Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Bonding"..what we learned & what worked for us....

I know this is a different experience for all families,but this is ours....I remember praying for so long that Gracie would bond with us right away and feel comfort in her forever family from the moment she would see us. Although I had faith, I also thought getting off the plane and being put in my arms would maybe bring her to tears. To my wonderful surprise she looked into my eyes and smiled. She loved the other two kids and thought they were funny entertainment. The first night she was clearly bonded to me (answer to my prayers) she would not let me put her down for one second. :-) I am not saying the first night was easy beans. There were a couple moments that she cried out to "ohma" that is mama in Korean. She was asking for her Korean Foster mommmy. Oh yes this broke my heart to pieces and I had moments of tears right with her. I held her all night long and prayed so hard that God would fill that place in her heart. Only he could fill it!  As we got home and settled in, she only had a couple more moments of crying out like that. I knew and read that this was hard for her , but also a healthy/natural way of adjusting to the changes. We had alot of visitors to come and see her, she was comfortable with everyone and a very happy baby! ...In church that week she went up and sat with one of my good friends and had no interest to reach back out to me. I remember that bothered me a just a little.  I think because of all the company, I was feeling like she thought everyone that came over and payed attention to her was her mama. I dug in and read more.  I learned how very important it was that only my husband and I do all the holding, changing, feeding, and all the care giving in order for her to know that we are the two that are mommy and daddy. Being home only one week it was easy to basically let everyone know what we needed to do and how important it was for her. It is not that she was not bonding at all, because she really was doing so well, but we did not want her to have any confusion at all. After all she has just gone through some major changes in her life. Leaving a birth mother and then leaving the foster family that took care of her for the first 8 months of her life. She was attached to my hip or she was in my wonderful beco baby carrier front pack. Oh my I love that carrier! I could do many things with her in the pack, and she loved it. She would even crawl to it and ask for it! I remember that being sooo cute!! She wanted to cuddle all the time. Very soon I felt she was completly bonded to us like glue. After about a month  I remember being out shopping and an old friend was so excited to see our baby. So excited that she just thought she would grab her right out of my arms... Gracie started to cry, and my friend felt bad. But I remember being so happy.  Happy that Grace was deciding on her own that at that moment she preferred her mommy. We stuck to our routine of just my husband or I doing all the caring for her for about 5 weeks and it was absolutly wonderful for Gracie.  Was this hard for some people to accept..sure it was...but it was more important for Grace at the time.  When I think about it, it really was not much different than the other two were. I was not ever one for other people holding my new borns either. I was selfish.

Today our little 2 year old bundle is totally outgoing, social and loves people. Her bond with her family is strong and is an answer to prayers. She just said the other night after we prayed with the kids before bed. .."I luv my famooly". She pointed to each of us and said "I love you, and you , and you". So precious!!

Here is a helpful letter that you can also use to give to your family and help to explain to them how important bonding is for your child! "Letter To Family" click here

Here is the site I found very helpful filled with adoption stories and bonding with your little one.
"A 4 Ever Family Site "



3 comments:

Brook said...

Tina,
Your BLOG is AWESOME! I have enjoyed reading it SO much. God has blessed you for your beautiful heart, Brook

Anonymous said...

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Eda said...

The precious daughter you adopted definatly shows in the sparkle in your eyes. You did a wonderful thing for this girl and comming from a child who is adopted herself, she will grow up loving you so much more for helping give her a life that she so desperatly might of needed. She will feel blessed every time she says your name, every time she sees you. You are her mom and forever you will be named that and too her, that will be one of the best words she learns. We love you and love seeing the pictures you post of yourself and your family.