Adoption Update – Crossings

Fun news! After four paper-filled months, we finished our last home study interview at the Lifeline office on Friday morning! So other than turning in a few remaining pieces of info, we’re all set to move on to the immigration part of our process. What that entails, we’re not really sure right now (we’re guessing more paperwork!)- but I’ll be sure to post an update over on our Adoption Timeline page once we’ve completed it! (Note: I *think* it takes a few months to complete this step too, so it may be a while before anything pops up over there.)

After we wrapped up our home study interview Friday morning, we grabbed a quick lunch, and then headed in to a room where we met five other adoptive couples, and the folks who were leading/helping out with Crossings. (A two-day seminar equipping families for international adoption.)

In the center of each of our tables was a giant pile of candy and some “fidgets”, just in case we needed a pick-me-up during our 13.5 hours (total) in the meeting room.

Crossings_Lifeline_International_Adoption

The training was lead by Whitney White, who works at Lifeline as their international adoption counselor…

Crossings_International_Adoption_Training_Lifeline

…and before I tell you about our favorite part of Crossings, I wanted to share some of the things I scribbled down/read during our time there:

– Every child desires to belong to, and love, a (safe) adult because God designed us that way. He designed us as relational beings, so that we would have a deep need and desire to connect with Him and those around us.

– We’re responsible for all insight in the beginning, and it’s very important to keep our expectations in check.

Expectations_Diappointment_Reality

– We must strive to understand their world. It takes frequency, intensity, and duration for an at-risk child to heal. Remember the importance of exhibiting grace and compassion, and never minimize a child’s experience.

– Children need a balance of equal parts nuture and structure, and we would do well to look to how Jesus taught and interacted with people as our guide and model for connecting with our children. Even in his last days on this earth, Jesus was focused on connecting with people who, in the image of God, were created to connect.

Child_Hand_Adult_Hand

– For every year spent in an orphanage, a child may be delayed by six months, and according to Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, trust is learned in the first 18 months of life. (Our child will more than likely be above the age of 18 months, so we were very grateful for the important reminders to love unconditionally, and to parent with extreme patience. On day one of the seminar, I jotted down, “reveal to me what I need to know to parent this child to the best of my ability” because I thought that was a such great prayer for soon-to-be parents to cling to.)

– Be mindful of your child’s whole being– their heart, mind, soul and strength. Dr. Karyn Purvis wrote, “By loving and nurturing your child in that kind of holistic way, you can give them the gift of real hope– an opportunity to heal and become whole“.

Heart

I imagine our appreciation for those insights (and many more) will only continue to grow in the coming months and years- as will our appreciation for our favorite part of Crossings: the people.

Crossings was a mandatory part of our home study process, but now that we’ve completed it, I can really see the importance of attending this kind of training whether it’s required or not. If you’re an adoptive parent and you’re on the fence about attending something similar- I’d love to encourage you to go! Kevin and I struggle with social anxiety sometimes, but spending that kind of time with five other couples who are also in the process of adopting children (of all ages and races) was so awesomeThroughout the two days, we were exposed to a lot of very tough-to-process/super-important-to-know information, and feeling like we were all in it together was so helpful. Between sections, we exchanged everything from stories & support to contact info and cookies, and Kevin and I left feeling so much more Connected. To encouraging new friends, to each other, to our child, to our agency, to this process…and to the One who is at the center of it all.

PS- For those who have attended something similar- we’d love to read about your experience  if you’d like to share it in the comments section below!

Half Bath Update - Barn Light
Adoption Home Study #4 and 5

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Comments

  1. Jen says

    Where are you guys adopting from? We are thinking of going international. We just had a birthmother change her mind. :(

  2. Alicia says

    Hi Layla!

    Congrats on finishing your homestudy! This is such a big milestone! My husband and I are in the process of bringing our son home from Taiwan. We had to attend a workshop with our homestudy organization, but we didn’t find it very helpful. We also had to read several adoption books (not The Connected Child, but I’m wanting to read it) which were helpful but borderline overwhelming too!

    You mentioned that you were about to star the immigration part of your paperwork. I found, honestly, that this was probably one of the easiest parts of the whole journey! We applied for his Visa, USCIS told us to go to one of their specific offices, we were fingerprinted, and we received our approval. I loved that they somewhat “guided” us through it by telling us our next steps. We haven’t exactly had that with our homestudy organization.

    Anyways, I wish you an amazing journey towards bringing your child home!

  3. Jaimee says

    I visited your site for the first time today and was moved to tears (at work!) upon reading that you are moving toward adoption. I was adopted 44 years ago by a young couple who opened their home and the deepest places in their hearts to not one, but eventually three, children who were born of others. They eventually had a biological child as well, whom they loved just the same as/differently from each of their adopted children. I thank God every day for the women who had the strength and foresight to relinquish the children of their flesh to be raised and loved by complete strangers as the children of their hearts. I am praying for you, that you will be led by God in this undertaking and that you may have the courage to face the challenges and triumphs of adoption as His own. And by the way…. even Jesus was adopted!

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