My husband and I recently took a trip to Chesapeake, Virginia in a BMW i3. You may be thinking “BMW? Who drives a BMW?” Well, the payments are the same as our Prius payments were, and we’ll get a tax credit for it, so we’re totally frugal. You may also be thinking “Prius? Who drives a Prius?” to which I say, leave this blog. [bats eyes]
So the reason for our trip to Chesapeake is because the Virginia office of the adoption agency with which we are working, Adoptions from the Heart, is located there and we had an educational meeting required by their adoption process.
Chesapeake is an interesting town about half an hour east of Richmond. The route we took involved a bridge over the Atlantic ocean and a tunnel under it (ok, not the whole ocean, but a speck of it in Chesapeake Bay). I’ve always felt that tunnels under the ocean should have a UN mandate to be transparent. I was again disappointed in that regard, but it was still a pretty cool experience.
The meeting was originally scheduled to be with other prospective parents, which was why we couldn’t reschedule the 9:00 am meeting to something a little less ridiculous-in-the-morning (it’s a 2.5 hour drive from our town, which meant getting up at a ghastly 6:00 am). However, upon arrival, we learned the other parents could not make the meeting (see?) and we would be the only learners. We were offered a breakfast of fruit and croissant (we were told we were kind of weird, because almost nobody ever actually eats the fruit).
The lessons of the day were meant to be an introduction to open adoption, why it’s good, and topics in transracial adoptions. Open adoption, in case you’re wondering, is adoption in which the adoptive parent(s) maintain some level of communication with the birth parent(s), whether that be a letter once a year, or monthly camping trips together. This philosophy of adoption is thought to have many advantages for the child, including benefits to self esteem (“why did she not want me?” isn’t really a question children of open adoptions typically ask themselves, because they are raised knowing her situation made adoption the most loving choice), and access to genetic/family history. It’s totally a thing, and is becoming mandatory in more and more adoption agencies and state governments.
The piece de resistance of the meeting was the guest speakers. The first guest was a woman who determined adoption was the best thing for her second child after losing the social support of her parents and husband. Her story was heartbreaking, funny, hopeful, and smart. I was verklempt. My husband cried. The other guest speaker was a self-proclaimed “beer-drinking, Harley-riding, fishing-on-the-weekend” adoptive father, who shared his experiences of the adoption process. (Conclusion: the hardest part is driving north through the Washington DC turnpike traffic). He reminded me of the Dr.Seuss quote — “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.”
And while we’re at the Seuss quotes — “A person’s a person no matter how small,” which basically sums up the transracial adoption segment of the training. To which we were already on board.
If you’re interested in learning more about Adoptions from the Heart, here is their website.
I’m starting this blog as a way to communicate with anyone interested in my expedition into fatherhood. Friends and family, perhaps our future child’s birth parents, maybe people thinking about adopting a child, or even someone thinking about placing a child for adoption, or any other curious weirdos. I’d like to document the process, stuff we’re doing around the house, the early years of our hypothetical child, and any other random crap I might find interesting. If you want, stay tuned. Bookmarking me, following me and my husband on twitter, and subscribing to my Youtube channel (once it’s up and running) are all ways to keep tabs on the Jesse and Josh show.
[image “blue tunnel” by flickr user Vincent Lock licensed CC BY-2.0]