January 2012 my husband and I will start being a Place of Safety for abandoned babies. We will take care of 1 or 2 babies at a time. They will be with us until they are adopted or placed in a foster family. The period each baby will be staying with us is around 6 months.
I am wondering about attachment. Since it is only a 6 month period the children will be with us, should we do everything to help the baby attach to us, or should we stay a bit more ‘distant’? In other words, is the ability to attach something a baby learns and once he knows how to do it he will attach more easily to his forever parents, or should he only learn to really attach to his forever parents and not to us?
A fact that makes it even more difficult, is that we hope to be able to adopt one or more of the babies who will come to our Place of Safety. But when the baby arrives at our house, we will have no idea if this child will go to foster care or be adopted or go back to his parents. So how serious do we have to take attachment? Are there other things you can think of we should do or not do during the months the babies will be with us, not knowing if it is forever or not?
Since I do not have any experience with foster care, I asked the adoption forum I am a part of to answer this question for me! Here are their responses:
* They should absolutely do everything they can to promote attachment. A healthy attachment with the foster parents will give the child a better chance at attaching to the next parents, foster or adoptive or biological. They should love the child like their own and treat that child like their own. That’s what makes a good foster parent.
If they want some good foster blogs I’ve found a few and I’d be happy to share some links.
* She’s going to get attached the minute she sees them. It’s a natural thing for someone who loves kids. Absolutely she needs to attach and let them attach. If there’s no attachment in infancy it can set the child up for major issues down the road.
* The absolute worse thing they can do is NOT attach to that baby. Attachment issues come from NOT attaching as infants/toddlers. A baby who has learned to attach and trust will be able to make new attachments easier. Now, this doesn’t mean that an attached child who is then moved 6-10 times during his/her young life will not end up totally messed up, but really, a child who never formed an attachment at birth, well, their chances of healing are very low. S had attachment "issues" because her bio family liked girls. J, who came from the same family, had RAD because they "didn’t attach to boys". You really can’t bring them into your home and care for them daily without attaching to them!
* Yes, they must attach! It is in the best interest of the babies! The baby will have learned to bond & attach to the next parent. My son attached to me much easier having a loving foster home first. Yes there will be a new adjustment period with other parents, but the babies will know a loving touch & bond that much easier to the next living situation.
I bought a few Miracle Blankets, just because you spoke so positively about them. However, since summers in South Africa can be really hot, I’m wondering if the blanket would not be too hot in summer.
I live in a very hot part of the world, too. Little Bug was born at the end of May and Sweet Pea at the beginning of August, so both of them were in their “swaddle phase” during the hottest part of the year for us.
While being hot was a concern for me, leaving the babies in just a diaper was the perfect solution for them to not get hot while swaddled in the Miracle Blanket. The Miracle Blanket is also made so you can put the baby’s feet in the swaddle or you can choose to leave baby’s legs and feet exposed.
Worked like a charm and is the reason I really have no need for newborn sized clothes! My babies literally live in a diaper and their Miracle Blankets. I only dress them if we are leaving the house. We have started to have some cooler days, and on days when it is cooler I just put Sweet Pea in a onesie with the Miracle Blanket.
I know God has a plan. I know He knows how and when our family will grow. I have zero doubt.
I don’t have any desire to be pregnant.
Yet… I am struggling with living in the “in between.” Again…total faith. But we will have to jump through hoops, have another home study (aka extreme personal invasion) and come up with a large sum of money. Each time we want another child.
How do you (did you) deal with the overwhelming sadness that is the reality of family building through adoption? It is so hard and invasive and expensive. And again…no doubting of God, here, just sad it has to be so hard. Did it ever get to you? I found myself crying at babies r us on Sunday because it won’t be “easy” for us to have another baby. What did you tell yourself in those moments?
I guess instead of being overcome with overwhelming sadness, I see it as an opportunity for God to do miracles!
That being said, I have had moments when I wish I didn’t have to deal with the things I have to deal with when going through the adoption process. It is not easy, but in a way only God can do, He has orchestrated the events that brought me both my daughters by performing miracle after miracle. That is exciting!!
When we started the process for a second adoption I can remember thinking, “Ok, God, here we go. This is yours.” This time around I really felt like I was a spectator and that all I needed to do was sit back and watch what God was about to do. That really took off a lot of the stress I experienced with Little Bug’s adoption.
I think choosing to accept that these are the things we have to go through when we adopt helps tremendously. While I dislike the fact a social worker has to come to my home and approve us to be parents and I don’t like the fact that my babies grew in a hostile environment and I would love to skip the whole not-knowing-if-this-baby-is-really-mine-until-48-hours-after-birth, these are all things I have just learned to accept.
Acceptance that this is just the way it is goes a long way.
I would like to know the brand name of the bouncy seat you are using in this post. I love the turtles and haven’t seen any like that before.
It is a Fisher Price Hoppy Days bouncer! Click here to find it on ebay.