If you are new to the adoption world the use of this word my be new to you. If you have biological children attachment/bonding happens naturally with your biological children. In our adoptive child it is something that we will work for and something that we already pray about.
We have read books, articles and blogs. We have gone to seminars, talked to friends and listened to professionals. Forming a secure attachment to us is critical to Joel's development, well being, healing and growth in our family. “Secure attachment helps children learn to believe that they are lovable, that trust in parents is wise, and that others will help them when they have needs.” (from the book Attachment in Adoption). There are several situations that can cause a child to lose attachment:
Separation from parents through foster care moves
Adoption after attachment to another parent figure
Prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol
Sexual abuse, physical abuse and domestic violence
Mental illness of a parent figure
Hospitalization of parent or child
We don’t know all of our little boy's story, but we do know that he has had several experience in his short life that has puts him at risk for attachment issues. For this reason, we will be establishing a plan that will help us help him….This is our Attachment Plan
(I would like to give credit and thanks to Anna Dreyfus for allowing us to copy and modify her plan):
- We will not be welcoming outside visitors into our home for the first few weeks.
- Ethan and I will be the only one to hold Joel for the first 6 weeks.
- We will carry him in a sling or front carrier, as much as possible during the day.
- It is important that Ethan and I are the only ones to care for his basic needs….feeding, changing, bathing, and putting to sleep.
- During his wakeful hours, we will not be answering the phone or be on the computer.
- We are going to do our best to keep our family together as much as possible. We aren’t exactly sure what this looks like. Due to our family dynamics (i.e. Korinna's care, extra curricular activities).
- Joel will sleep with us in our room for the first few weeks.
- We will respond to every cry he makes and not let him “cry it out".
- For the first few weeks, we will keep his world calm and simple. We will not bombard him with a lot of new toys, but will spend time in interactive play (nursery rhymes, finger plays, etc.)
- We will keep Joel at home for the first few weeks, except for critical appointments and doctors’ visit.
- We do not plan on putting him in the church nursery. He will stay in the church service with us.
- We will establish a healthy routine for him, so that he will feel “at home” more quickly.
- We DO plan on inviting friends and family to the airport when we return from China. However, he will remain in his carrier the entire time, because we know it will be very overwhelming for him.
We recognize that so many of you are excited about him joining our family. I also know that it is very hard to fall in love with this little guy and then be told that you have to wait to hold and love on him. I understand. We want you to be involved in his life. However, the best way you can show him love in the first few weeks that he is home is by making it easy for us to stick to this plan.
We hope the beginning attachment process will last about 6 weeks or so. We can not put a time limit on this because we do not know how he will respond. We do know that our hearts are so full with love from our heavenly father and we are ready to love Joel as a result of the love we have recieved.
"In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1:4-5)