I learned so much at T4A. One of the reasons I was so excited to go, was that I knew I would get some new tools for parenting. Parenting has been a new ball game with #5. I felt as if I had exhausted my tool box and was left standing with a big fat question mark on my head. I need to be clear - #5 is a good boy, great boy. I was just noticing time and time again that my parenting style was not bringing the connection or results I was expecting. We have come a long long long way and that my friends is the grace of God.
When #5 came home, I treated him like #4. I thought this was the right way - "treat him like the rest" - I was told over and over. Now, in hind sight I can see how silly that is. The rest had not had the trauma in their life that #5 had - things needed to be different, I needed to embrace that. Sometimes I felt like a rehab center and resented that because I was trying to ignore what #5 had been through. What my thinking was, I am not sure. Really, there is a post-adoption fog that happens very similar to that of postpartum - so I am not sure where my head was.
Listening to Karen Purvis talk about trauma and the effects that it has on the childs development, I wanted to stand up and yell "YES! That is SO true! What this lady is saying, WE have experienced!" but I spared us all and did not. :) I sat there begging God to let all the info soak in all the way to my heart so that I could be the best mommy to #5 and fulfill the role God had granted me.
We have been implementing many of the things she suggests (not perfectly) but making great strides to retrain our brains and reactions. Wow, we have already seen results.
So ...... we are busy reatraining our brains to help grow his, and loving every minute.
PS - Have I said lately that adoption rock? ...oh! I does! :)