So, we’re a few days into our vacation and life is good. It’s really nice to get up on a Tuesday morning and not have to go to work, or to be anywhere at any given time. Today is Craig’s birthday and his choice of celebratory activity is to play golf, so the two of us have a tee time later this afternoon. We had plans to play with a friend, but she ended up having to work.
We had a great evening last night. First we attended a seminar at The Barker Foundation (our home study agency) about maintaining your internationally adopted child’s culture and heritage. We have already completed our required pre-adoption training, but this was a part of an ongoing series of seminars for waiting parents. The presenter was the adoptive mom of two Korean children who also founded a nonprofit called Korean Focus, which offers support to families who adopted from Korea. [Kelly C. – they have a Seattle chapter you might want to check out!] She kept her presentation brief and most of the time was spent with Q&A from the audience of prospective adoptive parents. While the vast majority of attendees were pursuing a Korean adoption, the questions were all broad enough that it wasn’t focused solely on Korea.
I think the biggest tip I took from the seminar was that we can’t just set out a regimented plan for these things from day one; we need to take cues from our child as to what he/she is interested in. Obviously at the young ages we will do what we can to expose Ethiopian culture, but as our child grows we should let him or her participate in the decision to go to a culture camp or to take Amharic lessons or whatever else. We don’t want to force them into anything, but as the adults we will also have the responsibility to offer the choices. We also talked about the best ages for a homeland visit and also how to deal with racial issues and so on. I thought it was a worthwhile presentation.
Anyway, perhaps the best part was that we got to meet Alan and Lindy from Planet R-H! A few months ago Alan happened upon this blog and introduced himself. He and his wife Lindy were at that time investigating agency options for their Ethiopian adoption and were looking at the Barker/WHFC combination. We’ve chatted here and there since then and found that we have a fair amount in common. Anyway, they have now officially started their journey and last night we met at the seminar. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I love that this blog connects us to others on the adoption journey. We all went out for a bite to eat after the seminar and got to know each other a little more. We look forward to getting together again sometime in the near future.