We were so excited about going to San Antonio for the weekend. We flew in on Friday afternoon and thought we might squeeze a nap in before orientation started that evening. No such luck as we jumped on the shuttle for the wrong Holiday Inn! Who knew there were like a million Holiday Inn's in San Antonio? We finally made it to the right hotel just in time to begin! There were 11 other couples there and that night we all sat in a circle and shared about our journeys. Each couple took a turn sharing and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. We also met the staff of the adoption agency as they introduced themselves that night. One story was particularly touching to us. There was a couple who had placed a baby for adoption while they were teenagers and that couple was still together all these years later trying to conceive a child. I think it was about 18-20 years later so the child would have been in college if I am remembering correctly. Seeing the heartache they were suffering not knowing anything about the child they placed so long ago made me realize the importance of open adoption. All they wanted was to know what he was up to and see some pictures but because their adoption was closed at the time they couldn't get any information.
The next day the staff girls of the agency basically overloaded us with information about our paperwork, the financial issues, our scrapbook, the issue of open adoption, etc. The moment that stood out to me on that day was hearing from a birthmom about her journey. There was a panel of birthparents and adoptive parents to talk with us and answer questions. This birthmom said that the only way she was strong enough to place her child with the adoptive parents she chose was because she would always know how that child was doing. She would get pictures and updates and visits along the way and that gave her peace. Her story was so touching.
We finished the day with dinner on the River Walk and had a great time! Our brains were all on overload and we needed some time to just hang out and get to know everyone better. The agency left us with the thought that from that point on we were "expecting." They said you are waiting for your baby just like other couples who are pregnant and waiting for their babies. We were told to go home and get to work on our nurseries and go register for baby items and do all the things you would do if you were birthing this child yourselves. We flew out that next morning on Sunday and we left with such.....hope. Something we had been without for so long but it was nice to finally have it back.
To be continued...