Friday, September 5, 2008
Attachment and Bonding-On a Different Path
Most adoptive parents-to-be spend much time with reading and education. In preparation for adopting a toddler, I read many articles on attachment and bonding, preparing myself for difficult moments. Those of you who followed our journey to China know that we had some rough moments, but all in all it's been wonderful.
Ellie, at first, attached to her daddy, then to Aunt Bobbie, all to the exlusion of Mama. While I knew this was normal, it broke my heart. We worked diligently to help her learn to accept love, care, and affection from her mother, and our efforts bore fruit.
After coming home and going back to work within 10 days of our homecoming, Ellie has learned to be content with other caregivers. She loved her daycare provider, enjoyed days home with Daddy and Whitney, but soon learned to be delighted when Mama came home.
While we were in the hospital and I shared with a friend that Ellie wanted no one but Mama, this wise friend Joli said, "How good for you and Ellie. What a great time for bonding."
I hadn't thought of it that way, but this recuperation period has provided the opportunity for Ellie and Mama to from a tighter bond. She has day after day preferred the company of her mama over anyone. And, when I thought about it, I thought, "She finally realizes she NEEDS me."
When we adopted her, she could dress herself, feed herself, bathe herself, and was accustomed to comforting herself at bedtime. She enjoyed playtime with her jiejie, Josie-Tatum, and preferred that playtime over fun with Mama.
Now, she needs me to help her dress, must have help with her bath. She has to put her trust in me that I want let her fall off the kitchen counter during bath time. She is no longer in control. She needs help to change positions. Even one night, she was crying because she had become tangled in the covers and couldn't get her feet out. She is learning to lean on me.
And, isn't that like us, God's children? We draw closer to Him when we think we NEED Him, when the truth is we NEED him everyday. We are often unaware of his daily provision for us, but when troubles come, we are reminded. He is such an awesome God. He gave His son for us. Do you think he enjoys spending that sweet time with us when we need him most--the way I've enjoyed my time with Ellie. Don't you know He runs to us when we get tangled in the covers, as we've been kicking up our own messes.
I had the best laugh when I reached in Ellie's cast and washed her belly button. She giggled hysterically. Wonder how much He enjoys our laughter? Has he tickled your belly button today? Sent an uncontrollable laugh? And, I wonder if He sometimes gives us cookies, just so we'll drink our milk?
More Bath Time---
She was trying to see her hair.
Ellie found a new position yesterday. She was lying in the floor watching TV with JT, and she rolled over. She happily spent the next few minutes on her tummy. Then...I dropped something and she wanted to get it for me. OH NO! the doctor does not want her to crawl. How difficult will it be now to get her to be still.
This is what happens if you let go of your balloons.
Caleb To The Rescue