Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Are we normal?

We cleared three hurdles in our adoption pursuit this week:

1. The Bethany-required psychological exam. It took about 2 1/2 hours and consisted of an individual interview, the Myers-Briggs personality test and a 350-item personality test.

2. Our first homestudy meeting. This was our first real conversation with our social worker, and she's great! We got guidance on filing our I-600A with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. This is like a pre-qualification step -- you're basically asking the government for permission to adopt. The process includes getting fingerprinted, so once we file the forms we will be anxiously awaiting our fingerprinting appointment. We hope to finish our homestudy visits this month and use February to compile our dossier.

3. Bethany training. In addition to the Hague online training (which we completed a week or so ago), Bethany requires additional training: two 2-hour sessions at their offices with other families who plan to adopt internationally and six email sessions. Last night we discussed grief and loss and adjusting once our child comes home. One interesting tidbit we learned: it is recommended that the adoptive parents be the ONLY caregivers for a while to help the child bond. They weren't specific about how long, but I can imagine how hard that will be. I read about one family who did not allow anyone else to hold their child or change a diaper for three months! Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one. I want to do what's best, of course, but it may take some serious weaponry to hold off the grandparents.


Holly said...

Hey Lori, wow you've been busy! When Ellie came home, we were the only ones to feed her, change her, and provide her other needs (bathing, getting up in the middle of the night, etc.) but we did let others hold her for brief bits. Within 2 weeks of being with us she started only wanting me and then she would scream if grandma or grandpa or aunt/uncle etc tried to take her from me. So after a couple weeks it kinda naturally happens anyway. But yes, it's good to make sure you're the only ones providing her NEEDS for at least a couple months. It will better facilitate healthy attachment.

SEG said...

i have thought about this with the grandparent thing parents and sisters are very attached to my other kids and I am sure this little one will get the same over-the-top reaction from his extended family!

Kelli TenHaken said...

I have also thought about this because I am sure my parents are going to be crazy ready to hold our baby right away. I think what Holly said makes sense. It is okay to let other people hold her for brief periods of time, but I will try to make sure we are the main people meeting her/his needs. It might be hard to explain this to other people though who are anxious to meet our kids.

Amy Lu said...

When Iris came home she was only 6 weeks old (domestic.) I had spent a lot of time studying attachment and probably went a little overboard....

Anyway, I was more relaxed if we were at home. Then grandma and grandpa could hold her, and other family members. But if she started to cry, she came right back to me. I considered soothing one of her "needs." As for her other needs, I met ALL of them for 6 months (yeah, like I said, overboard). Even my hubby Tim didn't give her a bottle or change her diaper. When we were out in public, Tim and I were the only ones to hold her. (I still have a great-aunt that is offended from a time I told her "no, you can't hold her")

After six months, I kinda burnt out a little, and decided she was sufficiently bonded to let daddy start helping! :o) I should say, they played and spent lots of snuggly time together, etc. I did that all too, and I was the one to feed her, change her diaper, get her out of bed in the morning, put her to bed at night, and the rest of the "needs" department.

You'll know your child. I think you'll also know what boundaries you're comfortable with. The hard part is voicing those boundaries to someone that just wants to love your baby! Do what you think is best, stick to your guns, and don't feel guilty!