Sunday, January 11, 2009

parenting classes

We have been taking a couple of parenting and adoption courses online. Our adoption agency requires several hours of education credits before you can complete your homestudy (where the social worker comes and talks to you.) We worked through two in the last week: Let's Talk Adoption and The Conspicious Family. They were both fairly informative and made you think about a couple of things.

Let's Talk Adoption
This was a course that deals with how you talk to your adopted child about being adopted. Some of it was meant for parents adopting older kids and addressed issue like how to talk to them if their parents abused them or committed crimes. Mainly, it was about keeping the lines of communication open so that your child feels like they can ask questions about their birthparents and how they came to be with you. The trend in adoption is to talk to your child as early as possible, so that there aren't any secrets about where they came from. No one has to watch what they say or worry about whether they've exposed any hidden truths. Charlie and I both feel like adoption is a blessing to us and we will share it early and often.

Conspicuous Families
This class was interesting and I think we both enjoyed it. The main theme was when you adopt a child that is a different race, it will be obvious to the world that the child is adopted, and there will be lots of questions about that fact. Some will be rude. Some will just be curious. And the course helps you work through how to answer those questions without being offended and to educate people at the same time.

For example "How much did you pay for that baby?"

Answer "We paid for the social work time and the legal fees, not for the baby itself."

It was a pretty good course and it made me think. I often ask questions of the women around me that have adopted and they are very forthcoming with the information. But I did have to ask one friend about the appropriate way to ask those questions. I mean, when you see a blond lady with an Asian daughter, it's pretty likely that she's adopted. I guess the woman could be married to an Asian man (that's possible...totally!) but usually adoption is the case. But how do I walk up and ask what adoption agency they used or what their experience was like without sounding completely uncouth? Yikes. My friend Sarah helped me realize some of the same things the course taught us, but in return. I will be the one answering the questions this time.

Lots more to learn. Lots more.

4 comments:

Evi said...

Just wanted to stop by and remind you that you are being prayed for!

2China4Ayla said...

Sissy - We rarely go out in public without being stopped. Most often it is just curiousity, sometimes it is because someone is interested in adoption and sometimes it is rude. I have gotten concerned a time or two about how my girls are feeling about this but so far we have come out ok with this stuff. It is nice (rare) to go out and have people be friendly and have no inquiries about how are family is formed. I do not mind sharing about our family, I am completely proud of the way our family was formed but sometimes it is nice when people just see us as a loving family and not a bi-racial family or adopted family. Does your agency count books for the parenting courses? I can recommend several if you are interested. I am excited for you to get through each step....and cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for you!

Bird, Frizzy and Our Little Yaya said...

We attended a parenting class and read several books. They were all eye opening and helpful. The most helpful were the conversations we had with families who had adopted and could tell us their experiences good and bad. Don't want to hear bad stories but they are helpful in preparing you for the unexpected. Love how you are sharing all of this. Can't wait to read what you do next.

Krystyn said...

Interesting post!

And, really those types of questions are asked of all parents...not even the ones that adopted...like "how did she get red hair?" Or, for my friend with triplets, did you have fertility treatments?

Seriously, no tact!

Prayers for your endeavors, I imagine it can be a long and bumpy road.