Tonight, The Dad and I took the girls out to dinner. We met a friend, who is a preschool special ed teacher, and her family, including her 2 girls the same ages as mine. My friend had also arranged for another adoptive mother to join us. Her and her husband have adopted 10 children from foster care. The oldest is currently 25 and the youngest is 2. All of her kids have special needs, from mild to intense, and as she still does foster care, how many she will bring is always a guess.
Tonight, she had 5 with her, and another friend, with her 7 year old granddaughter, brought our group up to 16, 10 of them children, 3 of whom were NT. GB was not the most involved child, which was nice for a change. I have a lot in common with these people and it is the first time since we started with family #2 that I have had this, at least IRL. Her 7 year old and GB took an instant dislike to one another, which was not a surprise, since GB does not take well to large groups of kids, or for that matter, new kids. She chose to sit next to her Dad and by the time dessert was served, GB was willing to sit with the other kids. It didn't work out all that great, but it wasn't just GB. There were five of them that were toast, and one was NT.
It may sound crazy, but we are planning on doing it again. The adults, including me, enjoyed the time with other adults who *got it*, and none of the kids, including Hope, had to be removed. In my world, this is success.