We are required to attend some training courses put on by the adoption agency. The first one was about therapeutic parenting and theraplay, and it was held on site at the agency in the evening.

Hubby is working nights this week, so he arranged to go in a bit late. His company has been really good at accommodating his meetings — we’re quite pleased at how that’s going. My company, btw, doesn’t really know what I’m doing although my boss does. He knows that I’m just making up any time that I use during the day (for meetings with s/w) during other out of hours work. I have a lot of out of hours work anyway so the company is definitely getting their money’s worth of my time!

We had to take separate cars, of course, so Hubby left earlier so he could have a half hour nap before the training. I ended up working from home, even though it was a Thursday, because of a meeting at work on Wednesday that I needed to be in. So I was much less tired that I would have been had I come straight from the office.

When we arrived, the trainer s/w, Julie, met us at the door and asked us to go to the ‘usual’ meeting room. We walked in and immediately recognized the right half of the room; they were all the people with whom we had done our training in May, except one husband who got stuck at work. The other half of the room was occupied by another 4 couples and one single adopter.

During the ‘therapeutic’ parenting’ section, we were introduced to Dan Hughes’ PACE framework. That stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy. We had heard of them before, but this was the first training session we’ve done on it. Dan Hughes is an American who has studied foster and adopted children for decades. He worked out his framework during many years of experience. One of the books that we need to read is about PACE, so we’ll definitely have more of this soon. We had to do an exercise, with half of the group, looking at a scenario and deciding how we would use PACE to deal with it.

The second half of the evening dealt with Theraplay. I don’t feel there was a good explanation of what the exercises actually do, but we were instructed on a few ways of playing with a child that somehow meets some need. I know some of these things can provide nurturing, to show them how to play (sadly, some kids don’t know how to play), to show them that playing is fun (maybe it’s a messy game, and they need to know they won’t get in trouble for it). From the hand-out we were given, I can see that the specific kinds of play that we might need to do can fill some emotional developmental gaps.

I almost forgot to tell you! We have received our letter from the agency, formally stating that they will take us on to Stage 2 of the assessment. We returned a form to the agency tonight stating that we would like to move on to Stage 2. It seems a bit strange as it’s felt like we’ve been in stage 2 since the beginnig of the month, but it’s now formal.

What’s next? More reading of books. Meeting with s/w on the 1st, for which we have another couple of worksheets to complete.