3.15.2010

The Hard Work of Bonding (by Dan)

Today when I had a meeting with my company's Chief Financial Officer she started with, "I want to go through the briefing (military lingo for presentation) but when we're done I want to see baby pictures!" One of the first things I did was print off a digital picture of Evie at a CVS pharmacy so I'd have something to show people at work, many of whom were following our adoption journey. That is, of course the fun part of any new addition to the family: Showing off the pictures.

It's easy to talk about how cute she is, what big dimples she has and how Jude and Indigo are adjusting to having a sibling.

My favorite part however, is when non-parents give me advice on how to manage integrating an adopted child into the Kovac clan and how to work through the bonding process with an adopted child.

These conversations go something like this:

Non-Parent:
So, how is bonding going?
Me:
Pretty good. She doesn't hate me, I guess. And she...
Non-Parent:
Well give it time. You just have to be patient.
I read an article on bonding. You have to like,
work at it a lot.
Me:
That's good advice. I'll have to give that a shot.
Non-Parent:
My wife and I really thought about adopting, you know.
Me:
Oh, that's great. What programs are you looking into?
Non-Parent:
Programs? Hmmmm... I'm not sure. We didn't get that far.
Me (silently):
If by not very far you mean you saw a poster on a wall about adoption, then yep, you're right, you didn't get very far.
Me:
Well, if you ever want some information...
Non-Parent:
Keep working at that bonding thing. It will happen.
Me (silently):
You should not even be allowed to care for a plant.
Me:
Thanks. We'll do that.

The hard work of bonding is actually being done by Rachel. She has worn Evangeline in the baby carrier all day (day after day), rocks her to sleep, and responds to her cries so that Evie will grow to know that her calls for attention mean something and that Rachel will always be there for her. Rachel's back is sore, her sciatic nerve is giving her fits from carrying her around and she still has to meet the needs of Jude and Indigo who are still tender hearted children who need Mommy's love.

So to my incredible wife and mother of three children 5 and under, thank you for everything you are doing for our family and for Evie. I love you baby!

11 comments:

  1. Rachel, you and I are in the same spot again!! My back is aching with you! Little Samuel weighs 20# and I too, am carrying him everywhere!! It is so worth it but it does get the back!! Is Evie sleeping well? Samuel has his days and nights turned around. He is to the point that he will have one good night then a couple bad nights. I figure within the next week he will be on schedule. I will say even though I am tired from being up all night it is a great bonding time as well. Everyone else is asleep and it is just 1:1. In some ways I will miss that, but oh, how good it will feel to sleep 6 hours straight!! Kris

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  2. Love your honesty! We are about to begin the adoption process and these are really good things to know. I have parented two biological children, but I know we are going to have to really parent an adopted child differently.

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  3. I can't even imagine how hard you are all working. I'm sure you are doing a great job even though it may not always feel that way. You are both precious people with a lot of love to share. God will bless you for your willingness to serve him by loving his children.

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  4. Rachel you are such an amazing woman! Thanks for noting this, Dan. And thank you also for hilarious blogs. Love you guys. Thinking of you every day.

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  5. Love this perspective! People have a whole lotta nothing to say sometimes, don't they!?

    Kudos to you Rachel for giving of yourself in such a profound way. May God bless you as you continue to transition.

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  6. I think you are both incredible!

    We have gotten that whole..."we almost adopted" thing too (often) and sadly it sometimes ends with, "but then we were able to have one of our own". :(

    Blech! Double blech!

    Your ability to keep a running dialogue (of sanity) to yourself will keep it real for you....and of course should something ever leak out, spoken out loud let's say( i.e. the "plant" line) ...not too worry, cuz usually those types have already tuned ya out and are already thinking about the very next thing they wish to share! LOL

    :)

    Thinking of you all!
    Hugs!

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  7. Hilarious, Dan! Mostly with the silent thoughts! It was very considerate of you to keep them silent! And, on behalf of Rachel and all other hard-working mothers, thank you! And, I agree! She is doing a terrific job!!!

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  8. I am convinced that our "adjustment" with Sam went so well because we wore him practically every second he wasn't asleep or getting his diaper changed for the first 3 months. Seriously. One of us always had him on. We each have our favorite carriers and it just WORKED. Sam loved it, we loved it (okay, in July it got a bit sweaty..)
    What's funny is that MOST parents I know (bio or otherwise) do "attachment parenting" so when non-parents talk about it, it makes me want to laugh.

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  9. Ha! I love this post! The same folks who ask how expensive it is, no less!

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  10. After I had Sawyer, my college room mate sent me an article that said something to the effect that becoming a parent and catering to the needs of an infant 24/7 is "enough to beat the selfish stuffing right out of you". I'd say that if that is true about caring for a birth child, it has to be twelve fold for a child brought into the family through adoption who are going through the bonding/attachment process as they are older.

    Have you ever read Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas? This post made me think of it- God uses the "stuff" of parenting to make us more like Him. As you serve Evie and your kids, Rachel, think of how He is using it to shape you even more into His likeness. That helped me in the tough moments with Chloe!

    Praying for you all as you continue this transition!! You're a great team- I know you are both doing a great job! Remember too- with an infant, it all gets a bit easier and more "normal" after 6 weeks. I bet it is the same for adoption.....once you've been home 6 weeks!

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  11. keep up the great work you two. that baby is home....catharine

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