Like so many other aspects of parenting, I was more of an expert on bonding and attachment with adopted children before actually mothering my newly adopted daughter.
Before taking custody of our new daughter I attended a 6 week long course at a local church taught by a therapist trained in Theraplay (a true bonding expert), read tons of books, went to a 2 day training workshop offered by our adoption agency on older child (non-infant) adoption, watched nearly all the Karyn Purvis DVDs, participated in 4 adoption conferences, and all that is in addition to the training required by our adoption agency!
I thought I knew some stuff.
I will say the things I learned were all very helpful and eye-opening. I'm glad I did the extra training and learned so much that has been useful now as an adoptive parent. But, in my day to day existence, I find myself wanting more practical help. Like, I think, "Okay, I get why this is important, but how do I implement it in real life with my 3 year old?" I am often questioning in my head if I'm doing things right and wondering just what Karyn Purvis would do if she were here right now in this situation!
But some how, some way, by the grace of God, bonding and attachment is happening. It's a beautiful thing to realize the progress we've made in less than 2 months time!
With the disclaimer that I am not an expert, and our daughter has been home less than 2 months, so I have no idea how things will go in the long run, I'm going to share some of my real life experiences with the hope that maybe someone else will benefit from hearing it.
I will start with sleep -- a popular topic in adoption books, and an issue near and dear to every parent's heart -- and share how it's gone for us these past several weeks, what's worked for us and what hasn't.
Just, not today, because I need to go get some sleep before an early date with my 2 oldest kids. It's Breakfast with Mom at the elementary school.