Apr 2, 2013

Loss and Developmental Change Side-Effects

  Yesterday Chloe's cat Chip (her constant companion for the past 9 months) had to be put to sleep after being hit on the road and losing the use of his back legs.  It breaks my heart to have to watch Chloe deal with yet another loss in her young life.  She chose to write "Chip had a good family of 6" on his grave marker in our woods.  I think it says a lot about the change that has happened to her heart about our family.  This little girl who did everything in her power to reject attaching to us for years, can now say her cat had a good family and actually admit that she has a good one too.  Acceptance of us has been a long journey for Chloe.
  We travel back to therapy again today to begin dealing with Chloe's recent regression.  In the last post I wrote about Chloe's developmental progression.  Unfortunately, with developmental change also comes a new ability to understand adoption and thus new struggles to process the trauma she has been through.  I'm not really sure yet what this regression is about, but we'll be increasing the therapy sessions until we get to the bottom of it.  Thankfully Chloe's signs of regression this time are more subtle, like craving the center of attention again because of insecurity and needing to look at a picture of Greg and I when we were gone to remember we will come back again and not abandon her.
   Revisiting their story is very common for adoptive kids as they grow up and their brains have a new capacity to process what they have been through.  For instance, at some point Chloe will realize that she was also abandoned by her Chinese father.  Up to this point, her focus is solely that she was abandoned by her China mom.  When this discovery is made, she will have a new sense of loss to deal with.
   Chloe's therapist has a new website with a huge number of resources for anyone interested in learning more about attachment issues and how trauma effects kids.  www.arletajames.com
Also, the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio has a new YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/ABCofOhio with interesting interviews about attachment, etc.  I would strongly encourage adoptive families to check these links.