Monday, June 20, 2011

Adoption 101

I've been reading a lot of adoption blogs recently and they've taken me back to those first days and months with our adoptees. There are certain "guidelines" specific to adoption, that don't come naturally. All of these foster attachment and bonding:
  1. No one holds the child(ren) except mom & dad. It's vitally important that the adoptee knows who their new parents are. Grandma and Grandpa and friends will want to hold your child too, but that only confuses the child and slows the bonding process. For the sake of your child, pre-warn friends and family that they are welcome to hug your child while he/she is still in your arms.
  2. No one meets the child's needs except mom & dad. Same reason as above. Bonding to the adoptive parents is made more confusing and more difficult when others meet your child's needs. They need to know YOU are their caregiver.
  3. Whenever possible, the child should be fed by you, and not self-feed. Of course, this has a lot to do with the child's age. Daniel was 2 at the time of adoption. I held him in my lap and fed him whenever possible. This is huge when it comes to bonding and attachment.
  4. Hold, hold, hold the child. Carriers and slings are greatly preferred to strollers. Regardless of your parenting style with your bio children, attachment parenting is the way to go with an adoptee.
The needs of adoptees are unique, but their bonding and healthy attachment to you are worth the changes you'll make for their sake.

(Taken from the following adoption books (all of which I highly recommend): The Connected Child, Attaching in Adoption, and Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft)


Amber said...

These are great! Amen and amen. We did this with our daughter and they made all the difference.

Jennifer said...

How true! I'm not an attachment parent, but I was with my adoptees. They need it!

~Stephanie said...

So important! People thought we were a bit loony with Xander and I was once accused of "hogging him." I always cringe when people offer to babysit the newly adopted child as a help to parents. Bring a meal, help run errands, help with the other children, etc. but PLEASE let the child start bonding. :)

Jamie Wooddell said...

Thank you for posting this Ginger. Now, I can just post it on my blog or even send it via email to friends and family who may not understand.