"" Writer's Wanderings: Adoption--Bonding 10

Monday, August 15, 2005

Adoption--Bonding 10

When you bring a newborn baby home, you begin a slow process of learning their needs and how to meet them. When you bring home older children to assimilate into the family, they come with a ready made history, good and bad, and a much different list of needs. As time went along, I became more aware of how unprepared I was even though I already had children who were older than Cheryl and Don.

I think I was more exhausted when my two new additions to the family moved in than when I brought my twins home. The babies you could put in a crib for a nap and sit down for a few minutes. Cheryl and Don were beyond the nap stage and were energized with the excitement of a new home, new family, and new activities.

Not knowing exactly what they might do or get into, I kept a vigilent eye. One afternoon, they went through the kitchen, drawer by drawer, to see what was in them. I wondered if this was their way of getting to learn the new house--after all, it was the seventh different home they'd been in during the last three years.

My constant vigilence caught up with me, however. One day they decided to sit on the floor in one spot for a few minutes and play. I plopped on the couch to watch them. I wanted to observe how they played, see how they interacted--basically, absorb all I could to truly get to know them. With no warning, I fell asleep. No nodding. No fighting heavy eyes. I was just asleep. I have no idea how long but I awoke with a start, fearful of what I had missed and where my new children were.

There was no need to fear. They sat on the floor at my feet, staring back at me, as curious about me sleeping as I had been about their play. It was the first time in a week or so that I actually began to feel comfortable with my new responsibility as their mother.

But, soon I would realize that I wasn't being a mother to them.

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