Monday, February 7, 2011

Lovin' Everyone

And that sounds like a good thing, right? Well, it's not, and I'm interested to hear from those of you who have gone through this with children you have brought home at various ages. The whole idea of "loving" and snuggling with everyone, and sometimes not wanting to go to mama and baba because their not giving her what she wants. We were wondering if it would happen. After all, Jenna has a million dollar smile, and steals hearts in an instant. I think she's used to flashing that smile to, well, manipulate.
I've read lots of adoption articles that talk about this, but haven't really experienced it. Children come home and look to everyone and anyone who will love them, and give them what they want. They know who mama and baba are, but for a while, they're just the names of those adults at home who set the rules. I think we've reached that point.
So, what have you done? How do you set boundaries so that your child knows that mama and baba are where they go for comfort and love and security, and not every "stranger" that they meet? How do you do this without offending all those who want to love her, too?
Do share!


Anonymous said...

As one of those "strangers". I would just like to say that yes she is adorable and has a smile that melts hearts and I already love her and am so incredibly excited for you both.
On the other hand: I understand where you are coming from and was not one bit offended. I believe she does need to learn that you are the ones she needs to go to for comfort and support. I will be praying that she learns this quickly.

Elaine Beach said...

Try the book 'Adopting the Hurt Child' by Dr. Gregory Keck. We have actually taken our daughter to his therapy and it has been life changing for her. I wish we had read this book and used the techniques when we first adopted.

Andy said...

We asked those close to us (friends, neighbors etc) to not reach for her for a few months. It took a little while, but eventually she stopped going to everyone who walked by her!

As for physicians, I am not sure where you are located. We are in Kansas City, MO and have found a great surgeon in St. Louis at Shriners Hospital for Children. His name is Charles Goldfarb. He is very familiar with cleft hands and feet. He has done surgery on Maeve's hands and feet. He has an excellent bedside manner and really talks to us as equals. It is worth the drive for us!

Audrey said...

It would be best if, until you begin to see a change in Jenna, that only and I mean ONLY you and her Daddy meet her needs. Not one of the kids, not grandma etc. That makes it hard, I know as you have only two hands and the help is valuable but she has to understand the concept of Mom and Dad, as well as trust and and will take time and yes, there are good books that can help you along the road. So glad your home safely and she is adorable! Praying for you!!

Kathy Roberts said...

Hi Angie,
I've read about this. The recommendation is: To show Jenna that you are her Mama, you should be the only caregiver to meet Jenna's needs & wants. You should do this for 6 months (I know, that seems like a long time). This way, Jenna realizes that you are her Mama, and not just some grownup with that name. You are there for Jenna to give her love & comfort, snuggle, any help, provide food, bathing, dressing, etc. Jenna will soon learn the meaning of Mama.
Hope this helps, Kathy

Jenny said...

Angie- we have been going through the bonding process too. We had a small army with us when we went to China- the bigger kids and my niece. She bonded to the kids right away. That was an important part of her life- and still is- she LOVES her siblings. She also was able to connect with us too. At first when we came home, anyone we greeted with excitement and a hug, she really wanted hugs too. We did let her. That has dwindled a bit, but still, if we give our friends hugs when we see them, she needs a hug too.

I think it really depends on the child. She comes to me when she is hurt, or sad. She also recently has put her hands on my face and says "my Momma" Melts my heart. She runs to Daddy or anyone if they return from a playdate or being at work. Our friends were all really respectful of our request to remain a little reserved in their affections. They really follow our lead.

I guess to me, I really follow her lead on the bonding issues. Thankfully, for now, we continue to progress. We are praying for you!!

Karin said...

It really depends. There is a wide spectrum of how much a child will reject Mama and get her needs met elsewhere. We usually keep our newly adopted kids close--if we go out in public, church, etc. we keep them with us. We have explained to those close to us that she/he has to learn to accept us and that after she does, we will let them hold her. But honestly, it's soooo hard for people to resist. We pretty much had to just keep our kids home as much as possible. We did all of the feeding but we didn't ask our kids to stay away from their new sibs. Jenna may be testing you a bit to see if you will give in to her rejection and let her have what she wants. :) Or she may be having some bonding struggles, but I bet she will come around quickly.

nicole said...

the website onethankfulmom on blogger has some great tips. try the rocking 15 mins a day suggestion on the site. co-sleeping, feeding games, baths together, kiddo wearing. also we went with cacooning and only parents hold and meet needs. seriously...stay home and let her know that is a safe place until you see progress. happy bonding!