I really do read books often. Daily. Just because they’re 10 pages long and 5 of those are pictures, doesn’t mean it’s not a book 😉
But since there’s not much more we can do for the adoption right now, I decided to get a book with actual pages/chapters in it to read. It’s called Parenting the Internationally Adopted Child.
This book discusses the challenges that come with an IAC (internationally adopted child), such as dealing with their background (loss, grief & confusion) and ways to help the child cope and connect to their new family.
Some of the stories of the children are so scary and so, so sad. One was of a 2-year-old boy. He and his newborn baby brother went to live with their grandparents. Shortly after this, the grandmother died. The grandfather began to drink so heavily, he was incapable of parenting the boys. So this toddler fed and took care of himself and baby brother for about a year, until they were taken away. Can you imagine a 3-year-old taking care of a 1-year-old??? I look at Dean, who just turned 2 and it just seems impossible. But those survival skills kicked in for the boy and he did what he had to.
One of the biggest initial challenges we’re going to face is for the child to trust us and rely on us for care. It may sound simple enough, but when a child has learned to trust, and the caretaker was removed, time and again, the child just doesn’t know who’s going to be taken away and doesn’t emotionally settle in.
So, family/friends reading this….when the time comes, please don’t think we’re being snobbish when we don’t let you help with the child or encourage her to go to you. We’re just trying to build a connection, trying to let her know we’re the parents. Then it’ll go from there. AND, I encourage anyone who knows a family with an IAC to read the book.