We were on the road at 5:30 am on June 10, 2006 headed toward Portland, Oregon for an International Adoption Baby Wellness class.(Grande Starbucks in hand!) Neither one of knew what to expect, but were anxious to gather information about babies in our attempt at being prepared. The class was sponsored by The Northwest Adoptive Familes Association and was being held at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.
When we arrived, we were greeted by a couple of NAFA members. They escorted us to a table full of anatomically correct baby dolls. Pat was instructed to pick out his daughter and then diaper and dress her. Before we knew what was happening, this infant was put into a front loading baby carrier and strapped to Pat's chest. "She is your responsibility for the rest of the day", we were told, "try out the restroom and caferteria with a front loader, you'll need the experience." Pat, bless his heart, was such a good sport!
The day consisted of videos, lectures, slides and even a live demonstration of proper bathing techniques taught by an RN that works in the NICU at the hospital. Our bathing model was a boy from Korea who had been with his forever family for just 2 weeks and who was cute as a button.
We learned all kinds of information and met some very nice people, including 30 parents-to-be, just like us...waiting. Meeting these people left a lasting impression on both of us. We realized that our story is not much different than other adoptive parents, although we were the only couple waiting for an Indian princess :)! There were a couple of families, in particular, who are waiting for children from Guatemala. Their story was heart wrenching...they have had their referrals since these children were days old and almost a year later, only have a picture to hold of a child that experiences new things everyday without them. I pray that we will not experience these kinds of delays.
The day concluded with an adoptive adult telling her story of adoption from her birth country–China. It was a moving story about growing up in a rural part of Idaho where no one looked like her. A wonderful way to leave the day...wondering about how you will see your new world...through your eyes!
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