I belong to a message board for moms (mostly) and dads of Korean adoptees. Being a member of the board definetly has it's good points. Such as I can get answers to my questions from experienced parents. Often times I don't even have to be the one that asks the questions because someone else got to it first. I have a whole bookmarked folder titled "CJ tips". Some of the threads won't be needed for sometime, regarding his citizenship and getting him a Social Security card, it is nice to be prepared for what is to come. Other threads are more relevant to the present like what to pack for Korea, what to buy and where to shop. Because it is peak travel season there have been a lot of recent posts about plane ticket prices, so very scary, and all the usual hotels being completely booked. I really would rather stay in the less expensive guest house so I hope that works out for us. It cost about a quarter of the hotels many people are using.
The board also keeps me very grounded when it comes to what to expect when we first pick Christian up from the adoption agency. I have read a fair amount of adoption literature regarding grieving and attachment, but it is nothing like reading the first had accounts of the moms on the board. A few weeks ago one even mentioned how no amount of preparation through reading would have kept her heart from breaking as she watched her daughter grieve for her foster mom. Yes, there are little ones that seem to be extremely resilient, but it doesn't appear to be the norm.
For instance, one mom posted just recently "The meeting went great...then we got in the taxi and all hell broke loose! The high pitched, panicked shrieks of terror are something I will never forget as long as I live." It is not uncommon for the screaming to go on for days broken only while the baby sleeps extra long hours to cope with their grief. A mom of a young toddler that just came home is having trouble performing regular care taking tasks because her son tells her "umma" and takes off running. Meaning these are task his foster mom performs and he doesn't wish for his adoptive mom to do them yet.
Of course we will show Christian lots of love, but it is also going to take some calculated attachment behaviors to help all of us bond. I know that the message board, a few choice websites and the literature filing our house will all be helpful during the process.