Meeting new people once we make it home

The thing about adopted kids is they have attachment issues. The Aglet was raised by his birthfamily for several months, and then left at the orphanage.

That was traumatic. (In case you’re unfamiliar with Minnesotan understatement, this is what it looks like.)

Then, he stayed at the orphanage for almost two years and was taken away by funny looking pasty space aliens who are so stupid they only speak six words of chinese. (Seriously. We are funny looking and stupid.)

That was REALLY traumatic. (Look! I’m doing it again!)

He is adjusting well. He knows he likes us. He knows we like him.

But he doesn’t know we’re his parents yet. At this point, he is likely looking around to see who he’s going off with next. Recently adopted kids do this. They can be totally shutdown because everyone’s the same and they don’t like a one of you, or they can be super friendly with everyone because who knows who is taking them away next. The Aglet is closer to that second category than the first.

But he’s still angry that he’s been taken away from the place he knew, and he is still grieving the loss of his nannies and friends.

In order to help him figure out that we’re his parents, we are going to do pretty heavy attachment parenting. If he cries, we’ll be there. May not be able to fix it, but we can be with him while he does.

We also will be the ones to feed him and change him and hold him for the next unspecified while (probably months). If you’d like to feed him or change him or hold him, please please ask first, and please don’t be offended if we say no.

Things that are definitely all right: making faces, playing the can you hand me that game, probably playing other games, talking to him, giving us food so we can give it to him.

We need to be the fount of all goodness for a while, because that’s what parents are when you’re so tiny– where the food and the drinks and the naptime and the hugs come from. Once he figures out that we are his parents, by which I mean attaches to us, I will be all over letting you be the one to have fried rice carefully dropped down your shirt with giggling.

In the meantime, there will be lots of pictures here, and we’ll be introducing him to people as he sees fit.

Many thanks to Jessie at the Widget Factory who I stole many ideas from (


15 responses »

  1. I dunno from adoption, but I do have some great attachment parenting resources to share if you’re interested. We’re pretty committed attachment parents.

  2. That seems reasonable. I tend to treat children like they are cats anyway, which means waiting for them to come to me. BTW what do I need to do to my house to make it aglet-proof?

  3. That should all go without saying, but it’s good that you said it. People mean well & want to show their love & support. You’ve got a lot of love & support.
    Thanks for sharing, thanks for the fabulous pictures, keep it up!
    (ps. Looking forward to meeting him when the time is right.)

  4. You are smart loving people and thoughtful parents. Thank you for giving us these glimpses of your son so that we can get to know him a little bit without doing anything to distract him from bonding with you.

  5. Oh, dearest one – the Aglet is a fortunate child indeed that you and Matt chose to be his parents. And that’s Sconnie understatement right back atcha in return for the Minnesotan variety….

    Thank you for being so clear with both your son and with all the people who love you and are looking forward to meeting him. The next months will be challenging, as I know you are aware, but the rewards for all of you will be immense. We’ll await the introduction patiently, while squeeing over and savoring all your posts here so we can vicariously follow along.

    Much joy to your family, and safe travels home!

  6. You sound very prepared which is good. I can’t tell you how many folks just don’t want to get that this can be an in issue, but you clearly have a plan.

  7. Thank you for putting words on this. It makes a lot of sense but is a lot easier to just nod along and go, “Okay, yep, can do,” than to try to figure out from first principles on the fly. Very useful.

  8. That seems quite sensible to me. If I do make it to the next Wiscon and you (collective) make it there as well, I’d love to say hello to him.

    My Minnesotan is rusty, but I think this is about right: if a far-away person wanted to send a gift to the aglet when you all are home, might that be all right? (I promise it won’t be the Fisher Price My First Band Kit or the firefighter helmets with the real lights and sirens that my dad’s brother got us that one time, for which I think my parents finally forgave him last year.)

  9. I assume you have lots of fonts of information and support. I’m sure my friend Donna would be happy to be one if you needed it. She adopted an older (3?) toddler from Taiwan and they seriously struggled with attachment for awhile, but now things seem good.

  10. Brings back many memories… every kid is different, of course, but I recognize all the things you’re talking about. Our best wishes to all three of you!

  11. You’re a good mommy for recognizing your son’s grief and loss, and for giving him the room and support he will need to process it.

    I hope Aglet is feeling better soon.

  12. Yeah I I said maybe we’ll visit in September October **grin** Seriously, I support you in whatever decisions you feel are right to make your family work. **hugs**

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