Monday, June 6, 2011

A whirlwind weekend in Corpus Christi.

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The 2-day PRIDE adoption class that we attended this weekend was in Corpus Christi. It's about a 2 1/2 hour drive from where we live. Some dear friends of ours from church, Ryan and Amber, kept Noah for us so we could attend this class--we are so grateful to them for helping us out at the last minute. They have a daughter who is Noah's age and they have so much fun together. We knew he would be in good hands while we were gone.

We hit the road on Friday night around 6:30 and headed to Corpus. We were starving and so Jody wanted to take me to eat at a local favorite restaurant in Baffin Bay (it's on the way to Corpus near Kingsville) called King's Inn Restaurant. You can learn more about it here.

When we pulled into the parking lot, it was packed. For it to be that crowded at 8pm at night, I knew it must be pretty good. We ordered some salads, shrimp, hush puppies, and french fries. You buy all the fish by the pound. With your meal you get tomatoes and their famous tartar sauce. The owner is the only person who knows how to make this extra special recipe. was soooooo yummy. And I'm not usually fond of tartar sauce...never eat it. It's the only thing I really ate throughout our meal...the waitress suggested that I spread the tartar sauce over the tomatoes and wowzers!! I loved it! Jody was laughing at me...he had to order more tartar sauce before our meal was over because I was hogging it. :-)

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After leaving King's Inn with very full tummies, we hopped back in the car and headed on over to our hotel in Corpus...this one. We had a great view from our balcony and the room was nicely decorated {and clean}.

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We were so tired Friday night, we literally just collapsed in the bed {after I snapped these pics of course} and fell fast asleep. ;-)


adoption class- P.R.I.D.E.

Saturday morning we had to be at our P.R.I.D.E. (Parent Resource for Information Development Education) adoption training class early that morning. It ran through until late that evening. And then Sunday we started back again early in the morning and it went until the late evening. It was a loooooong 2-days of classes. Lots and lots of information to learn about adoption and foster care in the state of Texas. There were many facts and statistics shared in our training as well as a wide array of scenerios to be discussed by the participants--all detailing the very sad situations that so many children in foster care have suffered. I heard some of the most heartbreaking stories of abuse that children have suffered at the hands of family members....parents, aunts, uncles, older name it. There were some tears shed by each of us in the training as we had to respond to these painful details of abuse that children in foster care have been exposed to within the walls of their own homes. We were asked to search our hearts and question how we as foster/adopt parents would handle a child and appropriately respond to a child who might have been hurt physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. This training is most definitely not for the "weary of heart" hear some pretty graphic stuff in the sessions and the trainers use it as a way to not only educate you but also, gauge whether or not you as a potential foster/adoptive parent are equipped and ready to accept a child into your own home who has been removed from their biological family due to abuse or neglect.

It was an eye-opening experience for both Jody and me in every way. There is no question, you must be fully dedicated and and prepared mentally and physically if you choose to foster and/or adopt a child through the state foster care system. It is a huge commitment yet one that if done with the right intentions, and with a loving and patient heart, can change the life of a child forever.

We also learned that you need to be very vocal {ready to ask a lot of questions} with the caseworkers when you are being considered for a particular child or sibling group. The owness is on us (the foster/adoptive parents) to ask as many questions as possible so that we fully understand the child and their situation before we accept them into our home. No one wants a disruption with the foster/adopt placement, so it is imperative that everyone is fully on board (primarily the foster/adopt parent) and feels good about the placement for it to be successful.

It was especially helpful to hear from the couples in our training who have been foster/adopt parents before. Their insight and experiences were very helpful to us.

The primary objectives for a PRIDE class are as follows:

1. Provide an overview of the child protective system in the State of Texas through the use of video and group discussion.

2. Identify through discussion and activities the diverse roles of foster and adoptive families in the child protective system.

3. Through group activities, discussion and lecture, provide information which will help potential foster and adoptive parents acquire the comptentencies needed to successfully parent and abused and neglected child.

4. Identify through discussion and group activities, potential effects of abuse and neglect on a child int he areas of development, losses and attachments.

5. Provide a framework for potential foster and adoptive parents to identify ways to help children deal with loss and attachment issues and to maintain connections with family, community and culture.

6. Through group activities and discussions, show an understanding of the Agency's discipline policy and identity non-physical discipline methods which can be accessed by foster and adoptive parents.

7. Through activities and discussion, identify the impact fostering and adopting will have on family members, family roles, and other individuals.

While in the 2-day P.R.I.D.E. training, we met some great folks who were also attending the class with the hopes of adopting through the state. It was very interesting to listen to everyone's story and how they came to be at this training. Our trainer, Priscilla, was fantastic and more than willing to share many of her own real-life experiences working as a legal caseworker for the state. She has wonderful insight into the foster care system, the court systems and answered so many questions that we have had floating around our heads for some time now about adopting through the state.

I now understand why the P.R.I.D.E class is so important and required before you can adopt or foster through the state. I'll be the first to admit...I was a little prideful about having to attend this class. I consider myself highly educated when it comes to children and their developmental needs {was an elementary teacher for almost 10 years and have a degrees in child development and educational leadership}. But I was pleasantly surprised by this experience this weekend...I discovered that quite frankly, I was ignorant to so many facets to state foster/adoption. We learned a great deal and feel so much more equipped in the event we do end up adopting through the state foster care system.


After our Saturday training, we headed over to the beach to take some pictures and check it out.

It was beautiful and the gulf coast breeze felt fantastic. I just wish we would have had more time to enjoy it {and had Noah there with us}. Jody took all the beach pictures with his handy-dandy Canon point and shoot camera. He's so proud of it. ;-)

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After the beach, we headed back to the downtown area of Corpus to get some grub. We were starving after a long day of class.

The downtown, port area of Corpus is just stunning...

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I've always thought Corpus was a beautiful place to visit--the beaches are clean and so much more pretty in my opinion than the Galveston beaches. I haven't been to Corpus in a couple of years and I was a little surprised though at how the downtown area {which is right on the water front} appears to be on the decline. Many offices and buildings are vacant now and it didn't feel as lively and populated as it has to me in the past when I visited. This made me a little don't want to see such a beautiful city like this go downhill. I hope that isn't the case.

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Landry's sounded like a great place to we headed on in.

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The food was fabulous...we had calamari {our favorite} for an appetizer, Jody had a caesar salad and I had the house with the best tasting vinagarette dressing and then we shared the chef's special dish--mahi-mahi with sauteed mushrooms, wild rice, and brocoli. It was all so YUMMY!

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Before heading back to our hotel, we popped in a local souvenir shop to get something for our little man. We ended up having fun with some of the "trinkets" in the store and yes, we walked out with a few little gifts that Noah would enjoy.

What originally seemed like would be a long, boring weekend of adoption classes turned out to be a really nice experience. A great learning experience for us on state foster/adoption processes and some quality time together as hubby and wife in beautiful Corpus Christi.

While there, we got some exciting news--my mom called in the wee hours of Saturday morning to tell me that our newest nephew, Otto, had been born. My brother Brian and his wife Katherine have now added their third child to their beautiful clan. We are so happy for them and I can't wait to meet my new nephew.

Isn't he a doll??


1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed learning more about your class. I was all irritated at all of the stuff you have to do to adopt, but I was so enlightened after reading this and the class makes sense and sounds like it was really great! I'm so glad it worked out for you all to go and I hope the rest of the process is going well.

    Please tell Jody that his pics are awesome! :)


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