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Friday, April 1, 2011

.One Week in our Cocoon.

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Jamesy has been home for one week, and we have been living out our attachment plan and cocooning. Some things in our plan have been altered, but overall we are doing things very much like we had planned to. And we are already seeing progress and healing.


When we met Jamesy in Ethiopia the first time, we found a very fearful, sensitive, timid, unhappy baby. We came home very much in love with Jamesy, but knew that a lot of pain and trauma was in his heart. On our gotcha day Jamesy cried as soon as he saw us - it was a blessing in disguise - he remembered us.


We made a lot of progress with Jamesy in Ethiopia. I believe it was a huge blessing for Jim and I to be able to devote our undivided attention to Jamesy. I want to share carefully (I feel that some things are too private for me to share about Jamesy) two ways healing has started to take place this week.


In Ethiopia Jamesy vomited every other bottle and choked and gagged several times during his feedings. We now believe, after a little research and talking with others, that it was an anxiety issue and even a coping mechanism as his world had just been drastically pulled out from under him. Within one week of having him home, he is tolerating all bottles and is eating huge mouthfuls of food with no gagging or choking. The other night he packed his little cheeks so full of food and then proceeded to use one finger to cram space into his mouth for more food! (This terrified me, but he swallowed it down just fine and went on for more.)


We have been very successful in almost completely stopping Jamesy from rocking his head to fall asleep. Children who have been institutionalized and not able to get the physical touch that they deserve and require, learn to self-sooth in this way. Jamesy would do this in order to rock himself to sleep. It was heart breaking to see. Now we rock him - every nap and at bedtime until he is soundly sleeping. If he wakes in the night I immediately pick him up before the self rocking starts, and I rock him myself.


We are still working on some very deeply embedded fear issues that Jamesy has. He is terrified that Jim or I will leave him. In Ethiopia he slept very well and soundly from 8 PM to 6-6:30 AM. However, he does not sleep well here. I do not believe it is as simple as getting accustomed to the time change either. Jamesy wakes up several times during nap and during the night in a complete panic that we have left him and cries in terror until one of us is able to calm him down with lots of cuddles and physical touch. I have rocked him for up to three hours on a few occasions in the middle of the night, only to eventually pull him into our bed and allow him to fall soundly asleep on my chest. We are praying through this right now - that God would break through this fear and pain. At this time we will just continue to meet his needs in this area, and reassure him every time he wakes up fearful. Some nights are better than others and all he simply needs is my hand on his back until the fear is gone and sleep comes. Some nights are hard as he needs to be plastered to me with his hands on my face before peace comes. It is heartbreaking as his mommy to bear, but it is worth it - so, so worth it! And the fact that Jamesy will allow us to comfort him and rock him is huge progress. On our first trip, he would not even tolerate us holding him in facing our body - now he craves it. God is good.


This week has been filled with giggles, lots of love, and tons of family time. Our church and staff was very, very gracious with Jim and allowed him to take most of this week off. I really think this time together has been invaluable. Cadi and Scotty are doing very well with the changes in our home. Cadi has been a huge help to us, and is learning what her appropriate role is as a big sister to Jamesy. Scotty has adjusted well. He adores Jamesy, but at times still needs to be treated like the family baby - and right now we allow that. This is a huge adjustment for him as he has been the baby for over two years. He is feeling out his role as a big brother very well, though, and I dare say he has grown up this past week.


Jim and I have been able to really enjoy each others company this week. I love playing on the living room floor with our three children and find my eyes catching Jim's across the room as if to say Can you believe this is our life?!


God has been so good, so gracious this week. I feel so blessed, so undeserving of this amazing privilege God has given me in choosing me to be the mommy of these three precious children.


If it is possible, I have fallen more in love with adoption this week. I truly wish everyone could experience this.


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I aplogize at the choppiness of this post - it was thrown together during nap time and I did not have time to articulate well. Thanks for grace.

16 comments:

Redeemed1 said...

I'm just so happy for all of you. He's just so precious. What a beautiful boy.

brandy said...

Beautiful post! I am glad he's in your arms finally and I enjoy listening to everything along your journey!!

Anonymous said...

SO SO So beautiful it was not choppy at all! I love how God is working in his little heart to need you and Jim, to desire a mother and a father. I also love how tenderly you love him already!
I JUST said to one young mother who is in the very start of her adoption process..she was commenting on how difficult gathering the dossier material was and I said "By the end of it you will have given everything, not just your finances, your emotional strength your love-- everything for this child..and it makes you appreciate what Jesus did to adopt us"
You and Jim set such a great example how you pursue and intentioanlly love Cadi, Scotty, Jamsey, and Habtamu!
Lots of love,
JO

From a full heart... said...

I so remember those first weeks home and the night terrors. They tore my heart apart, but I was always encouraged by the fact that she sought ME for comfort. These moments of reassurance, physical touch, and love during the night will pay off in spades...they are truly a blessing in disguise. As his deep-heart trust grows he will sleep more and more in peace until, before you know it, he will awaken with the sunrise with a smile. :) Praying for you in these sweet days!

goldentimes said...

Thanks for sharing on here, I have been thinking of you all throughout the week, can't believe it has been a week already. Praise God for all the healing and attaching he is doing already!

mosey said...

Just can't even articulate my pure happiness and excitement for you guys, I'm so glad it is going so well and I think it wonderful to have those tender pull him into bed and snuggle bond moments! You are a great mommy!!! AND as an adoptive mom, I KNOW how blessed YOU are by his presence and the fact that God gave him to you!

Tessy said...

I Love, Love, Love the picture...what a precious boy he is. I am so glad the cocooning is going well. I thank you for sharing your journey. I know every child is different but just the little things you write about I find myself noting mentally. Like the rocking himself to sleep....that really caught in my throat when I read that. Continuing to pray for you and Habtamu.

BARBIE said...

I will definately be praying for peace over Jamesy, that he will be able to sleep. He is absolutely precious!

Anonymous said...

Tiffany,

I have been gone from the online world for a while since I did not have time to blog anymore. The other day - randomly - the thought "I wonder if Jamesy has finally arrived home or whether Tiffany is still waiting on him" popped into my head.

I am so glad that the Lord blessed you and you were able to bring Jamesy home. He is absolutely beautiful and from reading your posts I can grasp how happy you and your family must be.

Praying for you!
All the best wishes!
Blessings,
Kate

Jamie said...

Every time I come to your blog I can't help but cry. We are pursuing domestic infant adoption and it is such a privilege. Thank you for sharing your beautiful adoption story.

Darcy M. said...

So precious....the way you put your emotions into words is so moving and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey. You have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Liz said...

I totally understand and respect your desire to keep Jamesy's past private. We plan on doing that as well. I really enjoy reading about some of the struggles though and how you all are dealing, b/c we will be looking for totally different practical advice in a few months that only other adoptive parents can offer. Thanks for your honesty!
Liz Horn
AWAA Fam
DTE 12-24-10

Heart n Soul said...

wow...what an amazing story. Just beautiful.

Ross said...

So cute! We adopted our daughter in 2007 from Ethiopia! She was from a small town just outside Addis. I'm really glad I came across your site.

Shannon said...

Thanks for posting! Your posts and insight into this early attaching process continue to be an example to us (and others I'm sure!) as we look forward to our own adoption. Thanks for being vulnerable and transparent!
God Bless,
Shannon DeVol

KLT said...

I love how you've said that you've fallen more in love with adoption...just when you think you're totally sold...your heart expands...that's divine.

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