Friday, June 12, 2009

Feeling better

 
T seems to be back to his usual silly self these days.  We're so glad.  I've upped the amount I hold him and gone back to some of the attachment games we used to play.  I'm also adding some new ones - I'm currently reading Parenting You Internationally Adopted Child, by Patty Cogen.  I'm not finished with it yet, but so far it's my favorite book dealing with the subject of attachment.  Cogen's writing style is easy to read and she gives really great explanations of how adoption can affect a child throughout different stages in their life, and relates these experiences to child development and brain development research.  She illustrates some of the different responses children have to adoption by following 4 fictional children (composites of the many children she's worked with).  She offers concrete activities to do at home to help foster a stronger connection with your child.  I feel a bit like I have my very own therapist in a book.  My only wish was that I'd read it before we brought T home.

One idea I have found particularly useful is her "3-picture story".  A detailed life book is important, but also still not finished at our house.  The 3-picture story, on the other hand, is really fast to create and very accessible for T to begin to understand and discuss the changes he's been through.  On one page, we have photos of:  T held by his birth mother, T in a group with his foster family and Kyle and I, and T with just Kyle and I.  This page has everything we need to show him (1) he was born to his birth mother, (2) he went to live with his foster family, who then gave him to us (the middle picture should be the actual transition to his new family), and (3)  we're his mom and dad and he can live with us until he's as old as grandma and grandpa (hopefully not literally, but you get the idea).  Cogen goes into detail about  how to discuss his story with him and what some of the common worries are for adopted children that they may not have the ability to ask yet. 

I think it's safe to say we're all feeling a little better now.  We ended up not doing anything to celebrate Family Day this last week.  We weren't sure which day to pick (meeting him?  taking custody?  the board meeting?  coming home?) and with his mood, we thought maybe celebrating when the adoption was final in Wisconsin (February) might be a better choice for us, at least this year, since it's not as coupled with his loses.  I can't believe it's been a whole year.  I'm so proud of my little man.
"Airplane, Thailand?"
Leaving Thailand, June 2008

8 comments:

Jen and Jeff said...

Boy is he just as cute as ever! So glad things are better. Your a great Mom, Robin. Sounds like you are doing all the right things to get him back on track and make and even tighter bond between you. Thanks for sharing this info and about the book, too!

Have a great weekend!

rosemary said...

That's probably my favorite attachment book I've read so far as well! I loved the 3 picture story idea too and we plan on implementing it as well so I'm glad to hear that you feel it has been helpful. Very encouraging news!! Thrilled you guys have made it through this rough patch.

Jessica said...

Glad things are easier again and Happy One Year Together. I got that book and really liked it as well. The author is supposed to be speaking in our area soon. I hope to be in the audience taking notes.

Glen and Andrea said...

Thanks for the book reccommendation. We need to buy more resources, we haven't got anything new since before we travelled. It is very reaasuring for me to read others talking about their attachment journey. For all but the last month I have felt we were in a vacuum. Thankfully though we have seen some rewarding changes very recently.
We think of you often (even if we are faraway) and can't wait to see/hear about your family with FOUR members!

Chris, Terri, Matt and Mark said...

Wow - I can't it's been a year! Thanu is so adorable. Hard to believe I was checking your blog daily hoping for an update a year ago. Thanks for sharing your journey with me.

I think we're reading the same book. Sometimes I think they all sound the same so thanks for the inspiration - maybe I'll get back to it. I read adoption books in spurts. I'm about ready for another spurt...

Melissa May said...

Yay for encouraging news! Thanks for the reminder about extra holding, etc. as well. Keeping up with 3 kids and transitions from school to summer have thrown us all off a bit and we need some more holding time, I think! (Why didn't I think of that???) Gonna get that book, too... : )

Robin and Kyle said...

Hi Melissa,
I did read that Holding Time book, and I have to say I wasn't really a fan. It was more like forced holding against their will until they submit to you. It just didn't feel right, and I am ashamed to admit I even tried it once - T never got to the "blissful" state she promised he would - he just finally fought and cried himself to sleep in my arms. When he finally woke up, he was still fighting to get down. If it works for some people, that's great. But for us, we're much happier when the cuddling is enjoyed by all. =)

reflective pink said...

I like his Gilligan's Island outfit :)