Well, that's it! All my paperwork (for now!) is done and off in the mail. My dossier is in the agencies hands and Friday I received my paperwork to complete my package that goes off to the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Needless to say, it also went OUT on Friday as well! So now the fun begins.
So what to do while waiting? Hmmm... as you've seen, I am NOT patient ;) Time to start the Russian presents, room preparation, baby arrival prep and studying up on attachment techniques. More on that in a minute.
Did she say Russian presents??? Yup -- it's customary to bring presents for the workers in Russia. Or essentially anyone who touches you and your child along the way. This is just like shopping for party favors! A challenge! Let's find the nicest gifts at the most bargain prices possible! Suggestions from previous/current traveling families include purses, cosmetics, wallets, gloves, perfumes, coffee, and chocolates.
The jinx factor... I have really been hesitant to get started on his room because I don't want to "jinx" anything! Unfortunately, if I am not careful -- I could be left with child coming home, no time to do anything and no room prepared! So it really is time to start this phase. And there is lots to do...
So in the vain of the two above mentioned items... my friends Carrie and Rhonda and I went to the magic place on Saturday... IKEA! The little guy received two white 6 drawer dressers (1 tall, 1 long), a rug for the center of his room and a lamp that dims with NO clicking noises. Thanks to Carrie for the no clicking noises tip!! I also made a pit stop on the way home and bought some clearance purses at TJMaxx (two Lauren, 1 Clariborne and 1 Tommy), clearance cosmetic gift sets at Ulta (5), and 4th of July clearance clothes @ Old Navy - too add to his patriotic collection. Clothes are a struggle as I really don't know how old he'll be or what size. While I have requested under 24 months, that is a big range, and babies coming from an orphanage tend to be much smaller. I have also eBayed some nice cashmere lined gloves - so my present collection is growing!!
Finally on to Attachment tips. With the background they've had, you may have heard that some adopted children struggle with attachment to their new families. For some, there is a feeling that this new mom will leave them too... I came across a great site today and wanted to post one of the articles I read - as it may impact my family and friends.
The site (and may others) recommend that you limit "others" holding your newly adopted child for at least 6 weeks (some say 3 months). This helps with the attachment bonding between new parent and child. The reason I want to post this is so people understand the whys and don't think that new parents are just being overly cautious or scared... here's the clip:
Another adoptive mom shares her story:
I am hoping not to offend anyone -- just wanting to share our experiences with no holding. We have three children adopted from Korea. With our first two, we did very little reading about attachment and thought we would just love our children to pieces and all would be well. Our first two arrived at 4 1/2 months of age. My husband is from a large family; they love to pass the baby and believe the child should be content and snuggle with each one. This is what our two sons experienced soon after their arrival - - one struggled and cried and the other seemed indifferent. I felt sad and sick after each visit.
With our third adoption, our daughter was 6 1/2 months at arrival. Before her arrival, we read about and researched attachment. I asked our social worker about no holding for six weeks. She said she had seen wonderful transitions with those who had done this. With the loss and uncertainty our children have experienced before coming to us, not allowing others to hold our child made sense. Before our daughter's arrival, we informed family and friends that we would be the only ones to hold our daughter for six weeks. Because we had allowed our first two to be held, we explained that our daughter was older and we felt we needed to do this to help with her adjustment and attachment. We knew some might not be accepting, yet it wasn't about what other people needed; this was what our child needed. Our daughter's adjustment has been remarkable in comparison to our sons'. We can't know if this was due to no holding initially, personality, or the other attachment methods we have implemented. Our daughter was never anxious and upset when others visited during those first weeks. Our sons were. My seventy-year-old father was so struck by the difference in adjustment with our third child, he remarked that maybe we shouldn't be so anxious to let others hold our daughter after six weeks! (a. 4.5mo, 4.5mo, 6.5mo, FC)
If anyone has any other "Attachment" tips -- I am always open to reading/listening!! Feel free to pass them along!!
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