The assessment is that Bei is a genius, but is a little skinny, only 19 lbs. So, we are on a mission to fatten him up.
One of the primary messages that Dr. Kang was adamant about was that Dan and I should be his only primary caregivers. Basically, she said that people can come and play with him, but should not give him anything unless Dan and I give permission, along with no holding, picking him up, consoling, so basically hands off. It should come to the point, where is is looking to Dan and I, if a new person is introduced to see if he can approach them and then seek our permission.
This is aligned with everything we have read about adopting an older child from an institution. Bei needs to know that we alone are his primary caregivers, because he is from an institution, he has had multiple caregivers, some that he has probably bonded with and then they left him. He needs to know that we are his permanent forever primary caregivers and nobody else. She said it is alot of work and hard to do, but it is about his future and making sure he makes the attachment and bonding to us.
My new analogy is that bonding is similar to a tree; if you have two tree's side by side that are two years old, one that was planted as a seedling and one that was just planted that month, they both may look healthy and appear the same. However, if you look underneath at the roots, the tree that was planted as a seedling would have deep strong roots, the one planted that month may have damaged roots and is not yet firmly planted deep into the soil. So Dan and I are the soil and Bei is the tree that was just planted. You get the picture and I'll stop with all the stupid analogies.
It is hard and somewhat stressful for us to implement this because we so appreciate everyone's overwhelming support and then to have to turn around and say thanks for all the prayers, gifts, emails and overall support, but you can't engage with Bei like you would a normal child is difficult. We hope you all understand that we are following the advice of research of institutional children and what our pediatrician is telling us. It is all for the good of Bei in the long term.
Here are a few tips that Dr. Kang suggested when others are interacting with Bei.
- If you have a gift for Bei, please allow us to give it to him. We will say, "here is a gift from Auntie J and she is giving it to you" as we give it to him.
- If he asks you to put on his coat, we ask that you would redirect him and say there is Mamma, she'll put on your coat.
- If he falls you can pick him up, but then redirect him to Daddy, because he will make it better.
- If he wants to be picked up by you, please redirect him to Dan or I.
- You get the picture...
Hope you all understand and still support us!