Orientation. Like a boss.

What that even means I don’t really know, but it’s fun to say! ;P

We had our orientation this past weekend with Christian Homes Family Services out of Abilene, TX. From the moment we started considering adoption, Christian Homes was popping up in all sorts of conversations…always in the best of ways.

Once the decision to adopt was made, I couldn’t get our pre-application sent in to them soon enough, and was so excited when we heard back that we were ‘invited’ to their next orientation. I was really hoping it would be in January, slightly bummed when it was scheduled for early February. Then crazy Texas weather hit and postponed it again until late February.

So finally, this past Thursday, we were off on the trip I had been anticipating since early November. It was interesting, because as the day approached I did a little of that happy-yet-sad-all-at-the-same-time thing. I read in a book {I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve said that…I’d be rich, right Ma?!} that it is common to have parallel feelings related to your infertility/adoption experiences. I felt happy & excited to find out more about adoption, to finish our “information gathering” stage and hopefully be able to make a decision, to get the ball rolling with this new stage of life. And yet, there was a sadness running parallel to that. Sad for that genetic child that we’ll likely never know, sad that there won’t be an “easy way” to become a family. It was a little bit of an emotional time.

Chris & I stayed the night before with my parents {aka – Huxley’s dogsitters} before heading out on a beautiful & bright Friday morning. I was admittedly a tad bit nervous before going in, which Chris just could not understand. {Must be nice to be him sometimes!} As soon as we were walking up to the door my nerves settled as just the sweetest & cutest couple introduced themselves and walked in with us. From there, it was just a flurry of meeting other couples {6 in all} and everyone on staff at Christian Homes. We got settled in, had lunch, then hit the ground running…

We learned a lot about Christian Homes that day…in describing it to others afterwards I would say that they are incredibly blessed with a caring and incredibly knowledgeable staff {the longevity of their staff is amazing…many have been there 10, 20, even 30 years!} and that they are an incredible blessing through their ministry to birth mothers and the couples who work with them. Just quality, quality people.

After learning the specifics of their agency, we dove into all things adoption. I didn’t learn tons of brand new information…I’ve done *a*lot* of independent research over the last 4 or 5 months. It was definitely good to have what I did know clarified and confirmed.

When we left that evening, I had a rip-roaring headache…but armed with a generous gift from my parents with the instructions of ‘having some fun,’ we googled a Hibachi restaurant and set out on an adventure. It was a lot of fun to relax together & eat out somewhere nice…plus the food was delicious! I think one of my favorite parts of the weekend is just how much fun Chris & I had together, and how relaxed we were throughout the experience {minus my little nerves at the beginning and our brief spell of mental/physical exhaustion at the end}.

The next morning we had time to relax at Starbucks for a bit before heading in…which was a good thing, since first up on the agenda was all the legal ‘stuff’ {for total lack of a better word!} which included a lot of the ‘worst case scenarios.’ Insert giant eyes here.

The rest of the day were panels with young women who had been adopted as infants, couples who have adopted within the last 6 months or so, and birthmothers. Hearing from each of these women (and a couple of men!) was an incredible honor…I plan on writing more about that experience on a different day.

From there we were off and back on our way to the parents & our little puppy…with a brief stop in between to visit with their pastor and his family, who God brought together through adoption many moons ago.

All in all, great people, great experience, great start to this grand adventure!

Blessed am I.

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