Nov 18, 2009

Family Photos

   Last night we were scheduled to take a family photo for Christmas.  Chloe had done really well the previous week for her own pictures, so we were not anticipating any problems.  I had spent a lot of time finding coordinating clothes and then getting everyone ready last night took a couple of hours.  I was pretty exhausted by the time we got to the photo shoot.  As you know, when you take a group photo, it's takes time to get everyone arranged and the youngest one always gets placed in the group last.  This was very disturbing to Chloe.  She just walked around us and said, "Mommy, my turn?"  There were almost tears in her eyes, she was so worried she would be left out.  Eventually her patience just wore out and she did everything she could do to disrupt the session.  Chloe stuck out her tongue.  She tickled us.  She turned upside down.  She ran away and eventually, she just cried refusing to wear her outfit or sit in the picture at all.  I was going back and forth between pittying her because she didn't seem to be able to emotionally handle the situation and being furious because she was doing everything opposite she was being told.  Finally, the photographer said she had gotten enough shots and she could do a head swap on some of the photos so Chloe is looking at the camera.  Thank goodness for modern technology.  Needless to say, we were all spent by the time we got home.  I can't wait to see the pictures though and I'll try get permission to post some on our site as soon as possible.
   I am happy to say the Attachment and Bonding Seminar we hosted on Sat. went very well.  We had over 40 people there and we hope to continue offering education to parents who are struggling.  So many adoptive families face unexpected frustrations and we want to do all we can to give them hope and help.

Nov 11, 2009

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

    At our last therapy session, Arleta suggested it was time to work on getting Chloe out of our bed.  Yah!!!  I must say that this caused me a significant amount of apprehension at the same time.  For a little history, Chloe has had a lot of sleep issues from the first day we got home and it was really the driving force behind us finding ABC of Ohio.  She has always been a light sleeper and very restless.  This is caused by her anxiety and need to be in control.  Chloe seems to sleep with "one eye open" so she doesn't miss anything, never really getting into deep sleep.  Light sleep was important at the orphanage so she didn't miss anything, like a bottle, but she still hasn't transitioned out of it to be a sleeping "family girl."  For a little over a year, Chloe has slept with Greg and I.  This has certainly had an impact on us, but at the time it was a last resort to get some more sleep.  Chloe was waking so often at night, we ended up sleeping next to her mattress on the floor most of the time.
   My apprehension about getting her out of our bed came from Arleta's warning, "this will probably make Chloe regress."  I know that regression is a normal and necessary part of the bonding process, but a part that I have certainly been dreading.  Regression allows the brain to catch up and fill in the missing pieces caused by rapid forward development.  Did you ever notice how a child who is working hard to learn to walk will stop talking for a short time?  Little did I know, we were about to hit regression anyway.  We never even had a chance to rearrange our bedroom to accommadate another mattress before "old" Chloe was back.  I had truly forgotten what it was like.  She is back to screaming, demanding, running away from me, wiggling all the time (fllight mode), and being very defiant.  I was shopping with several of the girls last week and she screamed at them a couple of times for just looking at her. Children have such a delightful waying of keeping us humble. Chloe is even resisting eye contact during holding therapy again.
   Thank goodness I have Arleta to call during these times of frustration.  I am much calmer after speaking with her and I know that this too will pass.  The great thing about regression is that once Chloe is passed it, she will not need to regress that far again and will probably have made even further strides forward.  In the mean time, I'll take a deep breath and know it's only for a time.

 Chloe and her buddies had a front row seat in the basement as her sister practiced for their Christmas program.
Bath time is Chloe's absolute favorite.  Sometimes she like to take a bath in the laundry room wash tub instead of the bathtub.  Chloe calls it a "Nilla bath," because it's where we give our dog Nilla her baths.

   As a closing note, please remember us in prayer on Sat., Nov 14th.  Chloe's therapist will be speaking to about 40 local adoptive parents who want to know more about attachment and bonding issues.  The seminar is from 1-4pm and we pray that it will bring hope and help to a lot of struggling parents.