Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Attachment and Bonding

We have all been waiting a long time to see and hold our baby girl. We’ve had several years to prepare for the changes we will experience, to learn as much as we can, to contemplate what adoption will mean to us as a family, and to anticipate the changes we will experience as our family grows from a family of two to three. We have started to come to know and love Sophia through the photos and updates we have received from our agency. It is hard for us to believe we are still strangers to her!

While we are preparing a place for her in our home and hearts, Sophia has not even thought of leaving where she is. She is happy and content in the loving arms of her Nannies and Caretakers. In just a few short months, Sophia will be experiencing the loss of everything she has ever known. We anticipate that this will be a very difficult time for our little girl. We ask that you keep Sophia in your prayers.

As Sophia's arrival is approaching, we wanted to talk to everyone a bit about bonding and attachment. We are thrilled that everyone is so excited to welcome our new daughter. That said, we want to make our expectations clear from the start, so that there won’t be any confusion, misunderstandings, or hurt feelings after her arrival. We have talked a lot with our social worker and agency about this transition and have done a lot of reading about ways to make healthy attachments with adopted children.

As hard as it is to say, please enjoy her from our arms for a while. Sophia needs to recognize us as mom and dad before she is ready to be passed around. This is a small window of time we have to develop an appropriate bond. She will be a much happier baby if we give her time to grieve her losses and then form a forever bond. There is no set length of time for this, but we will be able to tell by her reactions whether or not she is ready to be held by others.

We still invite you to say "hi" to her, talk to her and play with her (keeping in mind her reaction of course); but, for a while, we need to be the only ones to feed, diaper, bathe, cuddle Sophia. She will be grieving the loss of her Nannies and Caretakers, this usually lasts for at least a few weeks, but grieving episodes could occur for months after her arrival. Grieving episodes are intensified by over stimulation, so we need to keep her world quiet and small for her first weeks with us.

We have been so blessed by this gift. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can for Sophia to feel secure. We know many of you have bonded with her just as we have! So many of you have prayed daily for her and we do not underestimate the bond or love you feel for her. We hope you understand our need for this special time with our baby girl.

If you have any questions, please call or email.

Thank you in advance for understanding!


  1. I want to say thank you for joining our facebook support group. I will be following along on your exciting journey, as well!


  2. This is a wonderful post Karin. Thank you for sharing the importance of this time for both you and Sophia. I'm praying for her little heart and for yours as you anxiously wait to go and finally bring her home. I can't imagine how emotional this time will be. We will be covering you in prayer. love you!