Monday, November 8, 2010

Prospective Adoptive Parents Need A New Dog In Their Bed

I attended an adoption conference on Saturday and now there's a new dog sleeping in our bed.

Did I succumb to the getting-a-new-puppy-will-take-our-minds-off-the-wait-for-our-new-child-from-Ethiopia idea?

Not exactly. Actually not at all.

Here's the new dog in our bed:

And here's the story:

At the adoption conference I attended a breakout session on bonding and attachment. I've been to a few different speakers on this topic and read a few books, so most of the material presented was not new to me, but there was one suggestion I'd never heard before!

The presenter said that an infant's strongest sense is smell and therefore she suggests to adoptive parents that they sleep with a stuffed animal for a month or so and then get it to the baby they'll be adopting as soon as they can so the baby can process that scent.

In domestic newborn adoption this might mean the stuffed animal would go in the newborn's hospital crib during those 48 hours before the adoptive parents can take custody.

But, in an international adoption there's often a window of a few months when you have been matched with a child and are waiting for your court date to travel, but other families are traveling for their court dates and can deliver small items to your child. I've seen several families with our agency do this for each other and I thought how cool if our little girl could not only get a gift from us but something that smells like us, too!

I have had 2 of these pink puppies tucked away from when my daughter was a baby, long story, but I thought those puppies were going to be her security item and wanted a few duplicates, but she ended up attaching to her blankies instead.

So, I have one pink puppy that, God-willing, we'll be able to send over to our girl in the Ethiopian orphanage in the next month or two after we get our referral, and then if that one gets lost or left behind at the orphanage, I have an identical one she can have once she's home.

I'm grateful for the adoption community and all the wonderful people who so generously share their knowledge and experience and have such big hearts for orphaned children (I got to have a conversation with a senior VP from the adoption agency we are using and was so touched that even after years within the business of adoption, his heart is still with those children in orphanages all around the world.)

And I'm excited with the hope of even the smallest bit of our world entering hers.


  1. What a sweet little reminder in your bed each night of your girl who is soon to come home! So dear.

  2. Blessings to you and your new puppy and your someday soon daughter!

  3. What an absolutely wonderful idea. I love it. HUGS

  4. Wow, what a terrific idea. I hope your wait isn't much longer!!!


I'd love to hear what you think!