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Adoption Blog: Straight to Bunk Beds

Bonds Aren’t Built in a Day
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Bonding takes time. That is something that my husband and I repeat to ourselves pretty regularly at the end of a long day. Sometimes, after pouring over adoption books, academic journals, magazines and forums about older-child adoption bonding, my head starts spinning and it is more likely for me to run for a cocktail than try to understand some of the theories out there. 

Our youngest son joined our family as a nine year old. At this age, plenty of kids who have been in their forever families since birth are already starting to push away from the hugs, cuddling and kisses that we moms and dads still hope to dish out. 

For now, we are trying to bring it back to the basics—and bonding is something that we are letting happen naturally while at the same time taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. 

Our youngest is very competitive. Staring contests are a main stay at our house. We will go round after round as a whole family until we all end up in fits of laughter and no one can even keep their eyes open.

He has dry skin as the weather gets cooler. Have I got the lotion for you! After showers and jammies, he’ll sit back while I massage and put lotion on his legs. He will beg for me to keep it up long after I am “done” with that task.

Our nine-year-old desperately wants to learn to read. No brainer. We read in our side room—the one that only has a love seat to sit on. This creates a calm, quiet environment and one where there is no choice but to sit close while reading together.

And, boy, does he love to be heard. On car rides to and from soccer practices/games, he and I like to sing together. Sometimes to the songs on the radio, but usually not. His favorites are “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, “I Gotta Feeling,” and “Say Hey.”  What’s not to love about a song that requires shouting (at the top of your lungs) the lyrics “I love you, I love you, I love you” while pointing at the other person shouting at the top of their lungs in the car?

For the love of laughter, nothing makes a child (or an adult for that matter) feel more like they are part of group than to be part of an inside joke—or 50. Our youngest has inside jokes with me, with his dad, with his older brother, and we have inside jokes as a whole family unit. Not to mention all the jokes that somehow don’t involve me, but all the boys in our house think are a riot. As long as they are laughing with me and not at me. Right??

Maybe bonding should be more of a formal affair, but for now, the expert books can wait. We are too busy bonding to be able to keep up with all the theories out there. 

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