Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bonding with a Child who was Adopted



We didn't have any trouble bonding with Kal-El once he was placed with us. I actually think I have the opposite problem of bonding too quickly, which can be emotionally dangerous during the adoption process when things may or may not work out (I'm glad I didn't think that doing Foster Care was the right path for us when we wanted to adopt, because children can be in and out of your home and I could see myself being emotionally torn up about that). Zay was confident that he wouldn't have a problem bonding, and he never did. As soon as we saw Kal, we knew we were in love. It was a moment we had waited for for so long that it was impossible to feel indifferent or unattached. He was meant to be ours.

Things that have made bonding easier in our situation:

- being prepared (we read about bonding and I studied everything under the sun about adoption beforehand, this was something we had waited for for so long that our hearts were open and ready)

- he being our first child (we didn't have anything to compare it to - I've heard how having a biological child first and then adopting a child tends to make you want to compare and over worry about the bonding process)

- having a connection to the pregnancy as much as possible (meeting his birthmother when she was pregnant with him, hearing his heartbeat during a checkup, having a baby shower to celebrate getting chosen to be his parents, getting to attend the 40-week appointment)

- adopting him from birth and being given parental responsibilities right off the bat (sleeping at the hospital while K recovered from her c-section, taking care of him on our own during his brief stay in the NICU, leaving the hospital with him)

- no recovery time (not having to worry about post-partum depression or recovering from giving birth was helpful for me, no hormones or medications were clouding my mind, I could think straight and I could just love on Kal as much as I wanted)

- time off of work (thank goodness for my awesome job that allowed me to take off whatever time I needed, lots of bonding time and "finding a routine" time during those first few weeks)

- the distance between us and the birth family after placement (I can see now that we like having our space and it helped us feel like a family more quickly than if we lived too close... now that the bond is there and more than enough time has passed I'm excited about getting to go back to GA and see everyone for Christmas! - he'll be 9 months old then)

Our caseworker talked to us about bonding and she said that even having a biological child takes time for the bonding to happen, so to not worry about it and when it happened we would know. There were quiet moments when Kal was asleep on my chest and I just watched him sleep. Zay staying home with Kal has given him plenty of time to fall in love with him. His favorite thing to say lately is, "That's my boy. That's my boy." Kal fits in so well. We love his personality. He is definitely our son and the bond is there. It feels so easy, so natural to love him. :)





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