Posted by MissyHall | Posted in Adopting Mommy | Posted on 27-06-2012
Tags: adoption, bonding, Missy Hall, science
It is summer and because I want to re-emphasize again and again that we can/ should/ will love learning, we have been doing some fun little science projects. Most have worked, some have not. (Awww, she said the raisins were supposed to dance…sadly, ours did not.)
We have been trying some of these little experiments I found here. And, I googled (one of my hobbies) an old magic trick of sorts that I rememered from high school: You start by having a clear glass container about 1/2 full of water, and add a few drops of food coloring (blue works great) and you will see the color spreads (you know, like gossip spreads). However will you get it clean again?
Pour about 1cup of bleach directly into the water, and in a few minutes the water will turn clear! (Yes, I let my kid play with harsh chemicals.)
Well, this works because of some sort of chemical bonding…but, lately, I have been thinking more about relational bonding. And the “science” of attachment. It is one of the biggest concerns people have about adopting and I know that bonding with our child will take time and a gradual building of trust. But, really, like these science projects I don’t fully know what to expect.
Adoption.com describes BONDING as the process that a child goes through in developing lasting emotional ties with it’s immediate caregivers, which is seen as the first and most significant developmental task of a human being, and is central to that person’s ability to relate properly to others throughout its life.
Not a small task and not something I think will be easy. Just considering the different personalities, needs and fears represented alone in our family, I know it is often hard for my kids whom I birthed. And they have not had significant trust bonds broken. We did a haunting “homework assignment” when we were taking our adoption classes.
Step 1. We had to list all our plans for tomorrow, the people who we plan to have with us, our professional plans, the goals we seek and the people we know/ want beside us sharing those accomplishments. Step 2. Tear the paper up. Step 3. Re-answer those questions without repeating any of the same people or places from step 1. Basically, we are asking a child (from foster care or a previous living situation) to come into our family and imagine a new life with us and then to “hurry up and bond”. Obviously, as this exercise shows, it is a bit of a complex equation. It is no simple a + b = c. It is more of a quadratic equation, or a chemistry proof (which I never really could do very well.)
I can sit here and hypothesize all day about what it will be like when we get “the call”. And how it will be to welcome a child into our family. But, in reality, I don’t have all the variables and we are not talking about something like science, we are talking about a little person. So, as for the “science of bonding”…I am just reading up on it and we will have to take things one day at a time (and attempt to lay aside any expectations.)