Vision Statement: Strengthening Eternal Families by Promoting and Defending Adoption and
Increasing our Involvement in the Community

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part Five

Eric and Heather are a prospective adoptive couple who are sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services. Eric and Heather hope that by sharing their experiences others will feel the same peace and support they have received and gain a better understanding of how the adoption process works.

Click on the following to read their previous posts:

Part Five:  The Adoption Education Classes

We really didn’t know what to expect when we arrived at the adoption education classes. We had talked to a few other couples who had attended other classes in years past but no one we had talked to had ever done courses over an entire weekend. I guess the classes used to be held one evening a week for eight consecutive weeks. For us, doing it in one weekend worked really well because I serve in Young Women’s and Eric is the Scout Master so often times we have other commitments during the week.

The classes were for three hours on Friday and then all day on Saturday. Honestly, we thought that this could quite possibly make for some really long days, but we were pleasantly surprised. By the end, I was actually kind of disappointed how quickly it all went by.

On Friday, we spent a good majority of the time just getting to know the other couples in the class. We had a fairly small group with about ten couples. We started by introducing ourselves and providing a brief explanation of what brought us to LDS Family Services. It was amazing to me how almost instantly we had a bond and connection with each couple in the room. It was so comforting to be talking and listening to people who were in the same situation as us. After we got to know each other a little better, we spent the remainder of the evening talking about what we were expecting throughout the remainder of the adoption process and learning a little more about LDS Family Services.

During breakfast on Saturday, we were able to take some time and get to know the other couples and members of FSA a little better before starting the actual classes. We spent the first portion of the morning going over Blue Step. Blue Step is the online program that each couple provides information on their background, family, and preferences. Each social worker took some time to go over each portion, provide input and answer questions. This was really helpful for us because after hearing how the program works and hearing the social worker's perspective about certain things, Eric and I actually went through and made a few minor changes to our profile.

Throughout the rest of the day, there were a variety of panels who spoke about their adoption journey, and we had the opportunity to hear the perspective of some children and teenagers who were adopted, and even learn about other alternatives, such as international and special needs adoption. I found these panels to be so incredibly helpful and each person had a different story and a different perspective and that was really beneficial to hear. It made us realize how we are all in very similar situations but everyone’s story is so unique and every person handles things different. 

My absolute favorite part of the entire weekend was when they brought in these three absolutely incredible birth moms into the room. We had the privilege of inviting family members to come listen and I am so grateful for that we could have some of our family be there with us. When these three beautiful women walked in, a very sweet spirit followed them. As we sat and listened to their stories, everyone in the room could feel of their incredible strength and their love for their child. I honestly can’t even begin to describe the feelings that I felt and the love that I felt for these women who I didn’t even know. Each of them had an amazing story and I know that it took so much strength for each of them to come share that with us and be willing to answer questions. These three women left a lasting impression on Eric and I and they have inspired countless conversations about these amazing young girls and women who have placed their child for adoption. Before the classes we had discussed how much we admire and respect women who have the courage to do what these women have done, but neither Eric nor I have ever really known or talked to a birth mom, making this experience so tender to both of us. This truly was an invaluable experience that I know we will cherish and remember forever.

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