-We are waiting for a document titled Article 5 (we will not actually receive this, but it will be sent from China's American consulate to the CCCWA-Chinese Children's Center for Welfare and Adoption). This should be issued next Tuesday.
-After Article 5 is issued, we will be waiting for our Travel Approval - our official invitation to come to China. It takes between 2-4 weeks after Article 5 to get this.
-Once we get TA, we will travel anywhere from 10-21 days later.
IF everything happens around the 2 week mark, we could travel as early as July 12. Most likely, it will fall after the 15. Just trying to be realistic here:)
I have been planning a post for a while now about attachment and bonding - now seems like a good time for me to start getting my thoughts organized on these topics. If you have ever adopted before, you know that attachment and bonding are two words that you hear over and over again. As parents of biological children, this is just something that we take for granted - it happens completely naturally. Part of our home study included us reading a book called "The Connected Child." This is an amazing tool for adoptive parents - but I do have to warn you that reading it might make you question your decision to adopt. As our wonderful social worker told us, prepare for the worst and pray for the best. This book definitely includes many worst case scenarios. I was really scared for Nathan to read it - I was afraid that he might just end it all right then and there:)
Here is Dr. Karen Purvis' take on attachment...
"Attachment refers to the interpersonal bond between a child and his parents. A child who felt consistently safe and nurtured by a reliable caretaker in early life will become securely attached. A securely attached child learns to be comfortable in close relationships."
Hudson is so blessed to be one of the "best-case scenario" kiddos as far as having reliable caretakers goes. He spent his first few months at a wonderful home called Little Flower, where I know he received excellent care. Since leaving Little Flower he has been living in a wonderful Christian group home - I know he has been loved by the staff there.
Bonding is defined as "the formation of a close relationship (as between a mother and child) especially through frequent or constant association." Now this is where I think we are really going to have our work cut out for us. Hudson knows how to be comfortable in relationships. A family who recently traveled to get their son (from the same group home) had a chance to visit and play with Hudson and his foster brothers/sisters. Apparently he was curious, but not afraid, of these pale-faced strangers:) They described him as "loving to be held and played with." This sounds really great on paper, but after studying up on good ole "bonding," I have come to realize that this is not always a good thing. It might be better if he had been a little fearful and clingy to his nanny. That would mean that he knows how have a close relationship with his primary caretaker. When a child does not know who the primary caretakers are, they might go to anyone (including strange and scary people at Wal-Mart)! It is going to be our job to train Hudson in this area. We get to teach him what it means to have parents.
So, are you wondering how this is going to happen? Well, here is where I get really anxious thinking ahead to the future. We are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED by our agency and social worker to "hunker down" for a while once we get home. Here is how this is going to look...
-We will be at home with Hudson for as long as it takes for him to start bonding with us (this means no church, no community pool days, no Wal-Mart, no crowds period).
-When we do start to venture out a little (or cheat early in the game) ONLY Nathan and I can "do" for him. That means no one else needs to pick him up, feed him, change his diaper, hold him, etc. This is not just us being over-protective, I promise! All of this is for his good in the long run (sorry grandparents!!!).
With my two biological sweeties I am completely different (and have been from the beginning). When they were babies I never hesitated to leave them at the grandparents, church nursery, or gym child care. We started mothers-day-out at age two. I am just a better parent when I can have some me time and recharge. So now you can understand why this is making me anxious! PLEASE pray that I will have complete peace as I hibernate with my eight, six, and one year old later this summer:)
Now, on to a less serious topic. I have begun "nesting" lately - trying to organize and get rid of as much stuff in the house before we add more stuff. I finally gave in and started washing Hudson's clothing for the trip. I really am trying to be practical and not pack dressy clothing for him...I understand it is going to be VERY hot in China when we travel. Comfort and being cool are my two main concerns. However, I have purchased one special (and a little dressy) outfit for the day that Hudson will officially become an American citizen. It is kind of a tradition for the kids to wear red white and blue on that day. Just so you understand why the outfit I found is so special, you have to remember that up until about 3 months ago we thought "Hudson MengQiu" was going to be "Anna Li." And you also have to know that ladybugs are a symbol of good luck in China adoption. Once we found Hudson, I pretty much gave up on looking for cute lady bug clothing (not much available in the boy's section). So when I found this (for only $15 bucks on Ebay - new with tags) I was thrilled. Yes, I am guilty of dressing my boys like this when they are babies:)
-for Hudson, our little love bug
-for complete peace as we wait
-for Henley and Griffin (I believe this transition will be the hardest for THEM)
-for peace for me as we begin our hibernation period:)
-for the millions of children in the world WAITING for their families, and the many more who will never know the love of a family
-for the people who dedicate their life to caring and advocating for these children
-that God will use our adoption story as His way of calling other families to adoption and orphan care
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves -
ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes,
speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.