I am not an expert in attachment. In fact I acknowledge I have much to learn. Attachment was and is one of the most difficult pieces of the adoption process for me. Like Heather, I like checklists because it gives me a sense of control: I collect documents, I mail them, we move to the next process of adoption. But with attachment, the process is less predictable. There are many opinions and good suggestions for fostering attachment. Yet no two sets of parents and no two children are alike. For each the dance is different and involves a leap of faith. Learning to trust one another and falling in love is gradual. There are speed bumps and there are freeways.
Is love enough?
Early trauma (which includes separation from birth mother, multiple placements, hospitalizations, etc…) can cause impairment in a part of the brain (limbic system, Amygdala.) This becomes a nonverbal/emotional memory; the body remembers the trauma even though the conscious mind may not. This is "neuro-hijacking." Neurons in your heart, stomach, etc…send messages just like the brain does…and, because there are more neurons in the body than in the brain, it can in effect hijack the body. The body remembers! (Source: http://www.a4everfamily.org)
A4everFamily.org is my favorite attachment website. Spend some time here and you will find honest stories and concrete suggestions for every step of the adoption process. The articles and information are provided by adoptive parents and attachment therapists. Suggestions for sharing this information with family and friends are provided.
Le Ann Womack’s I Hope You Dance moves me. Enjoy!