Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blind Faith Bonding & Attachment

The blog-buzz question this week is about bonding in the first year with your new child. Is this really going to happen? We had two very different experiences at the same time. We were adopting sibling brothers from the state.

I have given birth to a child, so I did not give a second thought to bonding. I really did not see attachment as anything other than a synonym for bonding. We were living under the microscope of the state as foster parents. I had not read any books (hind sight is 20/20).

I would say the majority of the problems we had were mine due to lack of knowledge.

Our son's were 6 months and 19 months when placed in our home. Our middle son had lived with his biological mom on/off for this entire 19 months. He was taken from her the day he was placed with us. The very next day he was given a visit with her and then brought back to us. To say the least he was STRESSED.

Our youngest had never lived with his biological parents, but we were the third foster home. He was an empty vessel. God is his mighty wisdom gave us our son's two weeks apart. When the youngest was placed, I did not put him down for anything but sleep. I did not know this was the right thing. I was filling my need for a baby in my arms. We had an amazing time bonding. One of us held him at all times. We still have a very strong bond.

Our middle son did not have an easy time bonding with me. I could barely touch him for two months. Daddy was the primary caregiver. He did not want me around. I was hurt and turned to the youngest child and used him to comfort me. We were so overwhelmed with two babies at once that we did not really realize what we were doing to the long term bonding between mom and son.

We lived in survival mode for the first year. Any bonding that happened was by the Grace of God. I look back and see so many mistakes that we made and really regret many actions I chose. God in His infinite grace, protected both boys and allowed the traditional attachment to happen in our third year with my middle son. Our youngest was attending pre-school for children with disabilities and I was home alone with our middle child. I know today we have a relationship that is unbreakable. He has attachment scars from life before us but we are learning and praying daily that God will use this to His Glory.


When we started taking foster children into our home just for the sake of protecting a child. I had read books, attended classes, talked to others and had a much better grasp on what attachment looked like and how important it is for a child to attach to an adult in the first year of life.

So, at the end of my ramble, I would say that the most important things to do to attach to a new child would be to hold them as much as they will allow, take naps together daily, spend time having fun together, gaze into their eyes as often as possible. Playing cooperative games is a biggie. Building puzzles, blocks, driving hot wheels, taking walks. I think time together is a HUGE help.


kenzsethia said...

Great post. I think it is so important to share our mistakes for others to learn from. Thanks!

Jman's momma said...

Oh by God's Grace!!!

I have screwed up so many times it makes me want to bury my head in the sand - and I only have one son so far.

This is a great thing to share because I know there are so many of us who have struggled or are struggling with parenting and wanting to be the best parent but not always knowing what that is supposed to look like.