Monday, January 14, 2013

how's bonding going?

This is a question that we've gotten a lot since bringing Birdy home.  Everyone from dear family and friends to case workers has this same question.  And it is one that we have occasionally asked ourselves.  This is a good question- I love getting it!  It allows me the chance to brag on my girl.  To share how she no longer screeches when she's angry.  How her body isn't tense any more.  How she gives me giant open mouth kisses all over.  How she lets us comfort her.  How she loves to play, play, play!  This question gives me the chance to reveal how we are all making positive steps, together.

On the flip side of this, we get a lot of these questions as well "how much longer 'til you put her in the nursery?", "when are y'all ever going to leave that baby and go out?", "wouldn't you rather put her down and have a free hand?".  I really wasn't expecting that these questions would come as soon as four weeks after bringing Birdy home.  But they did- and we are asked these questions every week.  Sometimes by the same people.  I have noticed that some are genuinely curious.  They are more linear thinkers and would like to have a timeline.  Others just want a chance to let you know what they think. Like the woman who told me that Birdy "is more resilient than you think she is".  For these people no answer will suffice.  I have tried my best to explain in utero trauma, abandonment trauma, and the trauma of being separated from her foster mom.  And how it is our intention to do no more harm to this sweet little one.  But it is lost on them.  I realize that most just want to share their unfounded opinion and move on.  They don't want to know the why behind choices.

This has been hurtful.  I'd like to pretend like it's not, but it is.  Not just for us.  Question us all you want, we're grown ups!  But please don't put unfair expectations on my child.  Don't presume that she should be able to get over her circumstances and be grateful just because she "has a family now" (yes, this has been spoken to her).

Adoption opens up so many awkward at best, and hurtful at worst, encounters.  I have been firm with some when needed, and just let it go with others.  Battles must be chosen wisely.

And you know what else?  Besides for her sake- we have waited five long years for a baby to come into our lives.  Why, after three months, would I want to be away from her?

So in answer to the above question, the

"how is bonding going?"

I can say assuredly "great!  it is going great!".

To all of the other questions I would like to just be able to point to the progress and say "this is going great by the grace of God and because of our choices that you question", but most often it would only fall on deaf ears.  So I walk away, feeling a little wounded, and a little like a stranger in a strange land.


Micka said...

adoption is so different then what some outsiders think. I praise you for your will to continue to share this with us. Thank you. The hard work continues even past the little years. My little guy just turned three and I still carry him around and shield him from well intended comments. He is happy, healthy and safe...To me those are the things that matter most. everything else can wait.
Loving all the cute family pics. Keep up the great work.

mandi said...

Thank you for your encouragement Micka. It is so good to hear that you continue to shield your little man. I think just the knowledge that I'm not alone in this is so helpful! Blessings upon your family!

Kim Corrigan-Oliver said...

Since I am a new follower I had no idea Birdy was adopted. So first of all congratulations and second of all, hugs. You are doing an amazing job, keep it up.

Becky said...

i've gotten to a point in life, where i quickly discern if a question is a real question or simply a statement of judgement blanketed in the soft confines of a question and a "just curious"....i cannot imagine the questions we will face when we are finally blessed with a baby/child - especially considering the questions we've received just being on the path to adoption.

thanks for the insight and the clear answer. is it bad if i just repeat them verbatim to family and friends? :)

JOHANNA said...

whoa whoa whoa WHAT!? Grrrrlll, back up :) You keep her tied to you until she is 16 if you want to, that's your little baby bird.

Amanda said...

Oh, Mandi!! I have been away from blogging for so, so long, but I was thinking about you, and had to see how you were doing -- I am SOOOO happy for your family and your new baby girl!!!! Hold that wee one tight, and just ignore those silly, clueless people who obviously know nothing about what your baby needs. She is absolutely beautiful and so very blessed to have you as her Mommy! How old is she? She must be right about my E's age. Lots of love,