Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I think he likes me :)

What happens when mom leaves the room for just a second during a fingerpainting session- fingerpainting becomes facepainting :)

First day of preschool- he really was more excited then he looks here :)

Noah has been home now for almost a month and a half, and today, I really felt like we had a breakthrough moment in terms of attachment. Actually, it is the first time I truly, honestly felt like he liked me, just for me. Not because I was providing a need for him, like food, or playing with him, or helping him with something, etc. It just felt like he wanted to be with me, just because. Here is what happened- I was sitting in the recliner relaxing and the boys had been playing. Then, just out of nowhere, Noah climbed up in my lap and rested his head against me. Then he kind of just curled up in my lap. That's it. But that is huge! Trust me! I am still smiling!

Adopting an older child is so different than adopting an infant. One of the main differences is how you bond and eventually form an attachment. With an infant, it is obviously natural to hold them, feed them, do everything for them. It is necessity, and this necessity helps to form the attachment between parent and child. However with an older child who is independent and can meet their own needs for the most part, bonding and attachment must be much more intentional, and at times, creative. For our family, this has taken the form of reading books with the boys in our laps before bed, tickle time :), the boys wrestling with dad, etc. And slowly, we have seen progress with bonding and attachment. Today I think we saw a small return on the time we have invested into fostering attachment. And it was sooo worth it!

In this month's edition of Good Housekeeping, there is an excellent article written by Melissa Fay Greene, adoptive mom and author of the wonderful book, There is No Me Without You. The article shares the stories of two families and their experiences with non-infant adoption. It is such a "real" article. Nothing is candy-coated, everything is just put out there in the open for the reader. You may be surprised and horrified to hear that sometimes adoptive parents of older children "fantasize" about putting their kids back on the plane they come home on, or being able to turn back time. I would be lying if I said I had not had those thoughts run through my mind our first couple weeks home. It's not easy. It takes a lot of work, support, and lots of patience. But, just as the parents in the article eventually concluded, IT IS WORTH IT!!!! I can't explain to you the difference in Noah, even after a month. There is a new spirit about him, a new light in his eyes, like he is seeing life from a whole a new perspective. And for Zack, Caleb, and I, we have been blessed by this thoughtful, spirited, silly boy in so many ways. God has used him to teach us many things, and grow us in many ways.

After reading the article, I felt both refreshed and thankful. Refreshed because I could identify with some of the feelings these parents had experiened. Thankful because Noah has done incredibly well in the short time he has been home, and our experience could have been so much tougher. Noah is an amazingly strong, courageous and resilient child. But he still needs lots of love, compassion, patience, and understanding to heal from the losses he has experienced. I am truly honored that God chose our family to be the vessel to help him do that. I can honestly say that. Thank you God for your faithfulness, love, and mercy each day.

Noah did begin preschool last week. He was really excited about the "idea" of preschool, but when it was actually time for me to leave,, he did cry and didn't seem too thrilled :( I was very worried, and called back several times throughout the day, and was glad to hear that he did great after just a few minutes of me being gone. He did great the rest of the week, and his teachers said he interacted well with the other kids, listened very well, and followed directions well. Sounds great! Caleb has had a more difficult time than Noah, and has almost cried every day we dropped off Noah at preschool. He just wants to go soooo bad. That's pretty sweet :)

1 comment:

KLT said...

Hooray! Good for you!

I remember the first time Andrew was sick...and I didn't know what to do...I wasn't sure if I should just give him space or dote on him or what...and finally I just had to say, "Okay, what would I do for Ethan or Abby?" and then did that for him. It seemed so strange to act like I knew what he would want (when it all felt so completely strange!), but that is a moment I remember as important to our bonding.

May your journey continue to be full of much grace, joy, and fullness of love!