Bedtime has proven to be one of the most difficult times of our day. Parker usually throws what I would deem a monumental fit each night after we tell him it is time for bed. With that being that case, and us not having been able to find a way to settle him down at night, I put a call into our home study agency director this afternoon for some guidance. What a difference a little professional advice makes.
After I explained to her the challenges we have been facing on a daily basis, she quickly surmised that Parker is probably having some attachment and bonding issues. Sadly, Parker has certainly been through some very tough things in his short life. His having lost both of his parents and more recently having lost his aunt, who gave him up for adoption, is probably hindering his ability to fully attach and bond to Sara and I. Those attachment issues could very well be leading to our tough moments in the evening and in the mornings. The thought is that he is not sure that when when we put him to bed in the evening that we will be there when he wakes up, and he is not sure that when I drop him off to daycare in the morning, that we will be there to pick him up in the evening. It's sad, I know. We know we will never leave him and we will always be there for him, but he may not know that right now. I can't fault him for having those feelings.
One of the solutions she recommended was for each Sara and I to take a few minutes alone with him before bed and hold him and talk with him about our day and what we are going to do tomorrow. This will help him settle down a little bit and prepare him for what the next day holds. I hate to jinx it, but it worked like a charm this evening. He was a perfect angel when it came time for bed. I hope that it stays that way.
Another of her ideas was for either Sara or I to head to his daycare once or twice a week and have lunch with him. Great idea. I am quite excited about seeing him interact with all of his little friends at daycare. On the other days, we are going to start sending something special for him, so that he knows we are thinking of him during the day. Whether that be a special snack or a picture of us, or something else is yet to be determined, but however we can try to help facilitate his attachment we will do it.
After all, he is a great kid, and we don't want him to ever forget his life in Ethiopia, we just want him to realize that we are always going to be here for him.
Hopefully other promising experiences to come...