We’re about to adopt our first “older” child. By older, I mean older than we have before, because all of our children were babies when they entered our home. We began this adoption with a 3-4 year old boy in mind. God surprised us with GhanaGirl. We’re grateful, but nervous. Her age is hard, she understands a lot, but won’t be able to verbalize it. I know a lot about attachment, but what if that’s not enough? Peds nursing and early childhood education give you a good background in child development. They teach you a lot about the “whys” of child behavior. Why is my 2-year-old biting, why are they so eager to please. when will this developmental milestone typically occur, etc. I know all that. That doesn’t mean I know ANYTHING about our little girl, or what her life was like before she came to us. There are some questions that are going to remain unanswered. We thought she was an orphan, maybe she is, maybe she’s not. Does she have biological siblings? Maybe, maybe not. She’ll come here, as a 2-year-old, with hardly any words, to a place where almost nothing is the same as what she is used to. We’ll look different, we’ll smell different, we won’t sound the same. So much will be totally different. How will a child that age cope? The answer is, I don’t know. I’m not good with unknown, it makes me so anxious.
I’ve spoken with a lot of people who’ve adopted 2ish-year-old. I’ll take their experiences into account, but they won’t be just the same as our experience. I’ve got to prepare myself and make sure I have all the resource and tools available to me, should we need them. So, to fill the void of waiting, and to make sure we’re as ready as possible…we read. FPD and I have read A LOT of books on raising African-American children. Some books we liked, some we didn’t. We just pick and choose what we use based on what’s right for our family and our children. Now we’re reading books specific to toddler adoption. I’m reading Taming the Tiger while it’s a Kitten by Nancy Thomas. So far, it’s ok. Lots of these books scare me more than they help. I’m already scared enough. So, from any of you out there, did you read anything on attachment that helped you (without being totally terrifying)? THANKS!