Wednesday, February 24, 2010

To-Do's, Baby Names, Attachment

I figured since I sent out that call for help by way of clicking action I had better at least post something! I have more random thoughts in my head, (I know, how unlike me) and this is a good place to toss them out. I can't guarantee it will be interesting or witty but hey, maybe it's a slow day at work for you, or you're really bored, or you're a fellow adoptive parent to be!
I need to start cleaning out the spare room, which I should probably start referring to as 'the baby's room'. This should be fun and is the kind of thing that would usually have me frothing and researching and picking paint swatches...but I can't seem to get started! Part of the problem is the MESS I need to clean up, organize, sort through, throw out...before I can even get to the fun part. Now c'mon, you might say, it can't really be that bad. What, do you live like slobs? Well, actually, yes, I do. I am a self proclaimed slob. It should be noted though that being a slob is different from being unclean. Our house is generally clean, and I have areas of the house where I am not slobbenly at all. My kitchen for example, the living room, the bathroom (mostly). The spare room, oops I meant baby's room, the bedrooms, the basement...all seem to just attract the overflow of stuff, and since they are not in sight, well, you know the saying. The baby's room is now holding a collection of random overflow items like scrapbook supplies, and I mean A LOT of them, baby toys/clothes/chochkies, The cabinet which holds our towels and sheets, Brad's 1-ton safe full of his coin collection, an extra dresser holding Brad's seasonal clothes; I think this weekend I will have to really roll the sleeves up, dig deep, turn on some inspirational music (maybe some Peter Tosh, Muse, Modest Mouse, old Hole, or Wilco?) and put myself under lockdown until it's complete.
I have some names I'm twirling around in my head. And I know, I shouldn't really share, because this is such an objective, opinionated topic. But Imma do it anyway. GIRLS: Anika, Ella, Emelia, Julia, Sadie. BOYS: Alex(ander), Henry (this is one of Brad's, and altho I don't hate it it's not my favorite), Jacob. Seriously, that's all I got for boys. Of course we'll have to see what his/her Russian name is; for sure we'll keep it as a middle and maybe as a middle used as a first like Bek. For anyone who's just joined us; Bek was named Benjamin Bekbulat. His Kazakh name was Bekbulat (Russian or Turkish in origin i believe, means "strong sword"). We shortened it to Bek with the plan to transition to Ben, but the transition never really happened and he just looked like a Bek.
Can I share a pet peeve? Of course I can, it's my blog, that's the beauty of it. Why is it when discussing adoption, adjustment, attachment...many non adoptive folks feel the need to say "well that's true for any baby" or "that would happen even with a biological child". It's as if they don't want this child to be treated any differently, or they maybe just don't understand that a newly adopted child should be treated differently. I can't quite put my finger on what it is in their tone when they say this but it almost comes across as this child is no different from any other. I'm not saying they mean it in any malicious, derogatory way, maybe just an uninformed way (although they sure as bleep act like they know what they're talkin about). And I am always happy and grateful that anyone shares an interest enough to have a discussion in the first place. But I'm just sayin'. Yes, there are general rules that apply in the care and feeding of a tiny human and there are certain constants across the board; don't let them put small objects in their mouths, dress them warmly if it's cold, don't dangle them from high buildings. But a child that did not experience bonding with their biological mother or worse yet experienced only pain, neglect and abuse from her, who did not get responses when they cried, who never owned their own rattle or soft blankie, who were never sang or cooed too, who don't know what the outside world looks like, smells like, sounds like...these children ARE different. You don't experience loss, pain, neglect in an institutional life and then just don a cute Baby Gap outfit, leave everything you've ever known, fly to the US with complete strangers and then everything is ok. There is grieving, trauma and adjustment that is different. This is not only a proven fact, confirmed and substantiated by countless specialists, but something I experienced first hand. Despite reading all of the books and taking the classes, I was even one of those doubters, who thought a lot of this attachment stuff was social work babble and the result of overly analytical doctors. You don't really know until you experience it.
So when adoptive parents say that a big crowd of people might be too much for the baby at first, or that mommy needs to be the only one to hold her/change her/feed her to establish a bond, or you think a 12-24 month old should not have a bottle or be fed...remember the lives these kids had before. Know the parents aren't being rude, overly doting or obsessive. And know that these kids are, at least initially "different" in some ways.
I hope that didn't all come across as too defensive! What can I say, my horoscope sign the Lioness comes out when it comes to the well being of my child to be.
Parent's to be, or anyone who might be interested: here's a great link on this topic


amy and kevin said...

That was a beautiful post - I might link to it because you said it so well.

As for names, I absolutely adore Sadie! When we were having trouble getting pregnant, we got a dog and decided to name her our favorite girl name, Sadie. I regretted it for a long time, because I wanted to name cupcake Sadie :) Oh well! At least our dog has a fabulous name! And I love the name we picked for cupcake... but Sadie will always be near and dear to my heart.

Kim and Lance said...

Oh Jen! I just adore you. That is all.

Amy and Corey said...

I love every name you listed! You really can't go wrong with any of 'em. Best name of all, though, is Bek. It's unique and masculine and pretty as the same time.

And thanks for saying everything you said about attachment. It's so true. When I try to explain it to people who have never adopted, their eyes just glaze over and I feel like I'm talking to myself.