What are we doing? Well we are waiting to hear good news about our Letter of Acceptance. We are on day 17 of the wait. Please continue to pray for a SPEEDY Letter of Approval (LOA) from China. After this step we start preparing to travel. :) And while we wait, we are doing more training on attachment. I thought I would share some of the things we have learned over our training in the last few months.
These are the things that are HIGHLY recommend to encourage attachment:
1. Purposely REGRESS the child. Feed her a bottle and feed her even if she can feed herself. Rock her to sleep. Almost take her back in time to rebuild it up the healthy way and then let her take the lead from there. She may need to feel like your baby for a few months.
2. We will encourage DEPENDENCE not independence...especially dependence on me and Jason.
3. Practice time-in's as opposed to time-outs. We will put her on our lap or next to us, if she has trouble regulating her emotions. We do expect her to have some frustration due to not being able to communicate with us at first but, they say she will probably pick up English fairly quickly.
4. All children, who come from these type of circumstances are going to have some attachment issues. All these issues take time, patience, love and meeting their needs hundreds, and hundreds of times, until that trust is finally established.
5. We will probably be co-sleeping with her if that is what makes her feel most comfortable. It is also, highly recommended for attachment and bonding.
6. We imagine even though she was in foster care that not all of her needs were met. So it may appear that we are "spoiling" her but, it is very important to have her needs met quickly and really ONLY BY US in order to promote bonding. What I'm talking about has NOTHING to do with spoiling her with material things, or letting her get away with misbehaving though. It's really just loving on them greatly and obviously with our purpose to meet any needs of hers as far as food or comfort quickly.
7. She won't be going to the church nursery or really anywhere out of our sight for probably the first 6 months atleast. This is to promote attachment and bonding, not to selfishly keep her to ourselves. :) Can you imagine having to leave your foster family and all that you have ever known all of a sudden?? She may fear that we will leave her too. So if you go to church with us...be patient with us all. :)
8. We won't be allowing many people at all to hold her when we first get home. That will be very hard for us, because we know ya'll will want to love on her too but, we need her to realize WE are her parents and that WE are where she should come to get comfort and love.
9. Although Jason and I have spoken very openly about our adoption through-out the process, after she is home, please be aware of what you say or ask in front of her. She will be a part of our family just like our biological children. We don't want her treated differently or introduced as our "adopted daughter" and certain topics won't be appropriate in front of her after she is home. For example, talking about her birth parents or her finding place while she is with us. She will always know she is special and is adopted but, these 2 things are something that we plan to keep personal and talk about when she is ready. Imagine trying to talk to a 2 year old about being abandoned. We don't mind talking about it, just not in front of her.
We have done 12 hours of online courses and read numerous books on attachment and bonding and the things we will implement are ideas from them. As crazy as some may seem, it is what we and our social worker think will be best for Charlotte. So, it may seem that we are "spoiling her" or handling a situation differently than you would but, dealing with an almost 2 year old ADOPTED child with a language barrier is not something most of us get to do. It probably will bu neccessity a very different parenting approach than we had with our boys. For the first few months we will mainly be focusing on doing all we can to earn her trust and love.
So...pray, pray, pray....Come on LOA! We are ready to get our girl! :)