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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Measuring Bonding

There was a thread on facebook about adoption disruptions, why they happen and how people can even consider disrupting.

If you adopt a child, your child should be treated exactly as if they would be if they were born to you. In other words, if you wouldn't have given up if you'd birthed them, then don't give up just because they're not your blood.

I can't imagine loving our child any more whether she were born to us or not. She's the light of our life.

As the thread progressed, the question came up about how you measure bonding.

We got lucky. We adopted our daughter from an adoption that was dissolved and she fits in perfectly like a missing puzzle piece in our home. She's doing well and with work (attachment parenting) and attachment therapy, the bonding has occurred.  It was connection from day one and felt right right away, but even if there hadn't been that connection, I'm stubborn, we'd never give up.

As for answering how to measure bonding, I can't say I really know that exact answer, but I do remember some moments along the way that were good evidence in my eyes that bonding was happening.

We came back from vacation once and kiddo said "it's so good to be back home" and the way she said home was so different than other times. I knew she had become a family girl and was no longer just trying to fit in and feeling like it was temporary.

Early on when we visited her bio sis or social worker out of town, she'd pack stuff "to do" and a zillion baby dolls. The trip was 3 1/2 hours each way, but it wasn't about having things to do, despite what she said.  When we got home, she put her dolls away and told the other dolls and her dog that she didn't know why they were worried about the dolls being put up for adoption, they came home.  Tear jerker moment.  The day she started travelling light, I knew she knew we were forever and bonding had occurred.

We also own the house next door and rent it out. Kiddo said when she gets married, the renters go and she will move there. She said her and I will be talking from our front porches, she'll come eat our food and she'll send her kids to us when they're getting on her nerves.

For her, evidence we were in it forever was after massive meltdowns. She asked us on numerous attempts, tearfully, to send her back. We refused.

When we defended her in situations she wasn't accustomed to having support in, she knew we were going to take care of her.

When she was cutting, she had written a note to a friend that she was worried about us finding out and sending us back to foster care.  We found out, took her to the hospital and I took some time off with her to ensure she knew that we were serious about wanting her to be well, healthy and with us.  There have been no incidents since then.

The major one though, was after her foot surgery.  She was a demon for about 36 hours after the surgery and that was the roughest time we've had as parents (even more so than the cutting incident).  She had 6 weeks of having to depend on us for almost everything.  That, plus not giving up on how she behaved those first 36 hours, gave her the confidence to depend on us and know we were forever.

We still have issues, but nothing serious like that, knock on wood.

The food issues have been so much better over the past 6 weeks or so too 
So proud of her.

Have a few concerns about summer coming up, but also a few joys about it.  She's so much more relaxed in summer being here, not having school, etc.  But it is a challenge to get her out of the house and I want her to go out and enjoy things! She loves home so much that it's hard to get her out of the house when it's not a "required" activity, like school.

On the flip side, this is the first year that she's looked forward to vacation the way she is.


  1. My girl also used to pack EVERYTHING when we left home. Now I have to remind her to make sure she has enough stuff!

    1. why does that not surprise me? lol