Monday, July 20, 2009

September it is...

The big news today is that the CCAA has mailed referrals for families logged in on 3-21 and 3-22. What this means for us, is that next month, the referrals should be for 3-23, 3-24, 3-25, and 3-26. (3-23 and 3-24 are medium big days and 3-25 and 3-26 are teeny tiny). We are a shoo in for September. I am 95% sure this is when it's gonna happen- when we will receive our referral. I think at this point the only thing that would prevent that from happening is if referrals stopped altogether for a month again.
So, a referral in September (likely the week of 9-21 through 9-25) would mean we will travel to China late October/Early November. YAY!!! We should be home in time for Thanksgiving. The long wait is almost over. It's hard to comprehend.
I would like to address something that today I had to address with my mom. I will not be taking the baby to any baby showers, parties, or any kind of get together until we are home for several months. Over stimulation for a child who has only known a very small world can cause them to shut down and will make the attachment process harder.
Let me paint the picture for you... a child, who is around a year old... has never ever left the orphanage except on the day she was brought to you. If she was fortunate enough to be in foster care, she was likely in a home that was very simple, perhaps even dirt floors.
Suddenly for the first time in her life she is removed from that world. And handed over to 2 people who look nothing like her other caregivers. Who smell weird and want her to eat different food. Her clothes are different too... no longer bundled up in 10 layers. And airconditioning in the hotel...this is new too. Suddenly she's in an airport... surrounded by a crowd of people...loud noises and lots of lights. Then she is on a plane for at least 17 hours. Day is night and night is now day. She is brought into a new home...all the Chinese faces have disappeared... no one looks familiar. The things these people are saying... they don't sound anything like the sounds she's heard. Suddenly there is a furry creature there....
That is a lot of change to happen to a one year old in a very short amount of time. When we come home, our world will be very small. We are going to be at home most of the time. Any trips out of the house will be to quiet places like the library, or a park, or for a walk in the neighborhood. If I have to take her to the store, she will be in the carrier facing me and we will go when I know not a lot of people will be there. Even though it will be near Christmas, the only decorations I will likely put up are the tree and stockings. All my attention will be on this child and teaching her what it means to have a mommy and a daddy and a home. After we get home I will only have 10 weeks before I am back at work full time. I have to make sure she is as attached to us as possible, and part of that means keeping her world small.
Until we feel she's bonded with us, Derek and I will be the only ones to hold her and feed her and change her. She has to learn that we are her parents and she can trust on us to take care of her.
I'm not going to be one of those parents who think their way is the only way. BUT, I am going to be vigilant about helping her bond with us in the beginning as that will set the stage for how secure she is her entire life. I'm reading the books, doing the research. I realize there are no guarantees. And our daughter may bond to us very quickly and I will be able to relax more about it when we are home. I have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I have to be ready for this to be a difficult transition.
I know many of you mean well, and think, "Oh it will be ok, all you have to do is love her and she'll fall in love with you and Derek."  I respect the fact that many of you are parents and grandparents and you have a wealth of experience and advice. But please know that parenting a child who has been instituionalized her entire life and has been abandoned twice (1st by birth parents and 2nd by her orphanage caregivers)is different than giving birth to a child. If we do it right in the beginning, the chance for problems later greatly diminishes. So while I realize you do know what you are doing for your children, please respect our wishes concerning our child.  I can't wait to introduce her to our friends and family... but I will do so only as I feel she can handle it... one at a time... most likely in our home.
I hope you all can share in our joy and I hope that no one gets their feelings hurt. We are just trying to do what we feel is best for our daughter.

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3D said...

We are getting there.

Check out Taming the Tiger While It Is Still a Kitten. It is a great resource.

Keep smilin!

Karen and Jon said...

Well said. I THINK we have that topic under control but I may have to come and borrow some of these words in a few weeks :)
Hang in there, girl - you are sooooo close!!

Jay and Kelly said...

I agree with you that September is the month for us! I am getting really excited and nervous at the same time.

A New Beginning said...

Extremely well said. I am very glad you posted that. I am sure there are a lot of people, myself included, who have not thought of it that way. We will certainly be thinking of you all!

I am so excited for you all as well!