Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Emma. They walk into our room with a dark haired quiet Chinese 3 year old. They sit on the couch with her. Doll reaches for her and she comes easily. They give us a quick description of 3 medications with multiple doses a day and they are gone. Emma is uninterested in being held. Cole is with us and they connect rather quickly. Little did we know what a special spirit had just joined our family. Adoption is a great gift for a family.

Emma was a blank page. She rarely spoke. She did not know how to behave in public. She was not potty trained. She did feel ownership or feel possessive. She did not cry when she was hurt. She didn't ask for things. She did not want affection. She did not give affection. She didn't like ice-cream but she loved lemons. Emma was a blank page.

So, what do you do with a blank page? I won't even answer that. Too cliche. Oh yes I will. You write on it.

With Emma we held her when she tolerated it. We read to her. We took her on rides in the stroller. We walked with her. We ate cookies and donuts. (Once in a while.) Slowly we started to see progress. She became jealous when Cole was being held. She wanted her Talking Elmo. She cried when she was hurt. She enjoyed being held. She sat through an entire movie. It is quite amazing to see her grow and develop.

In the adoption training courses, it talks about attachment and teaches techniques to attach but also to help straighten out the tumbled emotions that children have when they have been neglected, abused or sensory deprived. These tools have been the source of miricals every day in the lives of our children. They have also helped us recognize ways to improve our relationships with our older children as well. (See Hints)

I teasingly ask Cole if he is in trouble. Emma interupts. No. He's my brother!