Monday, March 26, 2007

Bonding Issues

Kiss me, I'm Irish!

Taking a break from unloading the dishwasher

Calling Daddy

Play ball!

Sandals and toe polish

Maimie is just so much fun! She is such a character, always entertaining. We had forgotten how much joy there is in having a little one in the house. Our older kids love her and can hardly get enough of her. Of course she just growls at them when she has had enough.
She is standing without assistance and getting into a standing position from a variety of starting positions. She takes quite a few steps, although they are a bit wobbly at times. Maimie's only understandable word is really just Mama. She has learned the sign for milk (just as an experiment) and uses it when she wants her drink. We still say milk each time hoping that she won't use signs as a lazy way of just not talking. She shows signs of understanding what we are saying now more often. And affectionate--the girl is a mother's dream! She's so lovey that she has to lay her little cheek on my arm after every few bites when I feed her a meal. She also likes to pull the collar of my shirt down a little bit and lay her cheek directly on my skin. How sweet! I'm just eating this up.
We are however having some difficulties with bonding/attachment. When we first arrived home last month we were excited to get back with our family, our friends and church family, and the older kids' activities. We dragged Maimie to everything and passed her all around. Apparently that was all a bonding mistake that I should have prepared for and avoided. We learned that we should have "cocooned" for at least 90 days to help Maimie with her bonding/attachment to us as her family. That's very hard with all of the activities that we normally do and the many people so interested in her. So now we are trying to backpedal a bit. We are trying to stay home more and not go to everything. I have been going to Sunday School with the older kids while Steve stays home with Maimie. Then I come home to stay with her while Steve goes to Church services. We may try to bring her occasionally, but keep her with us. We also learned that we should not let anyone outside of our immediate family hold Maimie, feed her, or give her affection. So, as difficult as that might sound, we are not letting people hold her for awhile until we are sure that a strong bond is being established. It's especially hard since she puts her hands up to everyone trying to get them to pick her up. An adoptive mother I talked with recommended a book on bonding/attachment that I'm going to try to get, too. Hopefully everyone will be very understanding for the next couple of months while we try to do what's best for Maimie.


Mike & Vickey Lanan said...

Thank you for updating your blog. The photos are priceless. She was so adorable with her green blouse and green ribbons on her wrists for St. Pat's day! Our little leprechan. Love the painted toe nails and flipflops!!
We pray daily for the bonding issue. Yes, we all want to cuddle and love on her but we respect your wishes and will love her from a distance until she has the issue all straightened out in her little mind.
We can't wait to see her sign for a drink--wonderful idea until she starts talking.
We are so proud of all of you for the sacrifices you made to adopt Maimie--what a blessing she is and what a blessing you are to her.
God bless you.
In Christian Love,
Mom & Dad (Grandma & Grandpa)

A 5 time mom said...

I love the pictures....she has that contagious smile just like Lana.....love the painted toes too. How cute.

I know you are all going to be fine and that bond will grow with time, but Maimie will probably always be like Lana who just loves people...once she went through the bonding, normal stranger shy stage, and now reaching out to love others, but always knows who her mommy and daddy are.

Glad you updated with pictures....just love looking at them over and over again.