Jun 9, 2009

Chloe and ABC of Ohio

Chloe can now point to 21 body parts and is growing like a weed.

It's been a long time since I've posted. I've actually sat down several times to begin and then stopped once again not knowing for sure what to say. Things have been pretty rocky at house. I have briefly mentioned some of Chloe's sleeping and anxiety issues in the past, but over the last few months, her behavior and sleep issues have reached a level that we knew we needed to get some more help. A friend recommended the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio. They specialize in adoption attachment and adjustment issues. We are very fortunate to have them located less than 2 hours from us. After a 2 1/2 hr evaluation, the therapist determined that Chloe is only "anxiously attached" to us. She lives as independently of us as possible and then allows us to do what she is unable to. Her emotional development is very much still that of an infant, rather than an almost 2 year old. She has post-traumatic stress disorder from her orphanage and adoption experience and has almost no emotional regulation.

So what does all of that mean in practical terms? In many ways Chloe is a developmental baby in 2 year old body. She lives with us much like she would have in the orphanage. She never learned to trust, because her emotional needs were not met as an infant and therefore is not capable of loving and bonding to us. Presently, her behavior is very volatile. Her sisters get the brunt of her anger, but there many, many explosions and lashings out daily. She is a happy girl when life is on her terms. But let me just say that this is more than just a strong willed child. There are some similarities, but there are also distinctive differences. When Chloe met with the therapist, she asked Chloe to look in her eyes and say "yes" and she go come back to sit with us. Chloe fought her for about 10 min. and completely shut down and went to sleep. She doesn't know what to do when things are stressful. An infant learns to regulate their emotions when they are comforted by their parents when crying. This happens thousands of times and that regulation transfers from parent to child. Chloe, unfortunately did not have the opportunity to learn this.
Thank God that we now have the chance to teach her. We will begin intensive bonding therapy with Chloe in July and your prayers for our family would be greatly appreciated. We'll keep you posted on how it's going. If this information has triggered any questions in the minds of you adoptive parents, please don't hesitate to ask. Just post a comment and I can email you privately.
Chloe has taken to catching flies - can you believe it. She catches them with her bare hands. One day she just brought me a dead fly. I thought she must have just found it, but the next day she proceeded to catch 4 more at the window. I guess her fine motor skills have caught up :)

Chloe loves the warm weather and would play outside all day if she could.