We had a great weekend, filled with discussions about adoption and the Philippines.
It's really nice to get a chance to talk about the adoption process openly, and to share our experiences. It makes it all feel more real somehow. Up to this point, the whole adoption process has felt a little surreal, and abstract...but, meeting other people going through the same process, and talking to people of Filipino heritage and background makes it feel more real.
The weekend started off on Friday evening. My husband came home from work, and we had a nice quiet evening together, just the two of us. We hadn't had that in a long time! We just did a BBQ outside...the weather was nice, and we were able to sit outside on our deck till the early hours of the morning, talking about a variety of subjects. It was wonderful to get the chance to catch up! It felt like we kind of found each other again, after all the stress of moving.
On Saturday night, we had dinner with Tangie and Michel. They're also adopting from the Philippines, and we've been in touch online for a few months now. It was nice to finally meet in person, and to get to know both of them a little better! I look forward to seeing them again soon. It's fun to think that someday in the near future, our kids might play together :0)
On Sunday, my friend M and her step-mother L organized a lunch, so that we could meet L's brother. He is married to a Filipino lady, C, and they have a son named P together. P is a very handsome, intelligent, calm, laid-back six year old. He and his mom were both a little shy, but they are very nice, and very warm people. C and P spoke in Tagalog to each other, which was nice to hear. I had brought my book, Filipino Friends, with me. C even sang a song from the book for us, a lullaby in Tagalog! It was really wonderful to hear what it's supposed to sound like. It was very touching. Watching P and the other children playing, I couldn't help but look into the future and think to myself that someday, that would be our child we're proudly watching play :0) The lunch was really great. We talked a lot about Filipino culture and habits, and learned a lot of things! Interestingly enough, P has had trouble with his teeth too...he's not adopted, but did grow up in the Philippines the first years of his life. Apparently, it might have to do with the high amount of sugar in the milk in the Philippines. Anyway, that's what C believes. We also learned that kidnapping of foreign children is a big problem over there. A woman should not be walking on the streets by herself...especially if she's with a child, and if she's obviously a foreigner. Also, rice is the main food staple...they eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Filipinos love music. Clothing in the Philippines is very cheap, and good quality. They really recommended that we buy lots of children clothing over there. C is a great bargain hunter, and she says that you can find high quality copies of designer labels at a very good price in the Philippines. They will spend the summer at their house in the Philippines next year. They invited us to come and visit them, if we ever travel that way. It would be great if we get our referral and travel to the Philippines next summer, while they are there!! We will definitely try to go and see them, if the timing works out :0)
Of course, I realize that I have no control over this, but I sure can wish and hope and pray for those dates!
So, that was our weekend! We got to talk a lot about the Philippines, and about the adoption process. One thing I'm going to have to get used to is people asking me the money question..."so, how much did it cost you?" It makes me feel like a rotten person, like I'm buying my child. It makes it sound like the child is merchandise. I read about this question in a book on adoption, and I didn't think people would actually ask us that...but, sure enough....one of the first questions people are asking me when I tell them we're adopting is: "so, how much was it?" Maybe I am being naive, but I like to think that my husband and I are providing a good life, as well as many opportunities and advantages they may otherwise not have had. Everything is very above board with our agency. That's why the whole adoption process takes so long, to make sure the child is indeed available for international adoption. Yes, we're adopting for partly selfish reasons as well; we would very much like to become parents, and have been wanting a baby for many years...at the same time, I like to think that we're helping a child have a better chance in life. This is why many Filipino women put their children up for adoption in the first place...to give them a better chance to flourish and succeed. We have the means to take care of a child; financially, emotionally, psychologically and physically we are well placed to provide for a child! Our child need never feel guilty, or like he owes us something...on the other hand, I don't want to feel like a bad person either for having paid money to adopt a child. Children are not a merchandise, and should not be sold like objects. It's a very touchy subject. I am still looking for a good way to answer that famous money question...