"" Writer's Wanderings: Adoption--Bonding

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Gwen commented on my previoius post about bonding with older children during the adoption process. I'm not an expert but I can tell you what I experienced and maybe that will help.

Cheryl was 6 and Don was 5 when they were placed in our home. We had three biological children, all boys. Ron and Rob were fraternal twins aged 12 and Andy was nine. I always tell people the reason we adopted was to have a cheerleader before we got a whole football squad. Don was a bonus. We would never have split siblings.

I remember the bonding process with my babies. Even though I delivered them and they were biologically mine, I felt a little awkward at first. Part of that was due to just being a new mom. They were lucky I knew which end the diaper went on. But as I cared for them, bathing them, feeding them, rocking them to sleep, I got more comfortable, it didn't take long before I was truly loving these little bundles--even through the crying in the middle of the night.

Then Andy came along. He was supposed to be our girl. Back then, 31 years ago, we didn't have the privilege of being able to know the sex of the baby through a routine ultra sound. The best the doctor could do was say his heart rate sounded like that of a girl (poor guy gets a lot of teasing about that). I was thankful he was healthy but, truthfully, a little disappointed that we didn't have a girl.

Down the hall, in the nursery, I could hear a baby crying as I lay in recovery waiting to go to my room. The cry sounded a little familiar. I dismissed the idea that it was my baby. After all, how could I know a cry I hadn't heard yet? As they wheeled me to my room, the nurse stopped to let me see him. He wasn't in the regular nursery. I panicked...

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