Monday, October 30, 2006

Adoption and Bonding letter (written by someone else)

Wow, does this say a lot. I've adapted it to refer to a boy for obvious reasons, (used with permission).

Dear Family and Friends,

As we get ready to embark on the most exciting event in our lives, we are thinking a lot about the people around us and how much our lives are going to change. Family has always been important to us. We are so fortunate to have such loving, involved family and friends. We appreciate the support and excitement that you have all shown to us as we have made this journey. We're thrilled about bringing our new child home! We've done a lot of reading, research and asked a lot of other adoptive parents about this process and we feel prepared to help our baby become a well-adapted member of our family.
There are some things about adoptive parenting that are the same as parenting a biological child. There are also quite a few areas that we have learned are different. Through our adoption agency, books, other adoptive parents, adoption social workers, psychologists and more, we have learned that our baby needs a specific type of environment and parenting when he first comes home in order to feel safe and secure and to learn how to live successfully in our family.
While we know that every child is different, we also understand that there are many possible things that will impact our child's beliefs and behavior when he gets home. These include how much nurturing our child received, if there was abuse or neglect, the amount and quality of food received, illnesses, the quality of care and our child's unique temperament and personality. The result of these things can include behavioral issues, emotional disorders and a sense of grief and loss from being separated from the only home and caregivers our little one has ever known.
Adoption is a traumatic and scary event for any age child whether they are newborn or 10 years old. They're being removed from all of their routines and familiar surroundings. Even babies will feel grief and sadness at an event like this. In order to help our child feel safe and learn that we are his parents, we are creating the type of environment that will help promote security during this stressful time.
When our child gets home, at the recommendation of experienced adoption professionals, we need to implement specific parenting approaches to help encourage a strong, attached, emotionally healthy family member. Our child needs to learn that we're the parents. He needs to feel nurtured and safe.
Here are some things we will be doing for our child based on research and experience with other adopted children. We'll be living a very quiet life with limited trips out and few visitors in for a little while. Social workers and psychologists tell us that when children are first adopted, they may be overwhelmed, scared, and nervous. By keeping our lives very boring at first, we'll be helping our child feel safe. This does NOT mean that we do not want visitors coming to see our little one for the first time. We will just have to limit it a little so it is not overwhelming.
We know you'll all want to hug, kiss and help spoil our new toddler, but it is recommended that we be the only ones to do that at first to improve his chances of attaching strongly to us. Until we feel our child has attached and clearly knows we are his parents, we will need to feed, change and take care of him. I know that missing out on some diaper changes will disappoint many of you. Have no fear, there will be many more once he becomes comfortable at home.
As strange as it may seem, adopted children who act very outgoing and affectionate with strangers is not a healthy thing. It is called "indiscriminate affection" and can mean that they haven't really attached to anyone. It would not be a good sign that our child has attached to us if during his first months home he will let just anyone take him and hold him without searching for his mom or dad.
For sure it is going to be a weird and wonderful experience for us. We are so excited and can't wait to bring our toddler home so you can all see him and get to know him. Things are just a little different when you are adopting a child rather than having a biological child. He will be adapting to a lot of new things . . . new parents, new family, new home, new foods, new time zone (totally opposite what he's used to). That's a lot to swallow at one time.
We appreciate your understanding in reading this. We've giving you all this letter so that you will understand how dedicated and committed we are to helping our new child adjust and adapt during this stressful time in his life. We feel confident that everything will smooth out quickly and we will be on a more normal schedule.


Heather and Bill

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

And now we wait

Our last paperwork is at the agency, to be sent to China soon. Small Urchin ETA 2-5 months.
Waiting is not easy, they do all the paperwork by hand and are very thorough. It's good they're thorough on everybody else's paperwork, but don't they know that they should rush ours? That we, because we are getting this wonderful little boy, should be pushed to the front of the list?
Oh well, reality sets in and I realize that all our paperwork has gone slowly, so Instead of a Christmas Child, I should hope for a Valentine's day child. Or I should still be nervous and hope they don't deny our request. Did I really fill out all those forms correctly?

Friday, October 20, 2006

On time

Just so that it's on the record, Bill knows I am a time spazz, I hate to be late and I hate things to be late. I've learned to tell him ahead of time when I want something or someone, somewhere on time. This has saved us many disagreeable moments as I used to time spazz without telling Bill what time I felt things should be happening. This would confuse the heck out of Bill because he would have no idea why I was suddnely so tense and running around like the proverbial chicken. So, Bill knows I run on a different time schedule than he does. Hence my last post of "Errgh' I was time spazzing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Our last piece of paperwork is still sitting on the table. I realize that we had a few days when we weren't home long enough to actually write it out and send it, but It should have gone out yesterday. It only needs one sentence on a second piece of paper and then it can go out. My beloved husband has left it now for 2 mornings! I'm going to remain calm, but every day matters, and 2 days is just goofy.


I realize that the best parenting plan by the best parent in the world will go out the window the very first time the parent actually gets to hold their newest child. What may work perfectly with one child will go horribly wrong with the next child. Oh well, all I personally can do is to try, try, try, and try again to be a good parent.

