We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at:
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Button and Mamma pt. 1

In "Toddler Adoption: the Weaver's Craft" it tells us that 75% of toddler's adopted bond first with their father while rejecting their mother to some degree. This may be for a variety of reasons - scary female caregivers at orphanages, a tight bond with a foster mother or suffering from the primal wound of infant loss of their biological mother but whatever the reason they are slow to find room in their hearts for Mom.

And yet, pouring over adoption blogs for the past 2 years I never really found very many that reported stories like this. Hmmm... could it be that we are embarrassed? That the "super mommy" myths and the stroller derby that is modern parenting has forced us into some kind of self-imposed silence? Yea, I think that's possible but whatever people's personal reasons are for not sharing I totally respect that but I am going to talk about our bonding struggles on this blog. I want Button to have the story later and I also want any other moms struggling with this to know they're not alone.

When we first met Button he seemed to "like" us both ok. But he obviously thought Brian was wicked fun for all the dude reasons: wrestling, ball playing, truck sound effects, etc. It wasn't that I didn't do those things with him but I just didn't do them as well as Daddy. Testosterone deficient. Then, while we were still in Thailand, that preference seemed to suddenly turn into a dislike for me. I can't begin to tell you how unlucky it was that Brian was sick they day of the "child transfer." After he officially became ours Button really seemed to feel that everything he was experiencing was my fault. If Brian left the room he just freaked out. Only Brian could get him to sleep, bathe him, or make him laugh. If I could explain to you my level of discouragement at that time I would. But I'll just let your imagination go to work.

Once we got home, he did a little better in fits and starts. He would let me feed him at one meal and then, at the next meal, throw food at me and hit his tray screaming until Brian took over. He would allow Brian to hold and sway him to sleep but when I did nap/bedtime he would just scream and point at the bed until I would lie him down and then he would just roll away from me and cry himself to sleep.

He was happy to let me entertain him though. I could play blocks with him, take him on walks, push him in his car, read to him. I was a great "clown" but as soon as I tried to be a caregiver he started to show great ANGER and really tried to exert toddler rejection. He hated having his diaper changed by anyone but when Mommy did it it was an unbelievably violent exchange. Sometimes he would lie still and smile at me until I cautiously moved close to him then he would kick sideways, directly into my stomach, with all his might while screaming and laughing.

Button is much too active for the Ergo and we pretty much figured from the second we met him that it was going to be a no-go but we valiantly tried it a couple of times to see if he would adjust. He allowed Brian to ride him around the yard a few times before screaming to get down. The one time we put him in the ergo while I wore it he pulled my hair and bit my neck so hard I cried.

How does it feel to wait for years to be a mom and then find out your child wants nothing to do with you? Oh it feels terrible! I won't sugar coat it. It's the most discouraging, depressing, debilitating emotion I've ever felt. Especially when I see him giving love so freely to his dad and grandparents.

Button and I have already come a long way and I am going to talk about that in some additional posts on this subject but for now I will say that if this is happening to you or if you are a pre-adoptive parent and you experience this in the future: "Hang in there! You are a good mom (or dad) and I think you're great!"



Jessica said...

Ohh, Roses. You hang in there! You're great! Matt and I have talked about the possiblity of this happening. But it sounds like progress on all kinds of levels is being made day-by-day with you and your Button.

You are made of tough, beautiful stuff. Hang tight to your instinct; it seems to be serving you well.

Maci Miller said...

I'm so sorry what you've been through! But I second what Jessica said. You are a strong and loving person and you will break through this rough patch. Just keep doing everything you are doing. Baby steps are still steps and every little thing counts. He will be Momma's boy in no time!

Kerrie (and Jason) said...

You are correct - no one wants to talk about it but its there and its real. I know at least 2 mothers who have suffered through the same thing - and I bet there are more who just don't want to 'scare' me with the truth. Even when you are expecting it I imagine its still the most horrible feeling in the world.

BIG HUGS - Everyone tells me it does get better. xxoo

sylvia said...

Thanks! Just thanks for this post. Way to go on all fronts!

a Tonggu Momma said...

We didn't have that experience... but that's only cuz the Tongginator was an equal opportunity rejecter. Heh. I DO know several families that this happened to, including some of our travelmates. It was so hard on those mommas.

Yoli said...

Rosemary with both my girls I had the exact same scenario. Both hated me to the point that if I would come near them, they would scream bloody murder. With my son it was an instant understanding for which later on bonding progressed beautifully. My latest daughter I could not get near her in China. People would stare as I sat far away from her on the table. I can just imagine what they must have been thinking. But thankfully I had that experience with my eldest and I knew this too would pass. As it is now, she is as loving to me as her father. Being a first time Mom and confronting this is pretty unsettling but we must remember that it is not about us, it is about them and how comfortable they feel. Their losses are unimaginable. I only wanted to do that which caused the least discomfort. Once home I could press the issue little by little each day. Hang in there, it does change.

Robin and Kyle said...

It can sure be tough some days, can't it. Our kiddo disliked us both equally and yet *needed* us both desperately at the same time. Poor guy was so confused and upset. It's heartbreaking, but you'll get past it. Hang in there!

Ann and Bryan said...

Yes; Daddy is the favorite here too. Our son will hold my hand in public only if Daddy is not around or he has his hands full. At bed time and bath time he screams for Daddy. If Daddy sneaks out, he goes into panic mode when he realizes he's alone with Mommy. But his smile melts my heart and listening to he and Daddy giggle is the greatest sound on earth! Considering Daddy was not as "into" this whole adoption this as I was with all the paperwork and country research, I am happy that this is his time to shine and to feel included in the process. I am sure things will turn around eventually...he already knows that Mommy is his swimming partner...I love it!

Tara and Dale said...

I recently discovered your blog and I love it. Your honesty and your kindness shine through, and I love that you are sharing all the info, not just the sugar-coated kind. We are living in Thailand and in the process of adopting a son here, and your shared journey means a lot to me. Thanks. :)

Mireille said...

I feel for you Rosemary... and honestly deeply feel for you. Luckily you read about this and knew it could happen, so hang in there, progress is already made and it will be better. You in here for the long haul and he will be momma's boy for sure. It may take some time but it will come!!