Monday, May 16, 2011

Dear Family and Friends

As I prepare to cross the threshold into motherhood, I thought it'd be a good time to explain some things. During this long wait, I've learned that while decorating the nursery and stocking up on baby essentials is important, even more important is the emotional health of my baby. In Mia's short life, she'll have gone through more changes and life altering experiences than most adults could handle.

While she may not consciously remember the events, she'll still experience immense loss, including feelings of grief, trauma and confusion. She's already experienced the loss of her birthmother and will soon experience the loss of familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and language of her birth country. Her world will turn upside down. She'll struggle with feeling safe and secure and may lack the ability to trust that I will meet her needs.

I'm prepared to meet her where she is emotionally and progress on her schedule. I have to prove to her that I'll always take care of her and keep her safe. I need your support. In order to form a strong and healthy attachment, I must allow her to regress so that she has the opportunity to go through all the emotional stages with me... despite her chronological age. Although it may appear that I'm spoiling her, I've learned it's best that I meet every need quickly and consistently.

Until she's learned that I'm her mother, I alone need to be her primary caretaker at all times. It's essential that I always hold her, feed her, and do all of the nurturing. I know you're impatient to do these things, too. Trust me. I don't want to deprive anyone of loving my daughter. But in the beginning, I ask you to understand my need for you to step back and defer to me. You may wonder how long this will take, but the timeline is different for every child. I'll follow her lead and trust my instincts rather than worry about what society expects.

We've all been waiting anxiously for Mia to arrive but you have to remember ... she hasn't been waiting for us. She's about to be ripped away from everything she knows and loves. She may show her grief and confusion in many ways. I'm prepared to help her through it and prove that I am forever and this truly is her last stop. No matter what it takes.

I trust that as my family and friends you'll help me to do what's best for my daughter. I thank you in advance for your support and understanding. For more useful info about attachment check out this website a4everfamily.org

Love,
Mia's Mommy

18 comments:

bleu said...

You cannot spoil a baby. Do not ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Congrats and good luck

Anonymous said...

Oh, YES! You're on the right track. Don't let anyone push you off that track. Trust your instinct to meet your daughter's needs and she will learn to trust that you can and will meet her needs. Enjoy this incredible journey. Ahhh....

Cheeseboy said...

You have such a great understanding of her needs already. You are going to be the best mom!

Chinazhoumom said...

Hi Mia's Mommy
I am Kimberly's mommy - she came home Dec 2005. I can tell you I did the same thing - I wore her in a hip hammock the whole time we were in China - except in the room(she was not walking unassisted at 14 mths) She would sleep-snuggle - gaze at mommy - and yes cry sometimes - but I tell you - she knew who mama was(single mom too). You will do great!
http://www.babysites.com/sites /cmac koul (remove spaces)
you can read her story there - we are on a private blogger account now...
Here is our blog when she was 4 we went back to China on vacation.
http://underafullmoonoverarainbow.blogspot.com/

Safe travels - take more pics than you think is possible - she will change ALOT in the first week!!! and so will you !
Carol in FL

Shannon said...

What a wonderfully written letter - Mia is so lucky to have you as her mom!

Jen said...

Amen! You are doing the right thing! :)

Sam said...

Well said, Krista!

Sorry we didn't make it to your shower. I was so disappointed. Kieren spiked a high fever and Andy was at Cullen's track meet (which ran late by 2.5 hours!). We will have to get together after you get home and settled.

Sam

Robin said...

You are one amazing communicator -- and about to be one incredible mother. Can't wait to be a part of your journey. Travel safe and see you soon -- IN CHINA! Robin

Anonymous said...

Safe travels! You've waited a long time for Mia. We brought our Lilly home in December of 2002 when she was 7 months old. She was very healthy and attachment was easy. The only issue I would mention would be a slight sensory issue that becomes less noticable the older she gets. It usually deals with loud noises or large groups of people. She is a smart, healthy, confident, and beautiful nine year old! Enjoy Mia...seems just yesterday we were in Changsha meeting Lilly for the first time.

dottie said...

I so agree with everything that everyone has said. I wished that I had done the same thing we went for Mimi back in 2004. However Mimi herself and in her own way let people know who her mom was and is. Can't wait to see you in China!!!! Dottie

foodiechickie said...

Your daughter is very lucky.

Lost and Found said...

Awesome post!

Randi said...

Well said! We have been home for 2 years now and Emma is a totally different child than the frightened little baby I brought home. It is not an easy transition, but you won't regret a moment of it.

Michal said...

See? See what you did there?
That was awesome.
You educated yourself and you found where you wanted to start your journey with Mia.
You are on the right track. I wish I had been this on the ball for Ev.

Have I mentioned how very happy I am for you?

Colleen said...

This is a beautifully written letter. I may have to steal parts of it when I bring home my daughter. :)

Shari U said...

I've never commented on your blog before, but I just wanted to tell you that I think you're absolutely on target with this. My little Chinese daughter is now 8 years old, she was 10 months old when we adopted her. There were many people who thought I was absolutely crazy to meet her every need instantly and thought I was creating a monster. I ended up having to bring her to bed with us for a loooooooong time and I'm SO GLAD I did it that way because today I have a happy healthy little girl. I honestly feel that her healing (and she needed a lot of healing) came from the closeness we shared laying in that bed together while I would stroke her face and tell her that her mommy would never leave her. I hope you have a fantastic trip to China and that Mia does well and your bonding and attachment will be a cinch.

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