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Adoption, Foster care and Attachment

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Hopping to It: Adoption, Foster care and Attachment

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Adoption, Foster care and Attachment

I have friends who have decided to take a leap of faith and adopt out of our foster care system.  What a wonderful decisions, and a scary one too.  Knowing that we have fostered and adopted they asked a few questions looking for advice.  Instead of just emailing her I decided to blog so others could read.  One question was what does she need to know about adopting?  They are looking at a boy preschool age and also asked what books to read.
I have been thinking about this...what is the most important think to first learn about.   I decided it was attachment.  When Robby was born I already had 9 months to bond with him, then he was born and I have to attach again in different ways.  I did all the things I felt were right, regardless of what "society" told us.  Robby was breastfeed, slept with us, I carried him in a sling (oh I loved that sling), he was with us 99% of the time.   And when he was not, with me he was next door at the day care while I worked.   I was working of my masters degree and was studying what was important in parenting.  I learned that by instinct we were practicing Attachment Parenting.     As Robby grew we held him, loved him and took care of him all the time.  He soon moved out of our bed and unlike what some people said he grew up to be a stable normal little boy.  He does things independently of me and while he does take some pushing (I blame the male trait on that one) he loves lots of things.
I think of when Isaiah came to us at 4 months.  He was a very big baby, with no neck.  He had a terrible yeast infection in his neck cause it was moist and dark.  He was stiff and cried a lot.  But he was cute!!  And we started holding him.  And caring for him. I help him in the sling a lot.  Many nights I would be sleeping in a chair in the living room with him.  And after a few months we saw improvements.  We forget now all the things we did at the beginning, but he is a normal typical little boy now.
Each of our kids old or young, we work on attachment...and it is different for each one.  When you adopt any child, you adopt their history good or bad.  Children that have been neglected are hard to attach to or have had so many attachment broken they have issue that are even worse.  Attachment disorders can be hard to cope with when these children come into your house, so being educated will give you a step up.
So the first step I would advise is learning about attachment and young children.  Read as many books as you can.  Find out about attachment parenting and any other organization that talks about attachment.  I also like Dr. Sears.  

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