Another thing she’ll need to learn is to communicate her needs. Babies born outside of institutional settings cry when they are uncomfortable (i.e. hungry, gassy, or poopy), and they quickly learn that crying gets the attention of someone who can help alleviate their discomfort. In an institutional setting, there may not be enough caregivers to get to babies at their moment of discomfort. These babies soon learn that crying doesn’t get them help. Some cope by turning off the crying mechanism. Others resort to drastic measures to get attention; if banging my head against the wall or holding my breath until I turn blue gets me care, that’s what I’ll use when I need help the next time.
I don’t mean to dis orphanages; I know that most of the ones in
Most of all, it will be a rush to just hold her, to let the good things about physical touch work their way through her body and mind, so that she comes to know she is deeply loved and cared for. However old she is when we meet her, she will have had that much life experience of being loved and cared for as best as possible, but not yet from a mommy and a daddy. And when we finally arrive to be that mommy and daddy, after so many months of paperwork and waiting and prayer and anxiety, I think the first thing I will tell her is, “We came as soon as we could.”