Our class tonight was heavy...to say the least. I know I've shared in the past that I'm a crier, but not in front of people. I clam up, but tonight I realized that I was in the company of friends, new friends, different friends than I've ever made before and I cried during a video. I was so overtaken by what loss actually means for these children and it really affected me. Not to mention the entire video was just us reading text as it appeared on the screen (with bagpipe music in the background) and different children's voices reading the text out loud as well. I don't know what it is about bagpipes but they either conjure up an image of Mel Gibson with a painted face or give me the chills and make me cry. Either way I look like a crazy person I'm sure. We discussed different types of loss that our kids will suffer, and how their grieving process will really be extended throughout their entire life. We also discussed how much they will unknowingly rely on us to help them through the process and not try and replace the family that they've already lost. Our other teacher Stephanie led us through what's called a guided imagery, which is kind of creepy at first but I understand why they're helpful. Basically you close your eyes, take a deep breath and she reads a script that brings you through a particular situation. Obviously the benefit being that try and take on the experience as much as you possibly can without actually "taking on the experience". Tonight she had us imagine ourselves in our homes, in our favorite room, surrounded by our favorite people....then someone shows up at the door and they inform me that I'll be leaving this house and going to another place where the new family has been waiting a long time for someone like me. I don't have a lot of time to pack, and I can only take a few things. It's not communicated to me when or if I'll return to my old family, but my new family sure is excited to meet me, they've been waiting a long time. I get to my new "home" and I'm greeted by my new children, my new husband and my new belonging's. They are so excited to have me and my new house is so much nicer than my old one. I spend a year with my new family, and I never hear from or visit with my old one, no one ever set that up they were too busy. After a year the "people mover" shows up at my new home and tells me that it's time to go back to my old home again. Will my old family remember me? Will they have moved on?...you get the picture. It's what these children deal with on a daily basis, removed from their familiar surroundings (even though it might be a negative situation), and placed with a family that's excited to be their new family. The fact is, I'm not going to be their "new family", I'm going to be their "for a little while family". Their innocence lost, their stability shattered.
I'm really going to miss this class when it's over. I love nothing more than to be in a room surrounded by people who get why it is that we're agreeing to do this. I love that sense of community.