Can't believe it!
Wednesday October 12 is our Embassy appointment!
It's seems surreal until I look around and see all I need to do and then
panic sets in! :)
The letter I am about to share to all our dear Family and Friends I didn't write but borrowed and tweaked a bit:
Dear Friends and Family:
Very soon, we’ll be bringing our 4 children home and starting the process of becoming a new and bigger family. This is an exciting and scary time for all of us, especially for them. In their short lives, our children have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. They have already experienced the loss of a birth mother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of their birth country. Their world will turn upside down. They will be disoriented and confused. They will struggle with feeling safe and secure and lack the ability to trust that we will meet their needs.
The process of learning to trust that we are the two adults in his world who will always be there to care for them is called attachment. You know that building trust is hard, takes a lot of time and a lot of work. It gets easier over time, but things are going to be a little strange at first and we ask that you please understand and respect what’s happening. We are not closing you out, you are the most important people in our lives, but our children need to have boundaries in place to develop a strong, and healthy attachment to us.
It will help us immensely if adults limit what is typically considered normal, physical contact with our children. This will (for a while) include things like holding, excessive hugging and kissing. Children from orphanages are prone to attach too easily to anyone and everyone. Unfortunately, this disrupts their ability to attach to us. Waving, blowing kisses or high fives are perfectly appropriate and welcomed! They should know that you are our trusted friends and family.
All four have gone from having a caring mother to relying on a stream of different adults to meet their needs. They have learned that they have to compete for the attention of every adult they seesto get basic things like food, clothing, blankets and comfort. Charming every available adult becomes a survival technique. While that might work in an orphanage, it’s dangerous in our world. It’s not safe for them to ask random strangers for a hug. In order for our 4 to learn healthy, appropriate boundaries with strangers,they have to begin by learning that we are the two people responsible for meeting their needs. For a while, we need to be the only ones to hand them food, give water, comfort them when they are hurt. If they ask you for something, please ask us. For a while, it will look like we’re spoiling them As they learns that we are their parents, it will become OK to treat them just like our other ones.
Because of their experiences, they might have learned that adults are scary and unreliable. A gentle scolding can feel like a ton of bricks to them. Discipline will be very tricky. Just as it is important for them to understand who their caretakers are, they need to learn that we (and not every adult they see) are their authority figures to be trusted not to hurt them and yet still hold them to a standard.
Thank you for understanding and supporting us in this amazing, but challenging time! We’re sure you can’t wait to read more, so here are some links below on attachment in international adoption.
Randall and Tracy :)
p.s. - Some Resources
An article on attachment in school-age children. (http://www.pactadopt.org/press/articles/attach-school.html)
A pamphlet courtesy of the Feds. Attachment is discussed on page 4. (http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/parent_school_age/parent_school_age.pdf)
A brief article on attachment. (http://www.earlyinterventionsupport.com/parentingtips/adoption/healthyattachments.aspx)
A scholarly article. (There are probably better ones, but we don’t have good access to those). (http://www.ahealthymind.org/ans/library/Adoption%20Gribble%2007.pdf)
An article on attachment from Focus on the Family (focusing on the secular aspects at the beginning) (http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/adoptive_families/attachment_and_bonding/promoting_healthy_attachment.aspx)
A blog post on how it might feel to be a child in an international adoption. (http://benjaminandholly.blogspot.com/2009/04/attachment-analogy.html)
A blog post on how undeveloped attachment looks in the real world. (http://adoption.families.com/blog/trust-and-attachment)
A web article on adopting school-age kids. (http://www.suite101.com/content/attaching-to-adopted-school-age-kids-a60661)
A short blurb on adopting older kids by noted author Karen Purvis. (http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=1090)
If you have made it this far reading- Thank YOU! :)
Our plan is to hunker down for a few/several ? weeks with no visitors or trips
to Wal-MART, Chuck-E-Cheese, Lagoon etc. :)
We are really going to work on becoming a family unit.
We will be flexible (since we have never done this before :)) and base how and when we branch out on how the children are doing.
Thank you for your understanding..this was hard to post b/c we don't want to offend anyone but need to do what is best to help these kiddos thrive! :)
We know you are eager to meet them and we can't wait to introduce them to you!
You will be a vital part of their lives as you ours now!