Ramblings on being a parent Part 3

The main issue I see and have seen through 20 years of retail experience, is that parents don't pay enough careful attention to their children. Parents of children with behavior problems AKA Brats seem to pay more attention to things, how the child is dressed, what the child wants to buy, and less to the important things in life, like is the children running like a maniac through a dangerous area. Parents like those seem to think that the store staff are baby sitters, there for their own convenience.
All of life should be a learning experience. The children should be kept nearby and allowed to ask questions of the sales staff to help learn, not allowed to run lose and break things or body parts.
I can't think that this behavior only happens at stores, I have to believe that behavior like this happens at restaurants. Except the running would be on furniture and through the restaurant, where people seem to think running is both okay and safe, a place it is definitely neither.

Ramblings on being a parent Part 2

Parenting is tough, and I certainly don't think I'll be the perfect parent. I don't think anybody can be the perfect parent. All you can do is to be consistent and love them and hope that whatever parenting plan you personally came up with doesn't screw things up too badly.
I don't believe that grown children should blame their parents for all the problems they have. Let's face it, if you have a problem and you can figure out why you have the problem, then after you figure that out it is your choice whether or not you continue that behavior. If you continue to do the problematic behavior, you have chosen to do so of your own volition, not because your parents made you that way. The problem is now yours.
If you're a parent of a young child with behavior problems and you have figure out what behavior patterns you have that feed into the mis-behavior, you now have a choice. You can continue to feed into the problem or you can adjust your responses to get appropriate small child behavior.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dossier to China date

Our Dossier was officially sent to China 10/05/06. Now it goes to be translated, and then will be 'Logged in' at some date in the future.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ramblings on being a parent Part 1

Oddly enough, people always want to reassure you that you'll be a good parent. I worry about being a good parent. I figure it's the people who assume they're going to be good parents or don't even think about the fact that they should be good parents who aren't.
Things I think parents should realize
1) They're parents, not friends. Children need parents far more than they need friends. Parents aren't there to win popularity contests, they are there to do what's best for the child. That said, there's nothing stopping someone from having fun and playing with their kids.
2) Kids learn all the time, mostly through what you say and do. Talking to and listening to children is very important. A huge percentage of a person's adult daily vocabulary has been heard by the time a child turns 3. Don't skimp on those syllables and don't skimp on the listening. Don't just let them play, but listen to what they tell you about the play. I've noticed with parents, the better you listen to your children, the better they listen to you.
3) Discipline is good, if children don't get an appropriate amount of discipline at home, they go looking for it. Ever notice the dynamics of a gang, there are very rigid social patterns for discipline and respect that must be followed or there are repercussions. Most of the kids in gangs weren't getting appropriate discipline at home, so they found it on their own.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Always remember

Always remember, when reading these blog posts, they start from the bottom.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Hopefully, the last paperwork

I've spent all morning writing, hopefully the last bit of paperwork. We received our pre-approval packet from the agency. No not for a mortgage, but for Acer. We have 2 sheets to fill out, with a plan for the child advantages of nurturing and adoptive expectation. I write or type it out & then Bill fills out the form because he has neater handwriting.
If Acer is still in China when he's 2 we'll be able to send over a photo album with pictures, a small beanie baby type toy and a disposable camera for his foster family to use to take pictures of themselves and their house for Acer to keep.
I was hoping that since the dossier was filled out, that was it for paperwork, but it seems not to be. At least now we have a time frame, somewhere between 2 and 5 months. Yeah Us!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Not positive putting pictures on blog is okay

We don't know if it's okay to put the pictures up on the blog or not, but there they are. If any one asks, you have't seen a thing.
Note, We decided to take them down because we found out it was NOT okay. I guess the Chinese government does not like pictures shared until the process is final.

More Pictures

Photo Removed per CCAA guidelines

Pictures, pictures, pictures

Photo Removed per CCAA guidelines

Although, with the Elmo doll, we may need to make sure that we get it without batteries. :)
This and the next are the most recent pictures that we have of Chao (Acer). We hope we are not making trouble, but if so, we will be removing these in the next few days.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Now that we've made our decision, I'm just nervous. Odd. I keep wondering how it will all work out. Oh well, I think we can just keep praying.

The decision

Today we told the waiting child co-ordinator to put 'Placed' under Chao picture. It's a scary decision as we still don't have the bloodwork.
She's sending a pre-approval form for us to fill out. Sounds like something for a mortgage. I know Bill will be thrilled. More paperwork to fill out.
We've gotten this far so I guess it's okay for me to post pictures here now.
Dern, the pictures won't load. I'll have to ask Bill about it later
Send up lots of prayers that this is our little guy! Our James Acer Chao Bowman-Tomlinson

Monday, October 02, 2006

Paperwork nightmare

I know Heather has been putting up all kinds of information for a while now, but I have to say that this process is horribly broken. Just the paperwork, and the amount of "data" that the agencies need is insane.

And the best part of the process is the paperwork. Let's see, when there is 1 item that they don't tell you about, the whole process has to be basically started over. I was just working on the financial form, and have filled it out over and over, just to try and get the information that they wanted on it. I was at the point of calling and just having the SW fill it out, have her ask me the questions, and then fax it to me to sign. It might have saved a few of my brain cells.

Well, that's enough of a rant for now. The paperwork is "done" and now we wait.

Dossier to China (DTC) ready

Finally, our financial forms have met criteria different than the criteria we were originally told. It took us 4 tries and much intra-couple discussion, but we did it.
This Thursday our paperwork (dossier) will be officially sent to China. If we don't get the young Chao, it will be approximately 12-14 months from now before we get matched with a young child.
I'm really hoping that we actually do get the little guy, sending up lots of thoughts to the big guy, prayers that we do the right thing. Still waiting for the bloodwork. Not sure what's taking so long. ARRRRGGHHHH!