We, the staff, did everything we could to make the testing week a good experience for the kids. We fed them breakfast in the morning, a service not usually offered at school here, and had plenty of breaks with fruit and other good food to support them throughout the day. In the high school, classes were split up by test and learning abilities. Kait got a class full of 10th graders all taking their high school gradating exams for the first time. I got a class with students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) and had to read each question and response to them. Surprisingly, my class finished about the same time as the rest of the students.
Overall the testing week went well, if you don’t count one of my students ditching school during lunch. :)
Friday we used the opportunity to shop for food for next year and just hang out. I can’t believe how much I missed the “big” city. We walked in a Walmart and nearly cried. There were so many vegetables, all shapes and sizes. It was fantastic. We went crazy, buying about 50 lbs. of veggies. We filled 3 totes, filled 70 lbs. each of various non-perishable foods and mailed them back to ourselves. We also bought a bunch of food for a student council activity we’re having at the school this week and stuffed our checked bags with more food.
Friday night we went to an adoption dinner/fireside. It wasn’t exactly what I though it would be. When Kaitlyn said dinner, I thought...dinner. Dinner was actually code for “munchies”. The fireside was different than expected as well. Fireside really meant “birth mother panel”. This means that we sat and listened to a birth mother’s experience of giving up her child for adoption and what it was like for her. Surprisingly, it was very informative. What I learned most that evening was that adoptions are going more and more “open”. Meaning, that there is much more contact between birth mother (and family) and the adoptive couple. Without getting too lengthy, it really feels as if the adoptive couple is “marrying into” the baby’s family, or as if the baby’s birth mother’s family is the adoptive couple’s in-laws. Lots of contact; both families just have to learn to deal with a new family in their lives.
Saturday we were expecting to have more training all day, however, all our training got rearranged and we ended up just sitting through 11/2 hours of it. We are suppose to receive 10 hours of adoption training every time we want to adopt through LDS Family Services and the purpose of Saturday was to finish everything. After our 1 ½ training on Saturday combined with the other hours we had completed, our case worker informed us that we were done (or at least close enough) and that everything was ready to go.
This is where the “sort of” part of the title comes in. We have finished all the pre-requisites for adoption and can now be published. Being published means that our profile is on the LDS Family Services website (www.itsaboutlove.org) where birth mothers can search us out. We aren’t up just yet, our case worker said it would take her about two weeks before everything was up and ready to go. This is exciting because now we are eligible and things can happen. It’s bittersweet, though, because it could take just a few months or years before we are chosen. Oh well, at least we’re available!