It is estimated that there are 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. Soon it will be 5 million minus ONE!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why WON'T they let us HOLD HER!!!!!??????

Our precious daughter is finally home! Because you care for her and our family, we want to share some information with you that will help you understand why we have set boundaries with this child that differ from the boundaries with our son.

Now that E is home, she is understandably overwhelmed. Her entire world is so very different than it was just a week ago. She is experiencing all new tastes, smells, sounds, language, basically her entire enviornment has changed. Due to living in a transition home (orphange) for 4 months she does not know what living with a family is like. Basically, we need to let E know that we are her parents. It is so important that she understands and feels love from us and can develop a reciprocal love for us. The best way to form a parent/child bond is for C and K to be the only ones to hold, feed, change, bath, snuggle, instruct, and soothe her. After this process is repeated many, many times, Baby E will realize that we are her parents, she can trust us, and we will be there to protect her forever. We are essentially recreating the parent/newborn connection, which was broken very early in E's life.

Many children who have been at an orphanage for a significant amount of time trust anyone to meet their physical and emotional needs due to the many caretakers they have had while at the orphange. Orphans have so many caretakers that they, as a survival mechanism, will become overly charming toward adults. Baby E seems to display this characteristic very strongly.They will be willing to let anyone hold them, smile, or coo at anyone to get their attention. For all the child knows they may be the next caretaker. A child struggling with attachment may display indiscrimate affection outside their parents. It may appear harmless like they are just "very friendly", but this is quite dangerous for the child. This shows that she has NOT established a secure bond with her parents yet, so we will need to keep trying.

To share this is difficult for us because we know you all love our baby so much and just want to hold her and snuggle her. Please understand we want nothing more than Baby E to be hugged, kissed, and snuggled by all of you (I mean she is totally irresistable!), but until E has established a strong bond with us, we will need to be the only ones to hold her.

We have heard the phrase, "All she needs is love." As this statement is true, she also needs to develop a safe and secure bond with us first as newborn babies do with their parents from the start.

If we seem too focused on this, you are right. This is one area that we can't let E down. Children who fail to establish a healthy bond with their parents may struggle the rest of their lives with Reactive Attachment Disorder, which causes severe impersonal and behavioral difficulties into adulthood. 1 and 10 adopted children statistically will develop this disorder. While we want to let you hold her, the risk is too great at this time. We hope you will support us in making these tough decisions for E's well being. Thank you for respecting our decisions through this entire process.

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