There are a lot of birthdays around here, not to mention the anniversaries of when our kids arrived in our home to stay. This day last summer was the adoption placement date for our youngest son. I remember it well. I often tell adoptive parents (all parents, actually) to keep a journal. It's a great way to keep track of memories, and good for all sorts of recrod-keeping of familiy activities, too. And, in the case of children who are adopted as older children, it can really remind you of where you've come from.
The family we spent time with last week, who are friends and also the adoptive parents of a child who is a birth sibling to some of our kids, had met our newest son last year when he was having one of his pre-placement visits at our house. They, of course, saw him again, almost exactly one year later, last week.
THe dad, the mother, and their teenaged son all made comments about our son. All very favourable. The mother and father both talked about how much his behaviour has changed (for the better), how attached he seems, and how he seems to be just "one of the family" now. Their teenaged son asked, "How did you do that?"
Well, the Miracle Workers we are not. But sometimes things click for families and, in addition to love, we've done a few things right over the past year.
There is no map, no exact science, no manual that can detail exactly what each and every child needs, [or] when that child will feel well connected to parents, and parents to child. Sometimes, parents have to fake it for a while; sometimes, it takes longer than anyone could have imagined. But hearing someone with a little persepctive make these kinds of comments was helpful. And don't get me wrong, I've loved my son for a long time. I started connecting to him when I read about him in the Adoption Bulletin. But knowing that it appears that we are the right home for him, and that we've done OK as his parents, is still reassuring. We can all use a little positive feedback once in a while.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched--they must be felt with the heart." - Helen Keller
Originally posted to Cathy Gilbert's blog. Reprinted with permission.