Really, classes 1 and 2 because we had to take them out of order. The other ones were class 3 and 4. More exercises and discussions about what to expect, what the child may be going through, etc. The nice thing about this class was having a familiar face when walking in. There was a couple adopting from Ethiopia from class 3 and 4 that we bonded with a little. They live pretty close and we may one day get together for Ethiopian food!
It’s just too bad that they didn’t make the cut-off for Korea. Our kids would have been coming around the same time, would have been around the same age and it would have given them someone they could relate to right away. It seems to be my destiny that I always connect with people who are just short of being ideal in terms of convenience! Different state, different town, different school district, different sex, always something that requires more effort. One day, I will meet someone who will like me, who’s husband will like my husband, who’s kids will like my kids, who will not only live in my state, but in my town and on my block! Oh, I digress…
Back to the class. One exercise had 4 in each group drawing something on a piece of paper with a crayon. We were not allowed to talk. Then one person got pulled and a new person joined. The new person came in and put big ugly Xes on our work. Kind of shocking, but I figured there was a point to all this. Then another person left and a new person came in with a white crayon and started drawing. We had to look really carefully to see what she drew.
So, the points were that it was hard to communicate without words, what we will be going through with our child. It was hard to join an already formed group and easy to feel invisible (white crayon). It was hard to have someone new join and be disruptive (the Xer).
Then we were shown a “puzzle” different pieces labeled as biological age, appearance age, emotional age, intelligence age, social age, etc. Underneath was the biological age and what age an adoptee child would project. I expected some delay even in an otherwise healthy normal child. A 2 year old would be closer to 18 month in motor skills and verbal skills… yeah OK. What was shocking was to see that a 2 year old could be as young as 3 months socially. Lisa, our social worker gave example of how a 2 year old at home with us may not no how to feed herself. May spit out the food to show dislike. May throw temper tantrums. May pee on herself.
All of these classes just make DH and me think that younger is better. Coward that I am, I rather not deal with a spitting, peeing 2 year old. I rather deal with the disruptiveness of a 6 month old than a 2 year old that can scream at me or hurl vases at the wall. It’s funny in a way that I was so disappointed that we probably wouldn’t get an older child (not really available in Korea) and now we are happy that we’ll probably get an 8 month old.
Well, may be happy isn’t the best word to describe where I am at emotionally. I’m conflicted. When we were driving home, I asked DH whether he would have still applied for adoption if we had taken these classes before we applied. He didn’t know how to answer that question and neither do I. What I do know for certain is that, honestly, it would have taken us a lot longer to apply. We would have over-thought this to death as we do and I don’t know what we would have decided. Perhaps we would still be thinking about it now.
I think about the few friends we have that still have only one child. They seem to be OK. Their child seem to be OK. I don’t know what drives us! D says so that Soso won’t be alone when we’re gone. But if Soso follows the norm, gets married and have children of her own, will she really be alone? I say so that she can have companionship growing up. But if there is a 6 year age gap, is that even relevant?
Oh, there are just so many emotions and thoughts that come up with this process. And for now the ball is rolling and it is easier to let it continue to roll. At the end of the day, if we stop the ball, all we’ll lose is money. But if the ball continues to roll, I hope somethings get resolved before a real child is actually involved.
Except a real child is involved. Soso. She so wants a baby sister. She prays for it every night. And now she expects one to come on the airplane, born from our heart, not from Mommy’s belly when she’s around 6 years old.
I tell you, sometimes life just isn’t easy.