One thing that is on the minds of us waiting parents is the issue of bonding and attachment. It's been on my mind since day one.
It's easy for people who've not adopted to offer reassurance that bonding will be instant. We tend to think that now that the child has love and attention and is no longer "neglected" that bonding will naturally occur. I agree to a certain extent, but there is a lot more involved that just simply love. We mustn't forget that these children have experienced great loss and grief. To cope, some children learn to disassociate entirely. And as sad as it is, attachment disorders do exist, and may take time and therapy to overcome.
China Adopt Talk recently had a post, The Not-So-Rosey Part. I highly recommend that you read it if you are adopting. China Moms Online is another great source as well as A4EverFamily. Click here for a great article on A4EverFamily. Read this, a sad but true description of what it must be like to walk in our children's shoes.
Some of the bonding tools that many of us have learned that will be helpful include bottle feeding, encouraging eye contact, rocking, touching soles of feet and hands, using skin on skin contact, using a baby carrier, having pool or bath time, implementing comforting rituals and bedtime rituals. I recently purchased our first bonding tool, a baby carrier and am looking forward to using it with our baby. There are lots of techniques that can be used during those first days to help foster attachment.
So, needless to say, I'm re-reading some of the books that I read when we first began the adoption process. I've just begun re-reading Attaching in Adoption which offers a better understanding of healthy attachment and attachment problems. Hopefully, I can post more once I finish reading.
I encourage all waiting parents to delve into the issues of attachment so that we might have appropriate expectations when meeting our children. Of course, we hope for the best, we pray that our children will bond instantly, but, for the sake of our children, we should learn all that we can now so that we can offer the best for them once we are finally united.