Attachment Update

I just realized it's been so long since I updated on Mekonen's continued adjustment, attachment, etc. He has been doing really well. In the first few months home, it was really hard to tell just how much he was "attaching" with us. He was bonding, yes, but bonding is different than attaching. I have been home full-time with Mekonen since the day we brought him home. We didn't overwhelm him with lots of groups and lots of constant passing around, and kept all things having to do with his care to Jon and myself.  At home, he seemed very attuned to me, but then again, I was the only one home all day, so I wasn't really sure. Jon's parents live close by so we see them all the time. He loves them and is comfortable with them so it was hard to tell if he preferred us over other people.

The first big difference we saw wasn't until Thanksgiving. We went to my parents for a week and for the first time he was consistently around people he wasn't used to, and was in a completely new place, sleeping, etc (which he hadn't done until then). He wasn't doing the freak out "stranger anxiety" stuff, but he definitely kept his eye on us when everyone was around. He sought us out for comfort, wanted us when he was crying, and always had to make sure he knew where we were. After that trip, I knew we were on a very good road with him seeing us as his Mommy and Daddy.
I am no fool to think that Mekonen is completely and firmly attached to us yet. It takes time, months and months. He hasn't even been with us as long as he was without us yet. And as I'm sure will continue through life, we often hold the common thought among adoptive families, "Is this adoption related or kid related?"

Mekonen shows some bit of "stranger anxiety" by way of leaning into me and "acting shy" when someone he doesn't know says hi to him or talks to him. But when he's doing this, they could take him right out of my arms and he doesn't care at all. He will just sit there with them. He also never cries when we leave him (which in one sense, I am so glad for b/c it would break my heart, but in another sense, it kind of makes me wonder). With his Grandma Oren I'm sure it's just that he's comfortable with her and sees her all the time, so it's not in that scenario it concerns me. But when we were in Zambia, we left Mekonen with the missionary's wife when we went fishing and he didn't care at all! So again, I ask the question, "Is this adoption related or kid related?" Maybe it's just his personality. Or maybe he already trusts us and knows us and knows we will return for him. Or maybe he isn't fully established in our family yet. I don't know.
But either way, the last several weeks he has gone strides in expressing his affection for me. I mean literally, in the last two weeks. It is the most precious thing. Previously Mekonen would give kisses and hugs when you asked him, but now he does it all the time to me without prompting or anything. When I am rocking him, he will keep lifting his head and sticking his little lips up to kiss me. He also loves to grab me around my neck and give me hugs, and he lays his head down on my shoulder all the time. When he's going around playing, he will frequently stop by me and put his head on my lap, or lift his face up for a kiss, and then be off on his way to destroy some more toys. And when we are out and people say hi, he leans in and puts his head on me. It is the best! I feel like he is really seeing me as someone special in his life and it is the best feeling in the world!


Anonymous said...

hey, with aderyn (our bio kid for those who don't know us) she almost never cried when we left her with others. Once awhile maybe, but it was really unusual. I am sure he is doing great! with such an outgoing little dude, it is probably more his personality than attachment, especially since he watches you when you are not holding him.

Jamaican Princess said...

what a BEAUTIFUL boy you have!!!!! I wish one day to adopt as well!

Will and Kristin said...

Hi, I love reading your blog, thank you for sharing your journey and we pray God's continued blessings on you all. We are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia ourselves and love gaining insight from your journey.
I just wanted to comment on this post as our son, whom we adopted domestically from birth (the birth mom asked us to be there and I actually got to help deliver our son and my husband cut the cord), exhibits and does the EXACT same things that you write about. Our son is 22 months and we have been with him since he took his very first breath...after reading your post, I have to believe it's just a child thing. I too have been a little worried but really am resting in God's peace that it's just a child thing.
Thank you for sharing your love for our Lord, for your son and for your family. Blessings to you all.