We are the Snyder family and ... we are different

This is the story of our journey to our daughter in Ethiopia. God is preparing our family for her and preparing her heart to come home to her family. We chose the difficult road of trusting and obeying God. It is worth every step!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

i luv blogs

I love to read other people's blogs. I have found this really great blog of a family who has adopted from Ethiopia and just adopted from Rwanda. There is so much useful information in their from someone who knows that it is not all rainbows and smiles when you adopt. www.africainourhearts.blogspot.com has given me lots of things to think about when our little one comes home.

From several blogs that I have been reading a common issue has been the age of the child. Many orphans come to an orphange with no record of birth so it is up to the orphanage to figure out their age. Some of them have been wrong in age of up to 2 years. There is a big difference between a 2 year old and a 4 year old developmentally. One post mentioned using fine motor skills as a good measurement for the age of a child. With the malnutrition they suffer from and often growth hormone deficiencies the size of their heads or wrists are not typical and cannot be compared to children in the United States for age assessment. I don't know that it worries me so much as it just something to be aware of and address when we get our child home. Another medical concern is parasites. It seems that most of the children coming from Africa carry some type of parasite and many local doctors don't know exactly what they're looking for since there is so little of it here in the US and especially the ones that are carried over from Africa. Intestinal problems are never a fun or easy thing to deal with but it won't be any different than our little niece who has been dealing with it since she was born. She's a Snyder, lol.

Something else I have come across in blogs is the attachment of children, especially when you get home. Everyone thinks that you come home and you love the child, the child loves you and everything is rosy. The child's world is being turned upside down. Everything they knew from food, environment, weather and of course caretakers has changed in an instance. The instant bond to a mother sometimes happens and sometimes doesn't, it's not personal. That will be one thing that I will have to keep telling myself as I am crying myself to sleep at night when I'm feeling like a failure as a mother. It's important when the child gets home for them to only attach to the parents and not to any of the other visitors because they are used to being passed around and not having a sole caretaker. I think that will be very hard for the grandparents who will want to shower the child with love and affection, but at the same time I think they will be understanding to the circumstances and what we're trying to accomplish. Another adjustment will be secluding ourselves off more than we usually do for the first couple months. I can't imagine how scary it would be to be in large groups of strangers when you just came to a new home and maybe don't understand that this is your new family and their friends. I'm even thinking about picking the children up from school and the huge crowd of people there. I also think it would be wise to obstain from church for the first couple of weeks home. Everyone will be so excited to meet the newest Snyder but that could be extremely overwhelming. It will be intersting to see how people react, so far everyone seems to be very supportive but that sometimes changes when it becomes real.

One post I read was about how different it is to bring home an adopted child than when you give birth and bring your baby home. People treat it much differently when it should be treated the same. The adjustment of bringing a new child home is still hard, lots of times even harder than a bio baby. There should be just as much excitement with the adoption as if it were a pregnancy. I personally think it's much harder to adopt than to have your own baby because you have to wait much longer. Granted you don't have the physical strains on your body but you have the emotional. The post gave a list of suggestions to help a new adoptive family that would be wonderful, but certainly not expected. Things like a baby shower, balloons, flowers, cleaning their house, making sure the cupboards are stocked when they arrive home, meals, all kinds of things that would be great but probably won't happen. I just want to our new child to adjust to their new home and their new family. I want them to know that we love them and no matter what they do or what happens that love will never change. This is their forever family.