I’m gonna start with the Duke story first. Most of you know that Mark and I had a dog, a yellow lab, named Duke. We got him just before we got married in 2005, thanks to my Daddio. Duke was around when Jackson was born and had a pretty tough time with sharing our attention with a little one. We tried to make things work with Duke, but his behavior was getting worse. We are to blame because we were guilty of not giving him the attention that he needed. Well, one day, when Jackson was a few months old Mark was mowing the lawn in the backyard. He accidentally left the side gate open slightly and Duke took off. Mark was just steps behind him. When Duke made it to our front yard there was a woman walking her dog passing by. Duke approached them and according to the woman “looked like he was going to bite her”. He barked and then Mark grabbed him and apologized. A couple weeks later I was served with papers saying that Duke was a vicious, unleashed animal. We had to appear in court, explain our case and pay a fine. Duke was not a vicious dog. Anyone who ever knew him knew he was the sweetest, most gentle doofus of a dog. But, his time with us came to an end and we gave him to a family that could give him the attention that he deserved. Fast forward to this past Friday. We check in to our first day of adoption training and Beth, one of the social workers, greeted us. Then she told me that all of our background checks and fingerprints had been received and were cleared. (On a side note, the FBI check usuallly takes 12-14 weeks to get back. Ours set a new agency record….I week, 5 days. 🙂 Then Beth said that I had a conviction on my record. WHAT, I thought??? Then she said it was a vicious dog conviction. Mark and I both laughed. That crazy dog got the last word!
Day #2 of our training was AMAZING….seriously AMAZING. But it was also more emotionally draining than we ever thought it could be which is why I am just now posting about it. We had sessions on adopting a child of another race, newborn baby care, medical and health issues, and two panels: and adoptive family panel and a birth mom panel. It was all eye-opening and enlightening. Here are some take-aways from Saturday:
-Adoption is celebrated and abandonment is ignored. We CANNOT ignore the fact that our child will be suffering the loss of love from the only mother he/she has ever known. This is trauma at it’s worst and an infant only hours old has to go through it.
-It is our job as parents to shoulder the burden of our child’s past and journey with them. We should be students of our children, always willing to accept when we’ve made a mistake, change our ways of handling situations if somethings not working and always striving to be as educated as possible.
-Adoption can be a long process. We need to realize the blessings in front of us and try to not diminish the present worrying about what the future holds for our family.
-Open adoption CAN be a wonderful experience for the birth family and adoptive family. Mark and I were very leary of this type of adoption, but feel like God is really softening our heart to it.
Thanks to all of you for your support and checking in on us, especially this weekend, which was full of emotional ups and downs. Regardless, Mark and I are more convinced now than we ever have been that we are following God’s will for our family. While it will bring many challenges and struggles, we’re ready and willing!!!