Saturday, February 16, 2013
Building bridges of trust, through play and time spent
The other day I went as always to the bus stop to pick up Miss G and some days if I am really busy at home, I set a timer to go off so I am not late. Somewhat anal about late but in this case it is most important, because my little girl would be on the side of the road and scared I had left her.
It is this sense of abandonment and fear that works both ways; each day I am at the bus stop on time, it builds trust. Trust one of the major stepping stones to attachment.
There I said it..the "a" word.....attachment...the crazy word that we adoptive parents read every book we can find, prior to our children coming home but then forget half of it because we are living in the moment.
Life is ever changing but, there is seldom routine that doesn't grow or morph into something else for us. When we were in the ever spiralling downward vortex of waiting, it seemed that attachment was BIG. It was SCARY. It was something we needed to WORK ON. It was the catch phrase you chatted about to other adoptive parents.
Attachment is a process and one that is a continuum, it doesn't happen in the first days or first weeks or first months, it happens when there is relationship and there is trust and there is love, and it happens without being noticed.
Do our kids know and respect us as parents, yes.
Do they come to us when scared, hungry or hurt, yes
Do they watch where we are in a room and feel safe, yes.
They are attaching.
Thankfully we didn't have to do any of the fifteen step plans some books laid out. We just had to keep loving, believing, praying over and building trust honouring the commitment to take care of all of their needs. Attachment came.
We are learning and we are loving two littles every day. I love it. I love the simple prayers of thank you Jesus for mommy and daddy and for pancakes!
I love answering the questions..why did God give you two girls...why can't you just stop parenting me...how come daddy gets coke at dinner...yep they just keep coming. Some simple, some deep...why did God spare Ramses, when he could have drowned him in the sea for not believing....Do you think Ramses learned his lesson? I don't know all the answers but I do know that having time to spend just sitting around, chatting, is a gift.
There are many days that the yard or house is unkept, there are many nights when fatigue over takes common sense and we have gone swimming or skating on a school night. There are days when staying in pjs's until noon because we really have nothing that "has" to be done . There are days when we sit in the driveway inside the car, solving something without breaking up the moment.
I think finding the spot where nothing else matters but them, has made the road simpler and easier to navigate. I rarely think of attachment or spend time re reading the books. I know where something is located so I can if I want to, but honestly spending time sitting on the floor with them is a better strategy. If they are tired, have fear or anxiety over something, if they are grieving the losses in their life, time is the healer. Trust gives them the ability to share intimate details and time spent makes them feel heard. Being heard and trusted, and time will heal parts of their broken hearts.
I have spent a ton of time making time for the girls, now we are working in, the details of things we have to do and they can do them with us, and eventually we will move to a place where the girls fit into our schedule. Not that I am saying they don't fit, but a time where we do not need to intentionally parent or problem solve any flags before doing. More spontaneous and less structure is next up.
Home seven months...and like I said, our lives change daily!
Note: I am in no way trying to minimize the struggle parents with children dealing with attachment related behaviours, but I am clearly hoping that someone will walk away from this saying..Phew...I don't need to read another book, because every kid is different and I am just going to need to figure out what works best!