Attachment; 2 years later

On September 5th we will celebrate our 2nd Gotcha Day.? You just said, “wow!? 2 years already?” didn’t you?? I just said, “it’s only been 2 years?”? Yep, 2 years the boy has been a member of our family.? A year in review is a post for another day, possibly Gotcha Day.? I’m here to discuss attachment.

One of my biggest pet peeves is parents who come home with their internationally adopted children and within a week start saying that little Johhny is already attached.? I’m here to tell you friend that little Johnny is far from attached.? He may be comfortable, but he is not attached.

The day we arrived in Seattle from our trip to pick up the boy my SIL put out her arms to take the boy from me.? Every fiber in my being said no, don’t give up the baby.? But he went to her.? This was so against the attachment parenting rules it isn’t even funny.? But after you’ve been traveling for 35 hours straight your brain ceases to function properly and you just want to unload the baby you’ve been schlepping since Zurich.

She held him and within two seconds he wanted me back.? Now some people would have jumped up and down and been sooooo excited and said, “oh, my little boy is so attached to me.”? In reality he was comfortable with me.? That’s it.

What did make me do an Arseneal Hall fist throw was a few weeks ago we were in a restaurant in Vancouver, WA with aforementioned SIL and part of the meal the kids get to go with the waitress to make their own sundae.? The boy knew this and we asked who he wanted to go with him.? He elected his father… shocking.? When the waitress? pulled out his chair to escort him to the sundae bar she put out her hand for him to hold.? He looked at her and said, “no, I think I’ll hold my daddy’s hand.”

At that moment it finally sunk in that my child is nearly attached.? (and notice I say nearly, because we still deal with some PI issues, but that’s for another day)? 2 years later I am comfortable.? Comfortable with his attachment.

11 Comment

  1. Lauri says: Reply

    Good Post

  2. mom says: Reply

    Heartwarming! Love your pics of California. Been working miserable hours (ugh) but will see you on Saturday. Looking forward to starting vacation with family. Hugs, mom

  3. This attachment business is a royal pain-in-the-ass. I wonder if they ever achieve a state of total attachment…does that even exist? Keep up the good work…and the patience.

  4. Patti says: Reply

    Great post. I’m glad you’re comfortable with your son’s attachment after two years. It certainly takes some kids longer than others to attach to their new parents, (most likely depending on their former life’s circumstances) but for kids who didn’t have many PI behaviors / issues to begin with, the attachment process can happen quite quickly, as it did with us. Our girls have been home for three years and I won’t deny that we’ve had our share of challenges, but because they were “older” and were able to understand somewhat of what was happening, and also because they had each other, things fell into place much more quickly than we or anyone else expected. We were not convinced that full attachment happened within a week (that would be crazy!), but within six months or so? That’s more realistic for us.

    I’ve enjoyed your journey so far and look forward to watching your son grow. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. DebiP says: Reply

    Elle another great post…I am one of the few lucky ones that had little issues with attachment…I am certain that we have achieved the coveted place now. I am glad to know that you are feeling more securely attached to the boy now…for some it takes months for others years and for some it never happens….we all keep trying…BTW happy 2 years as a family. I am right behind you in December.

  6. Jenni says: Reply

    It’s been almost 3 years for us, and I still question my kids’ attachment. I’m pretty comfortable with it, but I also know they are not completely there yet.

  7. Great distinction between attaching and being comfy with. My Dad was one who raved early and loudly about the great attachment. NOT! Chickadee is progressing nicely. Dandy? Aye-yi-YI!!

  8. Tricia says: Reply

    Hmmm, this got me thinking. Scary.

  9. kate says: Reply

    I’ve heard that attachment takes as long to happen as the child’s age at adoption. I don’t know if there is any data to back that up, but that’s the rule of thumb I was given.

    YEA to Oleg for choosing Daddy over the waitress. ;>

  10. Carla says: Reply

    AMEN!!!!!! What also gets me are the people who say “OH my little darling is perfectly attached to me.” when their little darling is bouncing off the walls running around, climbing in absolute strangers laps giving them hugs! Umm…that’s NOT good attachment when you’ve only been home a week. IT’S NOT!

  11. I hear you on this. When I hear someone rave on and on about how attached they are from the start, it either A) makes me think they have no clue, or B) makes me feel like maybe they know something I don’t, or got lucky, and why do I have to work so hard at it?

    And, I hope there are exceptions to Kate’s rule of thumb, because bringing home a seven year old means we have a LONG way to go. I thought we were there, but we’ve had some ugly acting out this summer that makes me realize we’re still working on it.

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