This week we’re excited to feature Crystal Nichols’ adoption story on bonding with her children. Read the excerpt below, then visit Joy in the Journey to enjoy the rest of the story about her family.
We are nearly six years into the in writing of our adoption story. Most days that doesn’t seem to be the focus of our lives. We are just like every other family living the daily grind of work, bloody noses, owies, laughter, dishes, brushing doll hair and hanging with friends. The creating of our family took a slightly different recipe: foster-care then adoption. But it affects how we parent, whether consciously or sub-consciously, because how we bond and attach with our children, and how they attach with others, is affected because of their loss.
When my husband and I took our foster care and adoption classes, I didn’t have six years into the future on my radar. For me the feeling of being a mom in six years was like looking into the future when I had graduated high school. I knew eventually I would graduate college and have to be an adult. But that seemed to play out in front of me like a Hollywood movie. It was something I could visualize, but would never actually act out.
But here I am. Here we are. We are a family six years after. And we are still attaching and bonding. We are still trying to navigate this road to healing and make a house of love. What has been a conundrum is that the bonding has been harder for me and my daughter than for me and my son. She was older when she became our daughter and I’m sure that is part of it, but gender, I think plays a roll, too. As we have walked this journey, I’ve had to do a lot of educating and re-educating myself beyond the classes and books from the beginning of our journey.
What I want to share are four things that have been a help and comfort to our family when we are in the trenches of working to strengthen attachment and bonding with our kiddos. These four things keep us sane and keep us loving through the circumstances that sometimes seem to be isolated only to our family.