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Planning First Visit!


I met an 11 year old girl at an adoption party in October. In early December, I found out that I was approved for a disclosure meeting, it had just taken a while to get her files updated.

The meeting brought up some questions I wanted more detail on, so a meeting was scheduled with her therapist. After that meeting, I informed them I wanted to proceed! Unfortunately all the social workers are all on vacation this week (hers and mine), so the first visit will be after the new year.

I’m trying to figure out what to do. My social worker said it would be about 4 hours long, so that’s alot of time to fill. I thought maybe doing it at a place with laser tag, bowling, and an arcade. That way, we can chat some but the activity will be an ice breaker then sit down to lunch and go through a shutterfly book I made for her. My concern is that since school is out, it might be too busy but I can’t think of anything else that would be that lengthy.

Any other suggestions?

Replies

Hello Meralee—what a great New Year’s gift for you and for the girl you hope to adopt!  We have adopted four children (two sibling pairs) ten years apart, and the first visits—and subsequent visits—are very important.  So we avoided busy, loud places full of distractions because we wanted the children to focus on us and we wanted to be able to talk.  The first time we met our first pair, we went to their foster home, they gave us a house tour, showed us photos of their birth family, told us about school… then we had a snack with the foster parents and social workers all together… and then we went out for a walk around their neighborhood.  Very low key. The second time we brought our three children and took everybody—without the social workers or foster parents—out for fun llunch (burgers and fries, etc,) and then to the beach.  We played in the sand, built a sand castle, ran into the waves, and my husband and I made sure to take a walk along the water’s edge with each of the girls, to talk a bit more about our hopes for adoption, what adoption means, etc.  The third visit they came to our home…  With our second pair, nearly a decade later, we went out for lunch and bowling.  It gave us a chance to see the interaction between the children and a fun time for all, with time for conversation too.  The second visit was a hike, and then out to lunch.  Then to our home…  If you really like laser tag and the arcade games, then there’s no reason not to go there.  But I think something like miniature golf might be better and would allow for conversation (and helping each other) more easily than a place where the whole point is to run away from each other… When we played miniature golf, rather than competing against each other, we said we were on the same team, and we played twice, trying to better our previous score. Another thing to consider, depending on her background, is that the child might be shy or afraid of activity filled with shooting—even though it’s all in fun.  Our youngest son did not like anything to do with violence in any form, on film or in books, or in games.  He was 9 when we met him.  We found that taking him to quieter, interesting places worked well.  Ice skating rink (helping each other stay on our feet!), the aquarium, a hands-on Science museum… all these were good.  What an adventure lies ahead!  I’m very excited for you.  Happy New Year!

Posted by VintageMom on Dec 27, 2016 at 4:35am

Oh yea! I forgot about the children’s museum! It’s a hands-on place. I’ll have to look into it. That’s great!  I was worried that the other place with all the activities might be overwhelming. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by Meralee on Dec 27, 2016 at 5:48am

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