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Friday, June 7, 2013

Bonding and Adoption

I was so concerned about bonding before Isaiah was born. I had heard everything you have: bonding begins in pregnancy, bonding continues through placing the baby on the new mom's chest directly after birth (Kangaroo care), and bonding continues through breastfeeding.

We had none of that, and going into it, I knew we wouldn't. Induced lactation has become one of those things people see and develop strong opinions about. Birth moms aren't typically in favor of the adoptive mom inducing lactation, and in my instance, I didn't feel comfortable with it either.

I started to panic that my voice, my touch, and everything about me would be completely foreign to my brand new baby. And it was, but it all turned out fine regardless.

When Isaiah was first born, he was taken immediately to a crib away from his birth mom, at her request. He was tested there with us by his side the whole way. I can say that we both instantly fell in love with him as he stuck his bottom lip out at us, but we were also in shock.

I questioned myself a lot in the hospital. I worried I was doing something wrong by taking him home with us. I worried he wouldn't ever eat because he wasn't interested in eating for me, but he would eat tons for his birth mom. I worried about being an instant mom - no physical pain involved.

And now, only three months later, I can tell you that I was wrong about everything. I don't know that I could be bonded with Isaiah any more. He is my son. I am his mom. I don't have any biological children, but I can't imagine ever loving anyone any more than I love him. Not to say that I will love other children any less, but there isn't any other way to explain to you that there is no part of my love that is being withheld from him.

He eats formula. He has a different birth mom. He didn't get skin-to-skin immediately following birth.

But he eats like a little pig for me. He knows my voice, and he is always happy to see me. Without having any words, I know he loves me. I know we're bonded. I know I don't have anything to feel guilty about.

So if you feel down because you had to use formula for one reason or another, or if you weren't able to immediately hold your LO after birth, just relax. Everything is going to be just fine.

The thing a baby truly needs, is love.


  1. I'm so happy for you guys. I had a feeling the bond would be a strong one. You are an awesome mom. Also you're pretty hard to not bond with.

  2. Like peas and carrots

  3. O this post is wonderful and how could you not love his cute little face!

  4. I love this Angie, I've always wondered/worried about this...and you're so right, all a baby needs is love :)

    1. I worried about it so much, but all for nothing. He's perfect. :)

  5. This is a beautiful post; thank you so much for sharing it.

  6. This is so true! My baby had to have a little forced air in his lungs right when he came out so I didn't get to hold him right away. And even though I nursed briefly it wasn't working for us and we switched to formula. But honestly true bonding and getting to know my baby took time,and I don't feel that if he had been placed on my chest or if I had continued nursing it would have changed that. I don't know if it's different for everyone, but I feel like I loved my child when he was born because he was my child, but I had to fall IN love with him, which I have. :)



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