Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Anger Part II

If you've just started reading my blog, I am in the middle of telling our adoption story about our son, Mateo. If you'd like to read from the beginning, go to the archives and read from "Let's Start at the Very Beginning". If you missed my last post because of the election drama, it's called "Stage 3 - Anger" and is just before the "Race" post.

So, here's where we left off. Mateo was very angry and was directing that at us with hitting, kicking, scratching, throwing toys, destroying his room, etc. The guest speakers from the Attachment Institute of New England told me I look stressed and resentful and that I needed to get some help. In shock from their astute assessment, I decided that maybe it is time to get some professional help. So I called a variety of agencies and services to find out what my options were. And I have to say, two women I spoke with from two agencies were just wonderful. They didn't know me. They didn't owe me anything. But they gave their time to listen to my story over the phone, offer their advice from their own adoption experience, they gave me several book and website recommendations, and they also gave me a couple phone numbers of adoption specific counseling. The very next day I called "Dr. Gray" for an appointment as quick as possible.

Dr.Gray was awesome! She helped me to see things from Mateo's disturbed little point of view. She encouraged me to be consistent even when things didn't seem to be working. She helped me sort through my own feelings and reactions to what was going on with Mateo and the adjustment of becoming a mother in such a challenging way. We also set up a plan for how to address the aggression in a neutral way as not to inflame the situation but apply some discipline as well. This involved a lot of empathy and patience, in which I had to regroup and make a new commitment to. I also had to schedule more breaks, date nights, and time off for myself. My husband was very supportive of this and agreed to take over on the weeknights for me. We also came up with a strategy to deal with specific behavior problems. Some of that included more cuddle time for calming down and time-out in a pack and play where he can be safe but away from the situation. And we stuck with this enough to make a difference in his behavior and his relationship with us.

Coming up next....what Mateo is like now and what we expect for the future. And I'll post both of our videos I made about our story. Tear jerkers for sure so come with tissues!

....to be continued....


Rachel said...

I can't wait!

Melodie Monberg said...

Oh I feel your pain...Matt does these crazy 2 week international trips from time to time and we live on Chick fil A and popcorn! Hang in there!

Thanks for your words on my blog! I needed just a little encouragement!