Kate made mention of a “rule of thumb” that many PAPs hear about.
I?ve heard that attachment takes as long to happen as the child?s age at adoption. I don?t know if there is any data to back that up, but that?s the rule of thumb I was given.
In some instances this may be true.? The event that I mentioned in my last post happened right around the time that the boy had been home as long as his age at time of adoption.? The boy was just over 22 months when we took him out of the orphanage.? He turned 23 months the day he became a citizen.? July 5th was 22 months since he has been a member of our family.
While I feel comfortable with his level of attachment I know he is not 100% attached.? And he may never fully be.? Only time will give us that answer.
Another thing that PAPs or new parents hear is, “you’ll see a change in the child at about 6 months.”? I heard this from so many parents when we first got home.? At our 6 month mark I was so disappointed that there was no drastic change.? I suppose I expected to wake up one morning and things would be different.? They were not.? The boy still screamed at me (he still does) and continued to throw food at me (he only occasionally does that now) and he still rocked (he most certainly does that to this day).
It was at 9 months for us that things started to change.? At 8 months we finally took him to see an IA doctor.? It could be that Dr. Kertez calmed my fears or that she finally figured out that he had intestinal parasites and they were treated*.? I don’t know.? It also could be that it was a change in me.? At that point I had been a week into acupuncture and finally getting my body under control.? What I do know is that you can’t put specific dates on things.
When we go through the adoption process we try to define it.? I see it time and time again.? “I NEED to get a referral by my birthday,” “I MUST have my court date by Christmas.”? When those dates pass and what we want doesn’t happen it screws with our emotions and expectations.? My advice to those in the process is to not put those definitions on yourselves.? Same when you get your child home.
Your child will move at his or her own pace and there is nothing you can do to force the issue otherwise.? Sure, you can do things to aid the attachment process and I encourage that, but you have to remember that you are dealing with a whole host of issues that you don’t understand.? You have no clue what your child’s life was truly like prior to coming to live with you.? Often times orphanage workers “put on a show.”? You see what they want you to see.? The photos you get from that disposable camera you leave are little glimpses of the life your child lead, but you don’t know how long he sat on the potty.? You don’t know if that photo of her dancing was staged or not.? You can only assume.
In our case we went with the flow.? I never put definitions on our adoption process and when I did once we got home I was disappointed and beaten down for it.? Relax and enjoy your child.