Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Attachment Stuff

Dear Family and Friends,

As we prepare for the arrival of our daughter, we have learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of our baby. In her short life, our daughter will have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. Imagine how much harder the changes will be for her. While she may not consciously remember the events, she will still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief and trauma. She's already experienced the loss of a birthfamily and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She will struggle with feeling safe and secure and she may lack the ability to trust that we will meet her needs.

We have prepared to meet her emotional needs so that she does learn that we will always take care of her and we will always keep her safe. We need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment we will allow her to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all of the emotional stages with us despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that we are spoiling her, we have been advised that it is best that we meet every need quickly and consistently. Until she has learned that we are her parents, we will need to be her primary caretakers at all times. It is essential that we always hold her, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. We will follow her lead and trust our instincts as her parents rather than worry about what society expects.

We have all been waiting anxiously to bring Grace home but she has not been waiting for us. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways and we are prepared to help her through it and prove that we are a forever family and this truly is her last stop. We trust that as our family and friends you will help us to do what is best for our daughter, and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.

Steve and Jen

** from http://www.a4everfamily.org


Wendy said...

Beautifully said...now I want you to remember that your world will be turned upside down too. There will be moments where you are wondering what in the world is going on or feel like you aren't doing something correctly. Remember to give yourself breathing room and space and the room to fall. Everyone in your family will be going through major changes and will have to tread lightly. Be good to each other and be good to yourself!

Can't wait to see you guys in China!

Norma said...

My advice is not to stress too much and to follow her lead. Go softly and gently but you maybe surprized to find your baby is far more gregarious than you may have thought. Her personality will show through pretty quickly. Kids are smart and she will realize in short order how sweet it is to be loved and she will love you right back. We will be following your journey.

to sing and to dance said...

This is absolutely the best choice you can make as her parents. Our daughter was 16.5 months when we went to China, and it felt as if we were kidnapping her (essentially we were). Every day was like a new week of her life being transformed.
Take it all in stride, and if she bonds with only one of you at first, know that she will come around to the other parent soon enough. Most do attach to one person first, this is good and healthy.
You'll make wonderful parents.
Can't wait to follow along.
If you're interested, you can see our time in China, on our "Chapter 1" blog...linked to the current one.

dayzofrain said...

Im coming out of lurkdom to wish you both the very best on your journey! That all things fall into place and can run as smoothly as possible!

The Gang's All Here! said...

That was beautiful! And wonderful advice for those around you - as they (I'm sure!) will all be anxious to get their hands on this little bundle and love on her for themselves. Wise of you to set the boundaries and the expectations in advance.

I'll be praying for you as you transition with Grace - for smooth bonding, for healing for her little heart and mind, and for security and trust to be built well and built quickly on the solid foundation of your love for her!

kris said...

Absolutely, we will understand and know that you are doing what is best for Gracie! you have obviously read a lot about this and know what to do to make the transition easiest on her.