Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Saturday, December 27, 2008

post-Christmas update and adoption #2

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas full of family, friends, and togetherness. We had a great Christmas - hard to believe that it is already over!! Wesley was too young to really "get" Christmas, Santa, and presents. I am sure by next year he'll be excited. My parents got us a Flip video recorder, so I'll be able to post more videos in 2009!! (I am having trouble right now though because the computer is working too slow, so I'll upload later)
We've been home for three and a half months now, and attachment is going well. One thing that we were told before traveling had to do with us attaching to the child. So much time and effort is spent on the child attaching to the parents, but you also have to think about yourself attaching to the child. Now before our adoption classes at Cincinnati Children's, I figured that I would just meet this child and fall in love and we'd live happily ever after (you know the fairy tale). Now I knew that is not what the books all said would happen, but I thought it would for me. But at the class, therapist Deborah Joy told us to think about how we make close friends. Do we get close to friends as soon as we meet them, or does it take time to form close friendships? Personally, it takes me quite a while to become close with someone and to share personal information. So I realized that when we met our son, I may not fall in love instantly. It was sad to think that, but I had to be honest with myself. (Note to adopting families: do not beat yourself up if it's not love at first sight! I don't even think love at first sight is even love - unless it's a cute pair of shoes or a great purse because that can be love!! But seriously, a child is something entirely different)
I am so happy to have been prepared for my attachment to Wesley taking a while. Now when we were visiting him at the orphanage, I knew he was meant to be our child, but I didn't get a rush of love for him or anything. I loved him because he was a sweet, innocent child, but I hadn't fallen in love with him. Now I don't mean for this to sound cruel or mean, but it was tough to like a child who didn't want anything to do with me! When we picked him up in late August, I began to like him more each day. And now that we're home, I love him. I feel that we are now securely attached. He looks to me (or Damon) for comfort when he's upset, and he calms down when I hold his hand or hold him.
Wesley seemed pretty attached to us when we picked him up form the orphanage, but I can tell that he is even more attached to us now. He is more spontaneous with his affection, sometimes I cannot get him to stop hugging and kissing me. (I know - what a tough problem to have :) He is even starting to say "love you" when we tell him we love him.

We are currently also looking into countries for our second adoption. I know people will say it is too soon after the first adoption and with Wesley's medical condition we should wait, but I really just feel like we are being called to start right now. The process will take at least a year, so Wesley will have had his esophagus repair surgery long before we add another child into our family. We are not sure at this point what country from which we will adopt, but several countries are being considered. A couple that are forefront in my mind right now are Nepal and India.

Prayer requests
- Wesley as he has his "man surgery" on Monday. It is outpatient, but the doctor said it could last four to six hours...I'll update as soon as I can once it is over
- Damon and I as we try to narrow down our choices for our second adoption (I forgot how overwhelming the process can be at the start)
- we are hoping to stay "illness free" this winter, especially with the upcoming surgery

Have a Happy New Year!!!

smiling in the bathtub (I can hardly get him out of the bath now! It's a big change from the first bath we gave him where he screamed like we were trying to murder him)

Duke was thinking about joining Wesley in the bath (thankfully he didn't)

Wes was unsure about his new horse on Christmas morning. He now pets it every time he walks by it in the house.

tearing open a gift from Uncle Scott and Emily (I love the tongue sticking out)

This is Wesley taunting my brother's dog Marlow with a plastic string from a toy. Finally Marlow gets tired of it and pulls Wesley down by the arm of his sweater - too funny!!


DoveFamily said...

Glad you guys had a good Christmas. How exciting that you are starting the adoption process again. We will start a new savings account in 2009 for "round 2".

Thanks for your honesty about bonding. I think it's so important for in-process families to get realistic info from those of us that have been there/are there right now.

Happy New Year!

Tami said...

Congratulations on starting your journey to find your next child. I envy you. I'd love nothing more than to go find number 5...but I don't think God has it in mind for us. At least not right now. ;)
Thanks too for being so honest about the bonding process. I went through a really tough time in bonding wiht my oldest daughter. There was a definite personality clash that made it incredibly difficult to bond with her for a good six months or more.
Love is, first and foremost, a choice. The feelings often come later. You're right. Parents shouldn't beat themselves up if those feelings don't come right away. They time.
Happy New Year! :)

adoptedthree said...

I had post adopt depression/bonding issues with both boys. I knew the signs with Oksana so I was more prepared, when they surfaced. It is nice that you have shared your feelings with others as it was very hush hush years ago.

The pic with Duke and wesley cracked me up! Duke looks ready to jump right in.

I think it is a great idea beginning the process again as soon as possible! Who knows you may be doing it three or four more times ;)


Mountain Girl said...

Cute pictures of Wesley. It is interesting to hear from an adoptive parent what it's really like to "find" your child, but then also to really feel bonded to them. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

Hi Staci!
Wesley is just such a cutie! Good luck with his little man procedure!
Well... you waste no time getting ready for your second adoption... I voted - Ukraine or Eastern Europe... I put that vote down (mostly for Ukraine) as that would give both (or all 3 or 4!) of your children something in common - a common birthplace bond... just my thoughts!
Take care and good luck re-starting the process, yet again!!!


Cara & Doug said...

Doug says it's an obsession/disease...adoption is. We have been home a year, but after six months I started to get the "itch" again! We thought we would be headed back to Ukraine, but instead are headed to Serbia and look forward to 12-14 days in Serbia, rather than the 42 we spent in Ukraine! (Easier to think about leaving Hannah for that time too!) We will continue to pray for you as you begin the never ending paper trail!

Nik said...

Hey Stacy. I love your blog and your story. Hope you guys had a great New Year!

The McEacherns said...

Thanks for being so open and honest about your attachment process! It's very helpful and encouraging to people like us who are in the early stages of the adoption process. Happy New Year!

kelly said...

I love the pictures of Wesley with the dogs, too cute! I vote for Poland. We came home in Feb. 2008 with our 2 year old son. The process is very stable and straight forward. Good luck with the surgery and your next adoption journey!

Baby Hanks Adoption Journey said...

You guys are an adorable family!! You are a great writer too...I love reading your posts :)

Im so happy to hear that you are starting another adoption!!! How exciting! Thank you so much for your advice to us at the beginning of our helped us a great deal in our decision and we are so happy to be only a few months (hopefully) away from finishing our process!!

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Your blog on attachment is eye opening. I always assumed that when we meet our child, I will fall "head over heels" for them. Even though we are warned that that might not be the case. Thanks for voicing that.

Wes is such a wonderful boy, cute too! Have you considered Thailand? I know the paperwork portion of the adoption is very simple compared to Ukraine and you are looking at a week long stay as opposed to a couple of months. Just a thought

The Rogersuz said...

Love the pictures!! We are definitely praying for you as you begin the adoption process again. We hope that it goes well. Josh and I have always wanted to adopt from southeast asia and are hoping to start the process when Amaya is about 2. Please keep us updated and let us know when Wesley's surgery will be so we can pray! We are praying for him already:)

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