Kim and I attended our first official adoption training in Chicago this weekend. My aunt was gracious enough to let us stay the weekend with her, and my mom came down to help with the kids, so it was really quite convenient. Thanks for all the help!
So what is adoption training anyway? Well, I wasn’t quite sure either, but we are required to have 8 hours of in-person training and 10 hours of online training. So this counted towards our in-person hours. Why all the training? We’re already parents right? Well, I guess there are things specific to adoption that we need to be aware of. Something I didn’t realize but adopted kids are by definition ‘at risk’ because they don’t have parents right away. They don’t have a ‘normal’ childhood. And this can lead to mild to severe developmental problems. Kids need love. Kids need attention. And children in orphanages, or passed between care givers don’t get that. So there are things to be aware of.
We spent the morning hearing from a child psychologist. He talked about the basic needs of children, how to tell when they’re at their limit, and what to do to help them cope. Kids don’t have the same learned coping mechanisms that adults have learned, so they often express their frustrations in erratic often explosive ways. It’s important for a parent to help your child learn appropriate ways to express themselves. And sometimes just giving them a squeeze (or proprioception) can do the trick. I appreciated hearing from him. He gave us several things to think about.
The afternoon was especially helpful as they brought in a family who adopted from South Koren through our same agency. Talk about relevant! It was so sweet to see their two adopted Korean boys sitting right there in front of me. It almost made cry to see the reality of it. It’s not just paperwork or theory or a picture in a book. There they were! Adoption works, and now they have two loving parents. The father kept imploring us “Adoption is worth every second! It’s a long process and there will be difficulties. But it is so worth it. It’s worth every second!” I think we needed to hear those words, to see those kids there in the room with us, and see that this actually works. Families do come together this way. Hearts are blended. Children are loved. What a beautiful picture. And to think that God does this for us just blows me away.