Sunday, February 19, 2012

Orphan Sunday-- not a big goat

Adoptive parenting is not like biological parenting.  I didn't believe it at first.  Charlie made a comparison:  We've been raising goats, and we got this horse.  We've tried to care for it like a big goat, but it's not a goat.  Horses need horse food and a different amount of space.  They have a different temperament. 

There are alot of reason that adopted children may need different parent skills than biological.
1.  My biological children were never exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero.  (We have not idea about Little Bear's experience.)
2.  My biological were never sedated.  It is very possible that Little Bear was.  Who knows what was used and what it did to his developing brain and his ability to regulate his emotions.
3.  My biological children began developing a connection to me before they were born.  By the time they were ready to seek some independence, we were strongly attached to one another.  Little Bear can be very conflicted over our relationship.  Our attachment does not have the strength  that the other children have.  When it is strained and stressed it really suffers.
4.  Little Bear has little emotional control.  In this he is just like a baby.  He hits that freak out place long before most children do.  I am trying to learn new strategies to keep everyone level, but it is such a shift in my mind.
5.  Little Bear has suffered more loss than my other children will ever understand.  He has lost caregivers, language, comfort items, culture, physical skills.  He has suffered a lot of pain from surgeries. 

This leaves us with new challenges and we have to find  way to meet them.  Pretty much this week (after talking to a psychologist) I have been trying to parent him like a toddler-- with redirection and calm down time.  Kind of like if Mr. Rogers was disciplining .    More later on how that worked.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

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