Wednesday, May 23, 2007

7 months since DTV

I can't believe we have made it 7 months just waiting! Things on the to do list to make it through the next month are:

1) Get up early on weekends to go to yard sales. We are not yard sales people, but
if I want to start a home daycare to be able to stay home with our little one,
I'd better get some stuff!

2) Enjoy my 3 week vacation! That's right no nursing home work for me, for 3 full

3) Hopefully get together & visit with friends before the big rush to travel etc.

4) Paint. We still need to paint the living room, & hallway for sure, possibly the
bathroom. (If we finally get our referral, the bathroom won't be painted anytime

5) Hopefully get our referral so we can finish getting ready for the baby! and then
we can start packing to travel.

In my perfect world we would receive a referral like right now, then I would have three weeks vacation, get ready for baby, pack for travel, go back to work for a week, & then head to VIETNAM!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is how I am feeling today, except add in Bronchitis, a cold & overall feeling crappy.
I'm off to sleep on the couch for a nap. Here's hoping I'm feeling better, and less grouchy when I wake up.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Friends & A New Carrier

On Saturday we met with a group of other families that are in process of adopting from Vietnam. We had lunch at Saigon Sister a Vietnamese restaurant in Toronto.
Lunch was great, and it was a wonderful way to spend Mother's Day weekend. I am looking forward to getting to know these new friends better, and it was nice to be able to put a face to the names of those that have blogs, and to those that I e-mail constantly.
I keep thinking that I would love to travel with any of them, & hopefully that happens soon for some. The latest gossip seems positive, and people feel that good news is coming soon. I sure hope they are right! I would love to be able to surprise Gavin with a referral around Father's Day.
Also, Gavin has been looking into buying the perfect baby carrier. He decided it would be best to purchase one that promotes attachment, and so we decided on the ergo.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I can't believe that I am actually going to say this, are you ready?. Gavin and I really are appreciative of the 15 month wait in this adoption to really communicate and explore how we want to raise our children.
If we had been parents 15 months ago, I can't say for certain that we would have known the value of co- sleeping, carrying the baby, not leaving the baby overnight or for extended periods of time. I don't think I would have considered staying home and doing home daycare after parental leave,or for allowing our child to regress in order to go through all of the emotional stages he/she will need to go through. I don't know if we would have ever considered letting the baby use a bottle long after other babies have been weaned, or consider holding the baby as opposed to "time- out" which may have a negative effect on the baby that has been adopted.
To quote Oprah " when you know better you do better". I believe that in the eyes of family and friends we would have seemed like good parents, but learning more and communicating more about parenting, I feel we are much more prepared to parent. Parenting is the focus on this particular baby, if we were pregnant I feel we would have been preoccupied with the pregnancy and birth over parenting.(This last statement is in regard to our situation, and is in no means to down play the excitement and importance of pregnancy & birth)
These are some of the tools that Gavin and I are going to use to help with attachment and the security of our baby:

Emotional Age
Many attachment professionals agree that the emotional age of a child at placement is set back to zero months. It is important to always consider the emotional age of your child and not the chronological age. Emotionally, your baby needs regression in order to go through the attachment process with his forever mommy and daddy. Baby that baby!

Stay Home
Stick close to home and avoid the revolving door of visitors until the baby has had time to adjust and learn who his parents are. Remember, you are strangers to this baby. He has not been waiting a long time for you. When the time comes to introduce the baby to family and friends, it is best to limit holding to Mother and Father.

Meet Baby's Needs Quickly and Consistently
Allow baby to see you and be held by you as much as she needs to feel safe and comfortable. Respond to all cries immediately while being both calm and loving--no matter what time it is or what you are in the middle of doing.

Use Skin on Skin Contact
Bathe with baby
Carry in arms or in carrier without lots of clothing between Mommy and baby
Routine massages (morning and night) using lotion

Use the same lotion as baby. One baby brand we like carries a lavender (calming) and vanilla scent.

Keep bottles as an attachment tool for as long as possible. Bottles should always be given in mother's arms while encouraging eye contact. Some babies have a hard time with eye contact. In this case, place your rocker in front of a large mirror so she can still see Mommy taking care of her.

It is best to sleep while the baby sleeps so that you are alert and available for his waking hours. Co-sleeping is recommended, but expect that it may take some getting used to.

A valuable attachment tool, co-sleeping has helped families continue the bonding process throughout the night.

Use a Baby Carrier
Carry your baby close to you as long and as often as possible.

As your baby adjusts to the many changes, find a schedule in which you can begin to incorporate routines. Consistent routines help a baby predict what will happen next and help him feel safer.

Use every opportunity to make eye contact and enjoy your baby. Interact and play during bottle time, mealtime, floor time, bath time, etc. Make interacting a large part of your day. Some babies have trouble with eye contact or face-to-face interaction. In these cases, sit with her in front of a large mirror so she can still see the delight and joy in your eyes while playing in a less threatening way.

Playing games that focus the baby's attention on Mommy and Daddy like peek-a-boo and "Where's Mommy?" help establish over and over who the important caretakers in her life are now.

Family and Friends
Because of separation from birth mother and at least one foster mother, often the baby may be waiting for the next caregiver to come along. Once the baby has had time to adjust to all of the different changes and learn who Mom and Dad are, it is often helpful to not only use family members and friends to run errands, cook meals, help keep house, etc. but to help them to always redirect the baby back to Mommy and Daddy. This will help establish that these two people are the primary caregivers and the most important people in his life.

This letter to family and friends says it better than I ever could have:

Dear Family and Friends,

As we prepare for the arrival of our son, we have learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of our baby. In his short life, our son will have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle. Imagine how much harder the changes will be for him. While he may not consciously remember the events, he will still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief and trauma. He's already experienced the loss of a birthmother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of his birth country. His world will turn upside down. He will struggle with feeling safe and secure and he may lack the ability to trust that we will meet his needs.

We have prepared to meet his emotional needs so that he does learn that we will always take care of him and we will always keep him safe. We need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment we will allow him to regress so that he has the opportunity to go through all of the emotional stages with us despite his chronological age. Although it may appear that we are spoiling him, we have been advised that it is best that we meet every need quickly and consistently. Until he has learned that we are his parents, we will need to be his primary caretakers at all times. It is essential that we always hold him, feed him, and do all of the nurturing. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. We will follow his lead and trust our instincts as his parents rather than worry about what society expects.

We have all been waiting anxiously for our son to arrive but he has not been waiting for us. He may show his grief and confusion in many ways and we are prepared to help him through it and prove that we are a forever family and this truly is his last stop. We trust that as our family and friends you will help us to do what is best for our son, and we thank you in advance for your support and understanding.