Friday, March 16, 2007

Moving Forward

I'm still on the hunt for a family therapist with knowledge of attachment and adoption issues...

Gabe has been to bed an hour earlier the last two nights, although he has slept with David and I have slept alone. I realize that this is not the healthiest solution, but, Gabe seems deeply troubled by bad dreams lately. He has asked for a 'dreamcatcher' for his room, and until I can find one, I guess we do what we have to do. Enough sleep is essential and has to come at all costs. (I am sure SuperNanny would tell me differently, but, I spent almost three years in a state of constant sleep deprivation, I feel qualified to say that sleep must be a priority and other things must be sacrificed in order to attain it.)

Additionally, I am having Gabriel eat a banana with his breakfast cereal. This seems like a small thing, but, since we've come home, I've neglected to make sure that Gabe eats fruit in the morning. I always had him eat fruit for breakfast before Lana came, and I am grasping at straws in terms of "what am I doing differently that might make explain Gabe's behavior at school?" Changing his breakfast habits is one thing that jumped out at me.

I've been noticing deep purple rings under Gabe's eyes the past several weeks. These make him look very tired - but, then I remembered a conversation I had with his eye doctor over a year ago. At that time, Dr. R~ was examining him and he said, "you know he has allergies?" And I said, "Pardon?" And he, Dr. R~, who is an M.D. type of eye doctor as opposed to the type of eye doctor who just deals with eyes, said, "the purple rings under his eyes? That's caused by allergies. Some people think they are caused by exhaustion, but, the only thing that makes eyes look like that, generally speaking, is allergies. I'd get him some pediatric Claritin if I were you."

So, I gave him the Claritin for a while, and then, I don't know, summer came or something...I stopped giving it to him. I'm starting it again. His nose is running constantly and the purple rings are back under his eyes. It's worth a try, I think.

Lana had a fit last night, and this time, she threw a fit for Husband, because Gabriel and I left to go to his cubscout meeting. This is new. Heretofore, she has thrown numerous fits for Husband, but, never because I left. David said last night she cried, alternately, for Gabe and then for me.

I'm beginning to suspect that the person she is truly the most attached to is Gabriel. Even though he is probably the one who is mean to her most often, she loves him best of all. And so, when Gabriel leaves with one parent, leaving her behind with the other parent - that is when the worst of her fits happen. Curiously, she does not throw a fit when Gabe gets on the bus in the morning, but, she likes to busy herself "helping" him get ready. She runs to get his coat, to help him put his backpack on his back. Then she stands at the window and waits and watches him get on the bus. Then she announces, "Gabriel DI HOP!!" (I'm spelling phonetically, here, I have no idea what these words actually look like in properly written Vietnamese. It means, according to our friends Vinh and Minh, "go to school.") Then, after Gabe gets on the bus, Lana runs to get her own shoes on, and says, 'Lana DI HOP!!" Then she dances around and says the name of her school excitedly. She likes to go to school. She also likes the ride to school because she knows mommy is a pushover who will let her have a piece of candy for the ride. Or gum. She loves candy and gum and she really needs one of those shirts from the children's place that says, "I LOVE CANDY." Much of her day is spent being thwarted in her efforts to obtain candy. So, she knows she will get a piece on the drive to school.

She is learning English at a rapid pace. Some things she has said in the past day include:

"Baby Morgan doctor go." (I.e. Baby Morgan (a baby in her life) went to the doctor. I checked with Baby Morgan's mom, and, in fact, Baby Morgan did go to the doctor for a well check this week.)

"Candy Lana pocket!" (i.e. Lana has candy in her pocket. Again, I checked the pocket - it was true. There was a piece of candy there. A very fuzzy lifesaver. Yum. NOT.)

"Lana NO GO BAFROOM." (I.e. "at the present, mother, I am not interested in taking time out of my very busy day playing with these checkers to use the toilet, despite the fact that I am holding my crotch and clearly need to urinate.")

"Gabriel Lana Jammy La." (I.e. "It is time for Gabriel and Lana to put on jammies. NOW. If we do not put on jammies right now, I will jump around saying 'Gabriel Lana Jammy La' indefinitely. Because I like to.")

That's all for now.
LM

3 Comments:

Blogger jenn said...

I agree on the sleep. Not sure what anyone says, but a sleep deprived child and worse yet a sleep deprived mommy can not accomplish things as needed. For years until our oldest slept through thenight we would say "sleep is the key!" Our second slept through the night well before her year older sister!

Fruit is a good idea too, especially bananas. I read somewhere they have a certain thing in them (seratonin, not for sure) that helps you remain in a better mood. Something about the brain, chemicals in the brain...didn't file it into permanent memory. Hope it works though!

Thanks for the phrases, loved reading them, especailly the "translations"!

Friday, March 16, 2007 1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Sleep is a big deal here too. (When my kids get scared or have bad dreams, I tell them to pray "In the Name of Jesus, GO AWAY." because everything has to obey those types of prayers. It generally works very well)
I think more fruit and Claritin sound like good ways to deal with Gabriels issues. When I feel cruddy I don't focus very well either. :-)
And wow is Lana doing great with language!!! Aren't our kids amazing?!

Friday, March 16, 2007 3:25:00 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I confess - I'm a lurker on your site. I'm in the early stages of the adoption process (leaning towards Vietnam). Until all that comes to fruition, I've been enjoying reading blogs of adoptive families - yours included.

I saw that you were on the hunt for a therapist with a knowledge of attachment theory. Have you checked out Nancy Thomas' site? You can search for therapist specializing in RAD (http://www.attachment.org/Findtherp.htm). I have a therapist friend who specializes in attachment and pointed me to this site for when I'm ready to find a therapist for my adopted daughter (which will hopefully be sooner than later).

Hope you have some luck finding a therapist.

Monday, March 19, 2007 9:58:00 PM  

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