The following was sent by a reader via email:
How often do you recommend visiting?
Do you have any special ideas on how to make trips memorable and special for the kids? Any certain activities or attachment exercises that worked for you?
What is the best way to leave your children? How do you say goodbye to the younger ones who don't really understand what's going on?
What about discipline? What do you do if your two-year-old bites you or slaps another child in the face in the middle of an orphanage full of nannies & children? I have tried firm "No's" and making it clear that I disapproved of their actions ( and rewarding & praise of good behavior) but I just got laughed at. The rod is clearly needed- but is obviously not an option with a live audience of no means of being consistent in it's application even if no one was around...
Do you have any other thoughts on this topic overall?
Friday, November 28, 2008
The following was sent by a reader via email:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Hold on tight.....and......celebrate a small/giant victory w/me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! before it all disappears into thin air as if it never happened.
Monday, November 24, 2008
In our experience, moments of growth and depth are always followed by days of turmoil. The breakthroughs..... when they come.....are obviously frightening. Things get off kilter. Control shifts. The frightened person grabs at and attempts to regain footing. Parents experience whiplash. Siblings experience whiplash. Things often get ugly even though we don't want them to. We repent. Hopefully our frightened person softens and repents too. And the family gets back on track.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We also talk about how that smile, laugh, kiss or action was pretend. (You cannot force a true reaction but you can discourage the fake one.) I will talk about how I love their real smiles, etc. and that they don't need to pretend. If they are using that pretend gesture to seek attention from a friend or relative, I will say, XX loves you because you are you. You don't need to make a pretend laugh with her. Depending on the intimacy of the relationship, it is great to be able to try again in the moment. Auntie, XX was pretending to laugh to get your attention. She wants to try again.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
There is a play scheduled for Phoenix. Please email us if you'd like details. (See notes on right)
Posted by Simply Moms at 10:40 PM
There is a time to share what God has given you and what you are good at. But when you only want to talk about yourself, you are not being a good listener or a good friend. You are loving yourself. The Bible says in John 15:17 that you need to love others. You didn't choose to love your friends when you XX. Instead, you can ask your friends how they are, what they have been doing, what did they do that day, etc. (Some of this is developmental but I am seeing over and over that attachment kids do not pick up on the social interactions/cues that their peers will. At every turn, we need to be equipping them with the right words to navigate a situation. They are being self-focused, but they also need to know the actions and the words on how to demonstrate selflessness).
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I left the kids at my sisters for 3 hours. I came back and 2 came up with hugs and smiles. The third walked into the room, looked at me, walked around the corner and into the playroom. I had to go, find her, ask for a hug and tell her I missed her.
Not even 2 weeks later, her grandfather came to visit from out of state. She had not seen him in several months. When she saw him, she ran screaming with delight and jumped into his arms. Now this would not seem odd in some families but she NEVER does this for my husband or me. I called her to my side and whispered in her ear, "you may not be the center of attention." She apologized, and we went on with the day. Later that night, as I tucked her in we talked in detail about her inappropriate behavior. I explained that she did not need to pretend with her grandfather. He loves her and does not need her to be the center of attention. Then we talked about the day at her auntie's. I said how it made me sad that she did not even say hi. You are my baby and when we see each other, you need to say hi, give me a hug, etc.
Now when these moments arise, I will stop her and tell her to try again. When she tries to be the center of attention with someone in our more intimate circle, I will say,(even in front of that person), "Oh, you don't need to dance or yell or be the center of attention XX loves you because you are you."
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Being the center of attention is a sin. It is not seeking the interests others (Phil 2:4), and it is seeking its own (1Cor 13:5) It is not cute or sweet or just kids. Quite often what others see of your "charming," "outgoing," "talkative," affectionate," child is far from what you see in your home. They are not showing you those cute little dance moves or snuggling you when no one is looking. It is for the show of others. It is hard to believe it can be wrapped up in those tiny little bodies, with twinkling eyes and a killer smile. But it is.
~Places his head in between your face and another person-usually an adult.
~sings extraordinarily loudly when others are around (we have a lot of music in our home but you can insert talks, tap dances, claps hands as you see)
~interrupts conversation you may be having to tell nonsensical story (I ask the sample lady at costco something about the product. Girlie interrupts and begins to tell a story-out of nowhere- about nametags at dance class. Lady at costco looks at me and her like we are nuts. Smile and walk away)
~begins being uncharacteristically affectionate with Mom in public
~chats and chats and chats and chats with acquaintances/strangers
In the moment, I will call her to my side and hold her hand. When I have a moment, I will lean down and whisper in her ear, "when you put your face in front of Daddy when he is speaking to Mr. X, you are being the center of attention." She knows it so she will usually accept the discipline of having to stand or sit by my side. If she persists I tell her she will choose a discipline when we get home. Now, how did we get to this spot? It has happened enough in our family circle that we have talked about wanting the attention of others. When X happened, you wanted everyone's eyes on you. The Bible calls that sin because you do not want everyone to have fun and have attention (or share or hear or xxx). You want all the fun and attention on you. That is inappropriate.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
No matter the outcome.....God is on the throne, He will still reign in our hearts, relationships and lives if we let Him. And He will still send us love notes in the most unexpected places! Be encouraged, beloved, we are not walking this path alone!!!
Monday, November 3, 2008
I can't help but wonder (not in a sassy way...but in a curious way) at the families I encounter who have been brought together through the blessing of adoption who communicate to the world that.... "All has been.... and is..... running soooo well and so smoothly."
In my mind, the children with the most troublesome red flags are the ones who appear to show no issues whatsoever. Isn't it virtually impossible to walk away from our first environments (orphanage, birth mother womb, bio family) without some sort of wound to our soul? Lord.....sincerely....from the bottom of my heart..... I hope so.
We are the adoptive parents of two girls home from two different countries. One has obviously had a more difficult road to travel attachment wise....but both have had their share of struggles. Even the one who adjusted more readily...and more obviously. Her heart has carried a wound....barely discernable to some....but present and in need of healing....nevertheless.