CORE training classes made for a long couple of days. 13 hours each day to be exact. Our poor pups! Thankfully on the first day my father in law was able to stop by on his way home from work and let them play for a bit. The snow and traffic between here and Aurora didn't help either. We did however, learn some important things.
For one, parenting an adoptive child is just different. Different from day one, different their whole life. With that in mind, we did learn some helpful hints on just parenting in general.
We talked a lot, A LOT, A. LOT about attachment. We learned some ways to promote bonding and attachment. The first one is to get a comfy carrier that has nothing between you & the baby, and wear it as often as possible doing skin-to-skin as much as you can. This way the baby can learn your smell, feel of your skin, and hear your heart beat. I registered for one that I think is awesome!
She also said to get a good glider. Then to do skin to skin and hold them close to us and spend a lot of time in the gliding motion. Helps mimic the womb.
Before you bring the baby home, pick the same lotion, deodorant, laundry soap, etc. that you will use for the next year. This way the baby can learn your specific smell. Makes sense to me, it's just one of those little things I wouldn't have thought of.
The other thing, which does seem obvious, is to talk to the baby alllll the time. Literally. While you're doing the dishes, "Here's the purple plate, mommies putting it away." Most of you know, I love the sound of my own voice (ha,ha!) so I will have no problem jabbering away to our little munchkin.
I've touched on this before, but I learned more about this topic too. Michael & I have to really be the ones holding/caring for our baby. No one else is to rock to sleep, feed, change, etc. at least in the beginning. She did tell me however, that I get to be a slight exception! She said with my husband being gone on a 48 hr shift, if I'm losing it I can call my mom or mom in law to come help :) Whew! Here's what our hand-out says, "And as hard as it will be, don't pass your newborn around to everyone who wants to hold him. Be stingy, at least for the first couple of months. Your baby needs to know and recognize you as his parents. Being handled by different people can be confusing for your baby's growing attachment to you." There mom and Sandy-I didn't say it, the professionals did!! :) Michael and I did ask though, about meeting family. We told them that our family is really close (both relationally and distance). She said to have one set of grandparents, or aunt and uncle over at a time. Cheri (the teacher) did tell us that people want to help. They know you're tired and want to come take care of things. She said the best way to help is to give them jobs that you can't do because you're with the baby. Sounds good to me!
The other big thing she said to do is to have as much eye contact as possible, and usually within 12 inches of their face.
I did have some concerns about the baby and Michael bonding, since he will be at work for 48 hours shifts. The plus side of that however, is that he'll be home for 4 days. She said to wrap the baby in his shirt when he's gone, record his voice reading a story and play it at night, and whenever possible, go visit him.
The last thing we touched on was if we adopt a child of a different race. She said we will look at our baby and not even notice, but the rest of the world will. We are lucky to have (at least as far as I know) a group of friends and family members who wouldn't care. They'll love our little one just the same, no matter what they look like. To me, it seemed silly. Obviously our child will come from a different set of genes. They aren't going to look like a Gabbert or a Matzke. Everyone knows that and expects it, I would assume. She did have us practice responding to others if they ask insensitive questions. Actually, we practiced just answering insensitive questions about adoption in general.
There was a whole lot more, but at the moment those were the main things that stuck with me.
Any other small parenting tips from moms or dads (adoptive or not) will be much appreciated!!
Now, to decide if we are powering through this snow storm out of our window to make it to church.