Monday, July 7, 2008
Our agency, AAI, requires all adoptive parents to take at least one adoption class. So, after our children are snug in their beds, after they've asked permission for their last trip to the potty or their last ice water refill, or been told to stop talking for the last time, Mr. Smarty and I snuggle in for another adoptive parenting DVD. We are going through a series called Because They Waited, which discusses the needs of children who are mildly to moderately affected by their early life-like living in an orphanage or any less than optimal condition. In the last dvd we watched, the intstructor made the statement, "There are no good orphanages."
But I wanted to blurt out: "But ours is!...our agency hires only carefully trained caregivers. They assure us that all infants are held while bottle-feeding, the children play in the outside courtyard every morning, the staff to child ratio is as good as it as childcare facility, etc." But I didn't interrupt the dvd and instead, waited for the instructor to explain herself.
But she didn't really have to. Her comment came right to mind this past weekend when Baby took his first series of steps. I squeeled! I clapped! I cheered! I would get speechless but still beamed so he knew I was pleased and proud. Yet through my smiles and cheers, my mind was divided thinking of our future children who may learn to walk in an orphanage. I wondered how excited the carefully trained caregivers would get. And even the most attentive caregiver is only a shift caregiver. They may not even be aware that this is my child's FIRST step. And its not just about MY child..but every child in an orphanage or less than optimal care. Every child deserves a cheerleader for their first step, don't they?