Thoughts on Bonding with an adoped baby…

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Bonding with an adoped baby…”

  1. These are excellent insights! I really appreciate your perspective on the word “No.” I could have used (and still can) those thoughts with my boys. You are so right about self control and frustration on our own part and how that plays into those challenging situations for better or worse.

    Also, the “bear hug” time out is invaluable – I learned about this by reading the book Holding Time by Martha Welch. It is also emotionally draining, but so worth it. I wrote twice about our “holding time” experiences after our sons came home from Haiti and here are the links, if they are helpful to your other readers:

    http://iansadoption.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-mommy-needs-holding-time.html

    http://iansadoption.blogspot.com/2010/08/when-holding-hurts.html

    Even though our Haitian sons were our 4th & 5th adoptions, it was our first experience adopting internationally; adopting two children at once; and adopting toddlers. So it was vastly different in many ways. During the transition time before they actually arrived at our house we also allowed others to hold and cuddle them, but once they were home we worked hard to establish who their immediate and forever family members were.

    We did this by my staying home with the boys for almost two months, with the exception of some quick errands (and in those cases I kept the boys in their double stroller so that others could not pick them up.) Even when we first began taking them to church, I kept the boys with me and/or in their stroller. Chile is a very “physical” culture and had I not done this, they would have been passed around a lot! When friends visited us at home, especially at the beginning, I would usually put the boys in their high chairs with a snack so they were happy and our friends could verbally interact with them without actually holding them.

    This may sound strict but in our case one of the boys had grown very accustomed to finding affection with any and every adult who visited the orphanage. He didn’t understand the concept of a family and would happily go to any stranger that crossed his path. We understood that this was neither safe nor healthy, even though by outward appearances it made him seem so “friendly.” Around that time I wrote a post called “A is for Attachment” and shared some information I had learned in my reading about how bonding and attachment are actually two different things. In case that might be helpful to your readers as well, here is the link:

    http://iansadoption.blogspot.com/2010/01/is-for-attachment.html

    I look forward to reading the experiences and advice of others on this subject. Every child and situation is different, especially Uganda it seems (in that you had such a long time together before ever coming home.) But each child is such a blessing. Thanks for sharing this topic!

  2. a few attachment tips that i have learned along the way:
    1. ask friends and family to help with the parent/child attachment by allowing mom and dad to be the ones to feed, change, bathe, lotion, and be the primary providers of these nurturing acts as well as be the primary givers of affection and eye contact.
    2. focus on fostering feelings of safety and trust with your child before you worry about correcting behaviors.
    3. try to stay close to home for the first few months and having new people come in groups of 1-2 people with time limits on these visits.

  3. i really dont know what to say……. i will carry this advice to the future! thanks tonya. i will say this again, you a a great parent!

  4. Love your children as God loves you, remembering that we love Him because we know Him, your children will love you as they get to know you. The more we know and learn about God the more we love Him, the more your children know you the more they will love you. Remembering God’s command to “love one another as God loves you”, and love is the ‘greatest gift’ of all.
    Mom

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