Mar 31, 2011

Won't You Be My Love

  When the going gets tough as an adoptive parent, it can be tough to keep looking at the "bigger picture."  I heard a song yesterday that helped me refocus my perspective.  It's all about giving a lost child the freedom to know Jesus for eternity.  Click the link to the song below and listen especially to the 2nd verse.  I hope it's an encouragement to you too.

You Tube: Won't You Be My Love by Mercy Me

Mar 20, 2011

Adoption Issues Blog

I have spent a lot of time on this blog talking about attachment and now I would like to begin sharing blog entries from Chloe attachment therapist, Arleta James.  Adoption and attachment issues are very complicated and vary from child to child.  I hope it will be helpful to other adoptive parents who struggle to show love to their kids each day.   Perscriptives on Challenged Family Building

Mar 17, 2011

Mr & Mrs Beach

   It is not uncommon for an adoptive child to get angry with their parents and blame them for taking them away from their birth  parent(s).  Because they don't understand the reality of abandonment, the truth is twisted and the rescuing parents become the "bad guys." 
   Chloe had been on a slippery downhill slope of regression ever since we missed a session of her neuro feedback, the brainwave treatment that I have spoken about that's part of her ongoing therapy.  It all came to a head last week when a very angry, stubborn Chloe had therapy.  Arleta, Chloe's attachment therapist,  proceeded to tell her that she needed to listen to Mom and Dad and act like a family girl.  Chloe seemed very angry and refused to speak, so Arleta talked to her about her life story, a sort of time line of events beginning with her abandonment and progressing to when she was adopted and traveled to America.  As we talk about how she must have felt throughout this timeline, something will often trigger an emotion for Chloe.  Her face may get red with anger or tears will well up in her eyes, sometimes her forehead will furrow or she'll start breathing quickly.  Suffice it to say, it is always very obvious when we've hit on the right area of trouble.
   On a previous visit, Chloe had been very angry when she was told she was not going to live in China again.  We knew this issue was still unresolved.  Arleta asked Chloe if Mommy and Daddy were important to her (in an effort to motivate to make better choices).  Chloe promptly said no we were not and when Arleta asked her to tell us, she sat up, looked each of us in the eye and said, "You are not important to me."  The consequence she was given by Arleta, since we were not important to her, was that we were Mr & Mrs Beach to Chloe instead of Mom and Dad.  This meant we still took care of her, but she did not get special loving privileges of being part of the family, candy, fun toys, choices, etc. since she rejected the family. 
   Chloe continued to call us Mr & Mrs Beach and refuse to be part of the family for almost 3 days.  Occasionally we would ask her if she had decided yet to be part of the family and she would just say no.  Finally, Sunday night, Greg was putting Chloe to bed and asked her once again if she wanted to be a part of the family.  She smiled and said yes.  Chloe then went on to tell both Greg and I that we are important to her and that she loved us.  Once again our sweet, kind-hearted Chloe was back.  She had let go of all the anger and had come to a place of acceptance again.  What a relief to be back to "normal."  Arleta did say it usually takes two times of this happening for it to really stick, so at some point I will probably have to be Mrs Beach again. :(
     On a lighter note, we celebrated Chinese New Year as a family a few weeks ago and here are some pictures.

Chloe's working on mastering her chopsticks.  The little guy at the top holds them together to make it easier to learn.  I think I need some like that. :)

Mar 4, 2011

Sleigh Ride at the Exotic Animal Farm

We got to spend the wknd with the Brown family, our adoptive friends.  There is an exotic animal petting farm a few minutes from our house, so we took an amazing sleigh ride through the animals.
We all huddled under very warm blankets and slipped and slid over the hills to feed the animals.
Chloe loved feeding the llamas and one of us even got caught in the spitting crossfire.
We got to meet George the 17ft. daddy giraffe in the barn where he was staying with about 6 other giraffes.  He was huge!  This is a 2nd story platform we're standing on to see him eye to eye.
While we waited for the sleighs to arrive, we got to visit with a baby zebra and giraffe.  What an amazing experience!
We spent the rest of the wknd at a hotel with the Browns and enjoyed catching up.  The girls got to go swimming and just had fun playing tag and hiding from everyone.
Alexandria and Chloe were orphanage buddies.
Chloe discovered goggles for the first time and is now swimming around with her head under the water.
What a fish!  A little fear could be a good thing too :)