1. As awaiting parents, we felt as prepared as we could. We enjoyed the PRIDE training and felt ready without being parents yet. We had great facilitators (including Sylvia!). Our workers were open with us when discussing our parenting dreams and helping us determine what "risks" we were comfortable with. In hindsight, we weren't really ready but I don't think any more education or reading could have prepared us. I think we needed experience on our side and we were as prepared as we were ready to be.
2. Being Matched. This process was very well planned with regards to first meeting at the foster parents and included thoughts about who would "drop off" and "pick up" as we spent more and more time together before officially moving in together. However, once we all lived together, and the honeymoon phase progressed to dealing with real issues, we had progressed to less visits with our worker and didn't know where to go for support. We were told we were doing really well and the kids were transitioning but it didn't feel like we were effectively dealing with "behaviours" and we were having a hard time pinpointing the cause of challenging moments. We pursued the Watch, Wait and Wonder program through CAS, which our worker did tell us about. It was helpful but I think it would have been more helpful if someone had come to our house for a significant amount of time (at least a few hours on a few different occasions) and observed our interactions, routines and play with at least a debriefing session afterwards, without the kids present.
3. Post Adoption. Finalization day was fantastic and even though we knew we were a forever family from the beginning, it still felt like more of a commitment afterwards, like our wedding day. After being together for a year and a half as a family, we signed up for an intensive Nurturing Attachment course (approx 16 weeks). This course was helpful on so many levels. We were in a room with other parents who were dealing with parenting challenges and we were being taught about Attachment by a very knowledgeable instructor who helped us understand how to meet our kids emotional needs. I think this course would have been even more helpful in the being matched stage but after the honeymoon phase...perhaps 3-6 months after being matched?