Philip and I just returned home from some pre-adoption training today in Des Moines that Bethany Christian Services allowed us to sit in on. While we didn’t hear anything new it was pretty helpful…mainly because we didn’t hear anything new. We’re starting to get to the point in our research and prep work where we’re familiar with what’s in all the books and educational resources so we feel like we’re going into this as prepared as we can. The final speakers were a couple who adopted a sibling group a year ago and we thought it was pretty funny that most of the really challenging stories they shared were the same things we deal with on a daily basis. While their kids had come from pretty rough backgrounds, after the first 6 months their problem areas sound very similar to any family with a bunch of small children. We did get a few more pointers on some ways to help with building a bond with Grace when she gets here, some of which are going to be hard to carry out, but seemed to be tried and true methods from quite a few adoptive families. We were encouraged to make sure that absolutely everything she needs on a daily basis is performed by only Philip and myself for at least the first few months. All food, gifts, help getting dressed or cleaned or help around the house should be coming only from us so she can understand what our roles are in her life and so she is forced to depend on us and start to trust us. Because these kids have been cared for by so many different people who never stick around they will accept just about anyone, which is great except that it allows them to not form a strong bond it any one person. We realize this is going to be tricky because so many people are going to want to meet her and interact with her and because we will be tired and want the help, but it sounds like it’s in everyone’s best interest to do this for a while.

Also, the documents that had to be redone in the dossier are finished and in the hands of one of our stateside facilitators who happens to be going to Kiev this weekend. This saved us mailing time and about $100, which is what it’s cost every time we’ve had to ship something over there. As far as we know we just get to wait until we hear something back from our Ukraine facilitators, which means this is the first time since this whole journey started that we don’t have anything really pressing to do this week! Philip and I are trying to figure out how to tackle the list of projects that haven’t been done the last few months and are looking forward to the breather!

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