the one that DH & I chose to attend.

We were the only ones there, which was fine. Because if you want to meet a need out there in the world, jumping into the pool of hopeful adoptive parents who are waiting for a newborn is not meeting as much of a need - especially if there are 40 adoptive couples waiting for each newborn placed (a statistic the lawyer said at one point)). But if you simply want to have a family, and experience as much of motherhood as you can....well, this is where we landed. Me & DH.

Well, actually, there was one more person, and it's a pretty hilarious story. As I mentioned, this overall seminar was not only about adoption, and they advertised it to also include people who wanted to learn about other ways to care for orphans. There was one single, late twenties guy there that we know, and I thought it was awesome that he attended. Seriously, I wanted to try to set him up with one of my single friends right then and there! He was there to learn and see what he can do.

Apparently there was another single, twenty-something guy in attendance (whom we had never met before), because as we were getting started in our private domestic adoption session, this guy walked by in the hall looking a little lost. The lawyer asked him innocently if he was coming "in here" to the private domestic adoption seminar, and the guy, who still looked pretty confused, shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sure." The lawyer then started going through his material, and a few minutes into it asked the guy if he was married (kind of assuming that most people who adopt privately are married), and the guy just answered a surprised, "No."

"Are you thinking about adopting?" the lawyer asked, confused.

"No," answered the single twenty-something.

"Oh," responded the lawyer, even more confused. "So...are you just trying to get information?"

"Yeah," said single guy.

Needless to say, the lawyer pretty much directed the rest of his presentation to us. It was comically awkward to have single twenty-something guy there, because he was clearly in the wrong room. Unfortunately for all of us, DH & I had to leave about half way through this session because we had a youth ministry commitment, so we had to leave before we got to hear most of the information. And while this was unfortunate for us to miss, it seemed even more unfortunate to leave the lawyer and single twenty-something alone. Ha ha!

All in all, I am glad we went. But I didn't feel like it was an "a-ha!" moment for DH & I, either.


RMCarter said...

I think just the fact that you *went* is a huge accomplishment. :) I am glad that there were no tears. I hope things get clearer for you as you go forward.

Leah said...

I'm glad the seminar went well and that you didn't feel out of place. I love your honesty about your thoughts on adoption. When my husband and I set out to adopt it was because I wanted to be a Mom. That was the single biggest reason. I wasn't looking to take care of the orphans in the world, or anything like that. Sure, along the way, I realized that my heart was now in it for different reasons as well, but it didn't start as that.

I also loved your last post so much. In a perfect world, adoption wouldn't exist. It just wouldn't, and sometimes the loss associated with it hurts me to my core.

Melody said...

Cracking up at the single dude and the lawyer ending that little break out session. Too funny! Glad you got some good information and it wasn't dramatic or anything.

Andrea said...

You will know WHEN and IF adoption is right for you :) It can't be forced, your heart dictates this one.

As for that 40 couples waiting on 1 newborn, that may be true, but I do know lots of people who'se profile was selected early in the process by a birth mother. So, don't let statistics play a major role. Besides, GOD orchestrates these things anyway :)

Still praying for your miracle...I'm not giving up on that one!


MyTwoLines said...

I'm glad you wrote this. I see many people saying they are pursuing adoption because they felt compelled to take care of the widows and orphans as God directed them to, and then they line up to adopt a healthy infant that otherwise would be adopted by the next couple in line, and so on. Not to mention, if you are doing something because God led you there you shouldn't crow about it, but that's a whole other issue, no? Yes, the babies we are adopting are orphans but they are also healthy babies, and we are the lucky ones! I wanted to be a Mom and international adoption is the way I will get there, plain and simple. I have a feeling, as we prepare for our first trip to Ethiopia and will meet countless older children who will never be so lucky, that I'm going to see what God really meant when he asked us to take care of the widows and orphans of the world.

Wishing you peace.

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