Bonding

August 5, 2008

Kate has been writing these blogs since day one so I figured I would contribute a little here and there (Kate is a much better writer).

Right now we are experiencing a major part of the adoption process: waiting. Much of this journey is hustling to complete piles of paperwork, writing checks, getting them in the mail and then…more waiting. Sometimes it’s waiting for extended periods of time. One of the things we are waiting for right now is the clearance of our background check. Once this happens we’ll have the green light to apply for grants and scholarships through foundations like the one singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman runs.

Part of what we are doing in the meantime is educating ourselves. We are required to do quite a bit of reading. We are learning lots about the unique needs and special care one must give to an adopted child. One of these unique issues an adopted child faces is bonding to the adoptive parents. In the first few months of a baby’s life, they learn the concept of trust. They learn that when they cry, someone will come and take care of them. They learn to trust that their needs will be met. In some cases, however, babies learn that crying doesn’t get them anything – there is no one who will respond to their needs, and so they miss the “trust” phase of relating with people, and learn how to “make it on their own.” This is a huge issue in many children who are adopted, especially from places like orphanages where there are just too many children. As much as the orphange workers can try, they can’t always meet every need of every child. So we have been learning a lot about how to build attachments and bonds with our child…because it is absolutely possible to re-teach a child to trust others. God’s redemptive work is absolutely amazing, even in the life of a little baby.

Kate nannies 4 little children: two young girls and two twin boys. This past weekend she watched all 4 children by herself. Needless to say I tried my best to drive down to the house she was staying to pitch in where I could. I would often play with the twin babies while Kate got the girls ready for bed. I couldn’t help but fall in love with these little guys. But as I held them it was so clear that they didn’t know who I was. It was obvious to them and to me that I was just a stranger.

I always assumed that babies were too young to know any better. However, I am reminded of how amazing it is that God designed humans with an innate need for love. As I held the boys I was began thinking about when we eventually get our adopted child. I cannot assume they will instantly love us. In fact, they will probably be afraid and confused – new sounds, new smells, new foods, new languages, new time zone. Although we’ll already love the child and be ready for him/her to live with us, we’ll have to realize that we will be strangers to this little baby at first. It is going to take some time for our child to bond to us. It makes me pray even more earnestly for his/her current caregiver, that they would love and nurture our future child. There have been many studies that have gone on that show that even a small amount of love or physical touch given to a baby can allow them to have an easier time attaching or bonding to their adopted parent. So we pray for those special orphanage workers in St. Petersburg to love on and touch all of the babies, but selfishly, that they will do this with ours.

Updates:

  • money continues to trickle in from people all over the world-literally.
  • We are so humbled and amazed at the support we are getting, it’s incredible
  • We are slowly but surely learning who contributed so we are beginning the process of writing thank you notes

Prayer Requests:

  • for patience as we wait
  • for the nurturing of our future child
  • for continued financial support

Until next week, Steve & Kate

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2 Responses to “Bonding”

  1. joditucker said

    Praying for your requests with love.

  2. laura smith said

    I have been praying for you and I love getting your updates!! Love, Laura

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