Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Keep Austin Weird"

No lie, that's a slogan that you will see in the city of Austin, TX. I'm not sure how weird it is, but it is big. And far. We had to drive there on the weekend of May 31st to attend a seminar for our adoption.

I hate travel, people. HATE it. But I survived. We played "20 Questions" and sang "Fried Ham" to keep ourselves entertained. I tried to get a video of Dustin singing "Fried Ham" in his best Billy Mays impression (that's the Oxyclean guy by the way, whom we mercilessly mock at each commercial), but he would not let me. It was hilarious though. You'll just have to take my word for it (or call Dustin and beg him until he does it for you... yeah, that might work). I married a silly man. I laugh at with him constantly. At least our children will be entertained.

When we arrived at our hotel, we requested a room on the ground floor. They only had one. We went to it and it smelled, in Dustin's words, "musty". It my words, it smelled like urine. I know what musty smells like and I know what urine smells like. This was not musty. It was a very nice hotel, however, so the "musty" smell really surprised me. So back to the front desk we went and very kindly requested a different room, since this one was "musty". They apologized profusely and said it would not be a problem. A woman that I can only assume is a manager was standing there and said that for our inconvenience they were going to upgrade us to a suite (ground level, of course).

People. This hotel room was HUGE (and odor-free). I've never stayed in such a nice room. The counters were like granite or something. There was a wet bar. An entirely separate room with a couch, recliner, table, and second television. The service was top-notch. They even had a good (according to Dustin) hot breakfast (for free), free popcorn and hot dogs every day, and free drinks each evening (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).

The seminar was good. It was very long, but very informative. We learned a lot. At the end, we got to hear from a birth mom who placed her son for adoption about 18 years ago. She was a kind soul, and by the time she finished sharing her story, I wanted so badly to run up and give her a hug. I shook her hand and expressed my gratitude instead. Also on that panel was a couple who adopted through this agency twice. To hear the husband talk about the day they brought their son home... well, you could tell that he was not a man of many words, but the words he had to say were touching.

In our group, there were two couples that had previously adopted (one with our agency and the other through a different one). The one that adopted through this agency has a daughter that is 19 months old. It was encouraging to me to see them back for their second. That makes me believe that they were happy with their first experience with this agency. I did not think I would be comfortable working with an agency. When we first started exploring adoption, I talked to many many agencies and most of them left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. Not that I rely on feelings to guide me, but the way I would feel after the conversations with them were not good. I felt sort of like a big dollar sign instead of a woman in pain. I can only assume that their birth moms might feel the same way. *shudders*

This agency though is not like that. I've never had a conversation with anyone in either the local office or the Austin office that made me feel like they were anything but caring. They seem to genuinely care about us and about the women facing the difficult decisions regarding their babies. The fact that people (both birth moms and adopting couples) return to them time and time again speaks volumes to me. I hope that the remainder of our adoption experience with them is good. Who knows, if it is, maybe we'll be back for a second someday. Though I'd really really like to adopt a beautiful Korean child if we ever do this again. *grin*

We watched a few videos. One was on transracial families, which I found
particularly interesting and informative, though it left me feeling the need to pursue that topic more deeply if we become one. Another was on shaken baby syndrome and how to avoid it. This video is awful. There should be a law that every person to ever come into contact with a child has to watch it.

They covered things such as discipline and punishment, and one person sitting next to me was what I would call mouthing off. Mumbling all sorts of trash. I wanted to throw a bottle of water at her, but I was nice. Apparently she thought that hitting a child is a laughing matter. I think she made most of the people in the room uncomfortable (including her husband). She made me flat out angry.

I'm slowly starting to think about buying baby things. It's a very scary thing to me. It still feels like a huge leap of faith to actually buy something... wrong, almost. But we really need to. I ordered some bottles last night (glass bottles... BPA free, thankyouverymuch) and we're going to look at changing tables very soon. I'm watching craigslist for stuff, though I haven't seen anything I want.

Now we're just waiting to schedule our homestudy interviews, which will probably happen over the next month or so. Oh, and they might do an FBI check on us. That's a little intimidating. Not that we have anything to worry about, but the FBI? Maybe they'll get CTU and Jack Bauer on our trail too.

I wonder if Jack Bauer would read my blog. That could be a problem.


Bethany said...

My husband Brian thinks Billy Mays is hilarious, too. (BUT WHY IS HE ALWAYS YELLING?!?!?!?!!! OXYCLEAN!!!!!!)

I'm so glad you had such a good experience at the conference. Does this process feel "real" yet?

Heidi @ GGIP said...

The shaken baby video is very disturbing. Very very sad!

I know you have to be ready to adopt at any moment, but remember when you are buying stuff that people LOVE to buy baby gifts. You will get a lot of gifts :)

Glad you had a good conference.

Dustin said...

No...calling me and asking me to do it will NOT work!

I only do impressions when it suits me...which is probably why I'm not famous yet. LOL

Jessica Morris said...

Where did you get your BPA free bottles from?
Were they a good deal? I need to order some for the new baby, tho I do have some time before he'll be on the bottle!

Crystal said...

It doesn't feel real yet. I have a feeling it won't until we're at home with the baby.

We're not having a shower, so I can't depend on baby gifts. :) I'm sure gramma & grampa will spoil baby though.

I bought the bottles from Amazon.com, but they sell them at Babies R Us (at least they do on their website).