We have started the adoption journey rather slowly-in fact, we are STILL waiting to find out if our application to even adopt the waiting child we are trying to adopt has been approved.....and we did our application a good month ago.
So, I guess it is good practice for all the waiting that will be coming up, eh?
Anyways, in the meantime, I have been reading everything and anything about adoption of toddlers, since our little Princess will be just over 2 1/2 by the time we can go get her. That is, IF the timeline goes as quickly as our agency predicted, once we finally hear if we are approved. It might be only 10 months once we find out if we are approved, since she is a waiting child with moderate special needs, but then, most people seem to have had a few years of waiting, so who knows, right?
But, back to what I have been reading. Our agency has a book list they recommend, so I have been going through the entire list one by one. Most have been so inspiring to read, like Orphanology, and others sound like they were written by spoiled brats, like Twenty Things Adoptive Kids With Their Adoptive Parents Knew, and then others, like Toddler Adoption, have me scared.
Like seriously scared.
There are SO many things I had not thought about toddler adoption. Like attachment issues, and discipline that normally works for toddlers apparently isn't good for the newly adopted toddler-like time out. And independence isn't a good sign. And you want them to grieve, but you want them to be able to say goodbye and see their caregiver give approval of you, so they can then attach to you....what if that doesn't happen?
What if we have a child that won't attach?
The author has a ton of ideas and tips on how to approach it, but the thought is actually overwhelming-especially since this author indicated that older toddlers-like 2 to 4-have the worst time of forming a new attachment, especially if they have never attached to anyone before.
So while I am waiting to hear from our agency today (fingers crossed) if our application is approved or not, and that we are clear to start our homestudy, I will just be trying to wrap my head around the worst case scenario of what our Princess might have been through, and how her behavior will be.
It is really scary to think about our child hating us and wanting to hurt us, but I think we are up to the challenge. I think we can help her trust us.
I think. And hope.
*and just so you know, the "Twenty things..." book did have some really good points to make, but overall the author's personal stories had the tone of a very spoiled, over indulged child blaming all her life mistakes on the fact she was adopted, when to me, it seemed like most of her issues and mistakes as an adult and teen resulted from a lack of directional discipline from parents that instead gave into and feed her every whim. I don't quite agree with her that someone adopted as a newborn is going to have a primal wound that will never heal.....I think a child's reaction to their adoption has to do very much with how open and age appropriate the parents are with sharing information and allowing periods of grief at stages of life, but still treating that child as a child you must rise into an empathetic, loving, strong and self sufficient adult. *