Saturday, March 31, 2007

Final Homestudy Meeting complete.

Yesterday marked our last homestudy meeting. Yaay! We are on our way now and our file will be off to Thailand within the next month or so.

We do have to wait for the formal letter of approval from the DHHS so we won't be jumping ahead too far until we have that all important piece of paper.

Today we visited Launceston for our final mandatory parenting seminar - Attachment Disorders with Debra Tatum. This was a marvelous insight into the variables of potential attachment issues institutionalized kids can suffer from. Debra is a very experienced, widely acknowledged expert in this field and deals with kids everyday. She is an American based half of the year in Melbourne and has offered her services in person and via email should we ever have any need to avail of her knowledge. Such a lovely lady.

As much as we read on this subject, it still has more of an effect when we hear it from the mouth of an experienced child psychologist. Debra gave thorough explanations on how to make sure we know what signs to look for, how to manage and assist the individual child's needs within a clear framework of stability and firm discipline to help them to understand that they can trust us to not disrupt their little lives again.

It's heartbreaking to hear some of the stories of what children suffer from and why but it does help to ground us in the reality that whilst this might be an exciting and happy time for us, it will more than likely a frightening and foreign experience for our future child, at least in the short term.

The reality that we cannot rush around with our child to meet all of the family and friends immediately when we get home -- we have been aware of this for some time however I guess the main difficulty here will be helping our family and friends to understand that our child will need some time to adjust to us as his/her parents before we introduce new people.

The reality of this is that if we did let everyone hold him/her, introducing a host of new faces at a time when he/she still doesn't speak the language, has no concept of who we are exactly just yet (apart from just another new set of caregivers), a completely foreign culture, smells, foods, sounds etc etc ... well, it could just blow them out of the water and make the transition that much more traumatic for our child.

So, for the first 3 - 6 months - or as long as they need until we think the attachment/bond is sufficiently strong in that he/she knows we are 'mummy and daddy' and not just another face who looks after them - we won't be having visitors or visiting others, only we will feed and tend to their needs etc etc.

I hope this doesn't upset anyone and that they make an effort to understand why this is so important for our child and for our family. If they do not understand, well, I'm afraid that is unfortunate but cannot be helped.