Sunday, September 19, 2010

Attachment Stuff

If many adoptive parents out there are like me, they read every book written during their waiting for their referral. I became very knowledgable about all subjects relating to the psychology of adoption. Even last fall, in the midst of screaming and chaos, I read a few books on attachment and bonding. Apparently, I didn't retain a lot of what I read. This last week, when we had our 1 year post adoption study, the social worker reviewed with us that a lot of our battles are related to attachment/bonding. Here are a few common signs of attachment disorder: -resist parental affection on parents -hypervigilant/hypersensitive -obvious lies -lack of impulse control -poor peer relationships -manipulative-very charming and engaging -incessant chatter -very concerned about tiny hurts but extremely high pain tolerance -fasinated with punching/kicking/play fighting -indiscriminately affectionate with strangers -inappropriately clingy These are a few commonly seen signs of attachment disorder. Ryan and I totally don't believe in classifying or labeling kids. We are shocked at how almost every item on the list fits Etienne; but we also find it reassuring that this is the major battle we need to overcome with him. It is so frustrating that Etienne melts when a fly lands on him but gets his fingers stuck in the van door and doesn't shed a tear. My instinct lately has been to pull Etienne closer when his behavior begins to escalate, and apparently this is the better way to respond. He continues to show more signs of affection toward me (YIPPEE!!) and we are making baby steps with the falling asleep at night. I guess my ability to be transparent is mostly a good thing-kind of a "don't do what I did" guide to adoption. Today's point: there might not be a lot of value to reading all those books so early if you can't retain the information when you need it! It's a wonder I made it through grad school with my brain's lack of retention...


  1. thanks so much for sharing your stuggles with the world of adoption bloggers. i pray that e will continue to bond with you and pray that it will get easier. mugisha

  2. we enjoy the honesty of your blog. don't be too hard on yourself about not retaining info -stress and change does that to everyone! even with all the knowledge of books and resources, every parent has to find their way!