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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh What a Day!

Whew, what a day!

I'm realizing that I have to pay super close attention to our schedule and changes, because what just feels normal and not busy to me, feels different to Ramya.  Today Madi went back to preschool for the first time since we have been back (they had Tuesday off for conferences and my mom brought her last Thursday).  When we dropped Madi off Ramya seemed ok, as well as during pick-ups, but of course, this meant a change to our routine.  Next we had a visitor that came by for a bit to spend time with us.  Ramya wanted to sit on her lap, because my kids were, but we decided she should set her next to her instead (more on this later) and that worked out.  She left and Madi's therapist came, which is the first therapist we have had in the house since we have been home (other than Madi's respite worker, Amy, but Amy has adopted children as well, so she knows just how to handle herself/situations to make sure that she is encouraging our attachment and bonding), and we also did a quick stop at the grocery store.  This was just wayyyyyyy too much for one day.  When the early evening came, so did the defiance.  We had lots of "no's" and some throwing of things, and then of course came the time-in, which lasted way longer than it should have due to more defiance.  After that was all said and done, the impulsiveness came out in full force.  She was in my arms and happy again, but was just having a hard time settling down and calming.  I did some deep pressure sensory input on her, we ate, and I massaged her with coconut oil, and she finally started relaxing.  After we got ready for bed, we had some more defiance and another time-in, and then finally got to bed, where it took her a while to fall asleep because she was still wound up.

Whew!!

On the plus side, today I was "mom" or "mommy" at least half of the day.  Woooo hooo!  David has mostly been "dad" for a few days now, but I was only getting an occasional mom or mommy from her.  Today, though, I got it quite a bit!  It's what my momma heart needed to still have a smile on my face at the end of today ;).

I also learned some interesting things on attachment today.  I wasn't sure how to handle the lap-sitting thing, as our visitor is someone close to us who she has seen before and who will be around often.  I know that she wanted to sit with her because Conner and Madi were, and because she is becoming familliar, but I also know this is pretty early and that we aren't ready yet.  We decided to have her sit next to her, instead of on her lap, and then to have our visitor ask her if she needed mommy.  It wasn't totally smooth, but it worked.

I thought I should ask around to see what people said about when it is ok to start letting her sit on other people's laps and to be held by people who are close and who are not strangers to us.  Basically the consensus was that there is no exact time, but that it will be a long time (like at least 6 months), and even after it's been a while, it should still be done conservatively.

The reasoning behind this is because she has had nothing but caregivers that come and go and has nothing but change after change (3 orphanages, multiple hospital stays, and her move to us).  She will see people that come, especially people in our family that are close and come often, as other caregivers that come and go, if we aren't careful about making sure that they don't hold her, feed her, have her sit on our laps, etc....  This, though, also makes it seem more like we are just one of many caregivers, instead of her PRIMARY caregivers/parents.  She's had almost 6 years of change, so she doesn't know what permanent feels like.  She also doesn't get friend vs caregiver or caregiver vs mom and dad, who or how to trust, etc...  Because Ramya is at a higher risk of attachment disorder due to all of the moves and changes in her life, we have to be even more vigilant and careful.  Sometimes this may feel awkward, and sometimes it may be hard,  but the chance of having long-term issues will be less if we are really careful now, so that's big and worth it!

Here are some good articles on attaching with children who are adopted:

Good general tips....  http://www.rainbowkids.com/expertarticledetails.aspx?id=29

On adopting older children... http://adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=1358

Tips for parents... http://e-magazine.adoption.com/articles/219/suggestions-for-parenting-the-older-adopted-child-with-attachment-issues.php


I am also learning that it is important for me to take better care of myself to be the momma I need to be to all 3 of my little ones.  For me, this means going to bed at an earlier time.  Before, I could go to bed at midnight or so, wake up at 7:30 or 7:45 with the kiddos, and feed great, even if I was woken up during the night.  Now, though, I have an extra one to wake me up at night, an extra one to wake me up early, and things just take longer and more energy.  I am totally ok with this, but I know it will be important to stay caught up on sleep, so my new goal is to be in bed by about 10:30 (9 more minutes before I have to go to bed... I better hurry!!), at least until the newness of this all has settled and the jet-lag is far behind me :).

Next week our doctor appointments start and I am excited to get a little more feedback on what we can do to help Ramya.  I'm so thankful we have a good team of doctors ready for her!


 

1 comment:

Heidi De Love said...

You are doing great, I love reading your blog, it makes our situation feel "normal", thank you for the links!