Many of you have been asking, “when is she coming?” We still don’t know. We don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know. Sure wish we did! What we do know is that we are still crazy about her and praying, begging God to open up the doors for this adoption.
We finally finished our “service plan” – per our adoption agency’s requirements. Our minds are FULL of helpful information and “what if’s” and stories of what could happen when we bring her home. It was challenging to read and not be able to apply, but I know that day is coming. Our service plan included a 7-book reading list with book reports for each, homework like creating our will, finding pediatricians, researching the India culture & local Indian community events, etc. A few things we found to be very interesting and repeated throughout every book we read:
Culture: it will be so important for us to intertwine the Indian culture in her everyday life. She will be a healthier adult and have a stronger self-concept if we make sure India stays a part of her life! By the book suggestions:
– eat more Indian food! And learn to cook it (something more than Trader Joes frozen Indian meals)
– participate in Indian events in the area
– Have artifacts from India around our house
– Celebrating India holidays
Attachment: Internationally adopted children naturally have a slower time attaching to their adopted parents – mostly because they are accustomed to having multiple caregivers/volunteers coming through to visit their orphanage. Another reason they have a difficult time attaching to their parents is because they never had the chance to form an attachment with a caregiver. Many struggle with what they call “indiscriminate friendliness” which means they basically don’t know at first who is mom or dad. Our girl may come home and think you, and you, and you are her “mommy.” We read some fabulous books on attachment parenting that give lots of tips on how to overcome this and teach her that WE are her parents. What a joy it will be to pursue this relationship with her and to teach her to trust us – what a picture of the gospel and God’s pursuit of us! Some of the attachment practices they teach:
– parents being the only ones to feed her at first (teaches trust for basic needs)
– not leaving her isolated or crying by herself, hurrying to her cries
– babywearing – I love this term and can’t wait for it! Ergobaby here we come!
– no overnight stays away from her during the first period of time she’s home
– limited childcare/babysitters at first
Honoring her birth family: This subject was hard for me at first to read about. After all, I want her to know that WE are her family. The more we read, we realized that she will always have an ache in her heart, and a longing to know about her birth family. One day, she’ll have a desire to know them. Although this may not be possible, it will be important for us to honor that relationship. Her mother gave her an incredible gift in getting her into an orphanage under someone’s care – her mother gave her the gift of LIFE. I get a little teary when I think about this. We want her to have positive thoughts about her birthfamily, and to even have conversations about this and pray thanking God that her birth parents chose to give her life. We don’t want to hide the fact that she was adopted or that she has a birthfamily alive somewhere in India. We pray she’ll always know and feel comfortable in talking to us about this.
Deep stuff – and I’m sure will be challenging at times. I’m thankful for the preparation in this waiting – that we will be walking into this relationship with our daughter hopefully somewhat equipped. But we know the equipping won’t be through the books, dvds, or research we’ve done. There are so many things we will have to face with lots of patience and asking the Lord what’s next. We won’t be perfect parents, but we’re praying she’ll grow up knowing without a doubt that “she’s ours,” a Taylor girl, who was loved way long before she even knew us.
We loved because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19