Monday, August 9, 2010

Grief, acting out and anniversaries


Well, I am once again reminded of the good advice so many parents and therapists give adoptive parents. Watch out for anniversaries. Why? Well, the anniversary of the adoption and the anniversary of their arrival in the orphanage or any other significantly traumatic event is likely to trigger a reaction. No, they don't know it, they are totally unaware. But, if your son or daughter is suddenly acting a bit jittery, not sleeping well, extra needy, or just plain naughty with no apparent cause........ ask yourself if this is a significant anniversary time frame for them. They likely just need a bit of extra attention, love and care and a good dose of security, attachment and encouragement.

I was just musing over the sudden and unexplained naughty and jittery (minor stuff, but more than usual) behavior of my boys and asked my Bible Study ladies to pray for us as there is just something up, but what. Well, in saying it out loud I realized that we are a week away from the day we picked them up from the orphanage two years ago. Joyful event for us, certainly traumatic for them. Either way, a big huge change, a good change, for them also a scary change. They did this last year, so why did I not expect it this year? Silly me. One of our sons also does this in January, which is the month he was taken to the orphanage. I had a little chat with them about how they may be feeling and why and gave them more encouragement and reassuring. They were pretty good the rest of the day. They just need an overdose of love and affection twice a year and they are fine. If I can just remember this next time!

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