As I have said before, I like to keep myself busy as we are waiting for any news from Bulgaria so Rob and I decided to attend a seminar on international adoption this past Saturday. This one was held at a local church in a neighboring county. The seminar was specifically directed at parents who were still in the process and had not brought their children home yet.
All of the people attending the seminar on Saturday were in various stages of the adoption process. Some were just beginning and had yet to complete their home study while others were like us and had already identified their child/children and had completed their dossiers. Several countries were represented as there were parents adopting from Ethiopia, China and Russia. As usual, we were the lone family adopting from Bulgaria.
The seminar was well planned, and the speakers were very knowledgeable. Rob and I chose two break out sessions to attend that day. One session was on adopting an older child, which in the world of international adoption means a child older than two. Since our little boy is three, we would fit right in. Rob and I both learned a lot from this class in regard to studies done on children raised in orphanages and the social and emotional development of these children. Emphasis was placed on meeting this children where they were developmentally and socially, not basing our responses as parents on their chronological age.
The second class that we attended was called "Eyes Like Mine" and was taught by an adult adoptee from Korea who now works as a counselor at an adoption agency and does home studies for families. The class was on transcultural and transracial issues in adoption. It was both fascinating and informative to hear about these issues from an actual adoptee. She really made all of adoptive parents, including me and Rob, think about difficult issues that we are going to encounter once we step off the plane with our child. After all was said and done, I would say that Rob and I came away enlightened but still very sure of our decision.