Monday, March 26, 2007

Separation Anxiety

Most toddlers have some healthy separation anxiety. Adopted children can have it more severe. We are still fighting with a fear of abandonment and anxiety. It is hard to know exactly what he is thinking but it is clear he is upset when he cries if I just step outside to get the mail. Our biggest problem seems to be after bedtime. JM will initially go to sleep without any problems. He wakes up about 6-8 hours later and seems to be afraid to go back to sleep. I try to rock him and put him back in his crib but he panics. So, instead I eventually move him into my bed. That seems to work well as long as he is close to me and I am facing him. If I roll over and turn my back to him, he wakes up screaming.

I know some children who have been adopted as young toddlers and continued to have separation and abandonment anxiety for years. I also know from watching them that it will get better. It has only been a week and he has the right to some fears. After all, his whole world has been turned upside down. I will continue to work with him to get him to trust that I will be there in the morning. Some nights it helps to leave his bedroom door open. Other nights we just need to sleep together.

A special thanks to all of our friends at church. We attended for the first time yesterday and it was a learning experience. JM really enjoyed meeting all of you who were there. He did get a little overwhelmed at times but seemed to enjoy it for the most part. I did learn that I will bring 2 toy cars for the cry room. JM just isn't good at sharing yet. He also really enjoyed the nursery for about 15 minutes. I am sure that as time goes on, he will feel more comfortable there. He really does miss being around other children.

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