Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the bond that heals

If you didn't hear me in my last post, let me just say again how appreciative we are for all of the support we are receiving.  So many people are pursuing us through phone calls and emails and face to face visits.

P1010421 Of course, not one person can resist our daughter's cuteness.

She is magical for sure.

As she is exposed to more and more of our wonderful friends and social circles, I have found myself needing to put this post out there.

Joya has been put through a significant trauma.  She wasn't physically abused, but her emotional life was turned upside down less than three weeks ago when we took her from her foster family and her birth country and culture.

Although she greets most everyone with a "Ha-low" (hello) and has smiles and funny faces and songs that draw us all in, she is still learning who her forever family is.  If you have been reading our China posts, you know that initially she was clinging to Kenyon.  She didn't want anything to do with me for the first week.

Slowly, she tolerated me and allowed me to be the food maker, poop checker, and snot wiper.  But she still almost exclusively wanted her dad.

P1010464 Now that we are home, she is not panicked when Kenyon is out of sight.  In fact, he is out of town on business for two days and she and I have made some strides.  She comes to me for her needs and accepts affection and comfort from me - she has even initiated affection toward me, which is HUGE to me.

When entering a room, 'normal' toddlers will usually hang back a bit and look to their parents for a 'read' on the situation.  They are cautious and will take cues from their parents on how they are to act in that environment, with those people.

Because she has only been with us 2.5 weeks, Joya still looks to everyone as potential caregivers.

P1010442 Our main issue at this point in time is trying to help Joya to realize that we are her parents.  While we are so excited for everyone to meet her, I hope you will understand when we redirect her back to ourselves if she asks you to pick her up.  Please feel free to smile at and engage her, blow kisses and talk to her, but please resist the urge to scoop her up and squeeze her.

I know, it is tough to resist.

If she wants food, feel free to bring it to our attention, but it is really important that we be the ones to feed her or "deliver" her food to her.  It's not that we don't want to share her or that we don't want you to touch her.  It's that she needs to learn who her parents are and attach to us in a healthy way.

IMG_0479This takes time and we want to do it right.  We are hoping that you can all understand that we don't desire to be overprotective, but we want to prevent any long term emotional problems by doing this well.  When we see this secure attachment forming, we'll be encouraging her to have relationships with other adults as we do with our sons.

So, please come see us and enjoy our entertaining children!  We know you'll do nothing but support us and thank you in advance for honoring our request.


Candis Daugherty said...

Okay. I'm glad I'm not there now. Not sure I could resist! Thanks for the insight into the real issues of adoption. I can better pray for you now! Please get her all "bonded" up so that when you come to Florida to see me, I can just smooch all over that precious little girl!!! ;-)

Bet you never thought (or maybe you did) that God would be perfecting so many fruits of the Spirit in you through this process! Love you, my friend!!

appkids5 said...

Agree with Candis. The real issues of adoption are far greater than we can imagine. Thank you sharing your journey and allowing us the privilege to pray for your family.

Tracy said...

Loved to catch up on how you are doing! :) Hang in there and know it gets better and better. Your wording was sensitive and great as it is hard to explain attachment. I know what you are going through and will be praying for you! Please feel free to call or email (I know in all your spare time :)if you need anything!
Love, Tracy

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