Monday, November 7, 2011

One Orphan + One Family + One Week =

A bigger family.
Isaac pointing out the health info on the Ethiopian box of childrens' cereal.

Mr. I can do it myself has started to be Mr. I need your help.  This is a pivotal point in adoption attachment and one where we have to be very careful.  He's still feeling out who his parents are and "who's in charge" but we had thought we would be waiting for weeks before Isaac would accept us as his family, so we are very happy with this transition so early.  This success has primarily done with sequestering.

As much fun as it isn't, this short term sequestering him provides:
  • Stability.  He's so used to people coming in and out and nothing being permanent.  By keeping all of the key players in his life the same in the same place, this provides the stability he hasn't experienced before.
  • Lack of non-family stimulus.  Everything that Isaac does is new to him.  Whether it's opening a fridge and seeing food in new places, or even new foods, driving in a car in a car seat that doesn't beep at everything and slam on the breaks or swerve. Elevators.  Escalators. Stores. Cold. Toys. People. Everything.  If he gets to much stimulus, he falls apart, starts hitting, yelling, trying to bite, etc.  This is a sign that he no longer feels safe and secure, so when we start to see this, we know it's time to pull back the reigns.  By making family the familiar, this means he will go to family when he needs comfort today, tomorrow and forever.  Kind of a big deal.
  • Confirmation he is no longer in an orphanage.  The more children he sees at one time, the more it brings back the orphanage feelings and behaviors.  We've seen it happen a few times when we have too many toys out or when it gets too loud.  When he goes into this mode, he starts zoning out, getting angry and possessive.  Pulling out of this is getting gradually easier, but it's not a picnic.
  • A better relationship with Dane.  When Dane and Isaac are alone, Isaac has to chose Dane as his playmate, so Dane is not having to compete with other kids for Isaac's attention.  This means that Dane feels more important and he responds as the super-hero big brother rather than a minimized child.
  • Much needed time for adjustments.  Adding a toddler into your household is a challenge, I'm not going to lie.  Luckily for us, he likes to pick up small items on the ground bring them to us and tell us they are "ca ca" and hand them over, so we are doing pretty well with that.  The tantrums, well those are not a picnic.  We have figured out how to prevent and calm the tantrums, but when we make a mistake and do something that a normal toddler would get mad and then move on, but Isaac decides it's the end of the world, well those are the times we struggle with.
  • A non-stop food supply.  So if Dane is a good eater, then Isaac is an excellent eater.  We kind of wonder if once the parasite(s) clear if his eating will be more normal, or if his eating constantly is an orphanage supply-type issue.  He has turned his nose up to a few things, so we think he might be making up for lost time.  But seriously, he eats nonstop.
  • A healthy environment.  Until we get all of the medical tests back and prescriptions completed, we are going to try to keep him home.  No need to risk passing any of the bugs he brought with him along to anyone else.  We think he is now "clean" but until we have confirmation, we just don't want to risk this.  (Although, we might start getting commissions from Huggies and/or Pampers if we do...Maybe I need to think of this from a different light).
So, Isaac's progress has been significant, Dane's progress also significant.  Mom and Dad are tired, but doing well.  I'm pretty sure that each struggle we have now is one we won't have to hurdle as Isaac grows older, so we will just roll with the punches.

We have decided to advocate for Iris, which means we are trying to find out any way to overcome her current status and if we can't, find out how we can make a long term impact on her life (including making sure the clean water source is installed ASAP at the orphanage).  It's taken a bit more time to get information on the next steps, but it allows us more time to pray for discernment. With 150 million orphans worldwide, we hope that there will be more advocates, as Iris is not the only one in a bad predicament.

Busy, but life changing week.  Wonder what this week will bring?

No comments:

Post a Comment