move forward with an adoption is one of the biggest decisions that a family
will ever make. The adoption process can
be fraught with emotion: alternating between joyful hope, self-doubt, and giddy
anticipation. (sometimes all within an hour’s time) None of which can compare
to when you actually meet you baby for the first time.
Even if you have nerves of steel, meeting your baby for
the first time can be an overwhelming experience- especially for first time
parents. Keep expectations versus
realities in check. Don’t be
disappointed if it doesn’t feel natural the first time you hold your child.
Keep in mind one spouse may be better at it or more comfortable than the other.
Don’t be surprised if you have feelings of disappointment,
regret, guilt, or panic. Adoption encompasses both loss and renewal. These
feelings are normal. But about panic, they’ll
be a lot more panic to come- the first diaper change, the first time your child
pees on you, first throw up, first date, etc.
It will subside in about eighteen years.
Adoptive parents go through a pre-adoption attachment
process to their babies just like expectant parents do. Your baby may or may not look like what you
expected. Your “gut” may have told you
boy but clearly she wasn’t. Not to mention
not all newborn babies are cute- yours will be beautiful.
Your first meeting with baby may not go as planned. Babies who are hot/cold, hungry, or need
diaper changes can be cranky. Wear clothing that is soft and comfortable. If you are relaxed, this helps baby
relax. Use eye contact, talk to baby in a
calm reassuring voice, and touch baby gently. These three elements are essential to
facilitating bonding and attachment.
Now that you’ve met your little one, you can move on to
nesting and nurturing your new family.
This first memory of meeting your child will be the first of many memories
that you make together. The journey you
took to get here will make it all worthwhile.
Labels: Attachment, Babies, Baby Care, Domestic Adoption, Family, Parenting, Positive Words, While you Wait