Called To Adopt -Part V Attachment

So last week I talked about Wendy’s Restaurant and Nancy Thomas.  Those folks that are making a difference in the success rate of adoptions.

Without Nancy Thomas’s teachings, our family might have been one of those statistics.

Adopted children have faced one of the greatest loss a person can go through sometimes within moments of being born.

Loss of a parent.

An adoptive parent must understand that and own it.

An adoptive parent must be understanding to the child that is lashing out and angry and doesn’t know why.

Most often, when a child is adopted at birth, they can bond to and attach to an adoptive family quite well.   Their needs are being met. They are loved and well fed.  However, there are things that an adoptive parent can do to help them succeed.

When a child is adopted, that attachment cycle is broken.

Many times it can be redeemed by the adoptive parent.

I have a little book titled “Adoptive Parenting from the Ground Up”  In my opinion, this is one of the best little resources an adoptive parent can have.   It is short, sweet, concise and easy to read.  It is also available through Amazon.

I can’t remember when we went to one of the seminars they offered way back when… before Isaac or before Malachi, I think it must have been Isaac because of the copyright date.  I’m not even sure if they offer the same seminar now, they’ve expanded so much.

In her book, Mrs. Katzer discusses attachment in detail, things to look for and things to do to help a child attach. Such as the parents being the only person caring for the child’s daily needs, feeding, diaper changing, etc for as long as possible.  Hand feeding toddlers, sleeping with/bathing with (as age appropriateness allows of course), carrying baby close, touching, caressing and applying lotion often. Time in, instead of distancing for discipline.  This is only a sample of what Mrs. Katzer lists.

She also talks about how the attachment cycle is disrupted.

And gives fantastic lists of behaviors that are signs of attachment strain.

such as:

Indiscriminate display of affection, sometimes to complete strangers

a child that won’t make eye contact

resistant to being held

lying about the obvious

steals, manipulates

superficial “cuteness” to get what a child wants

cruelty to animals

sexual acting out

However, just because a child displays some of these behaviors doesn’t mean they aren’t attached either.  There are many factors to be considered.   And I suggest contacting a counselor trained by Nancy Thomas to help you determine if your child needs help.

A child CAN be saved!

Is it easy?


Is it worth it?


What happens when it can’t be saved?


This happens far more often than I would like to see it.  Parents that don’t know the entire background of a child.  Don’t have the tools necessary, or when the child is just too far gone for a parent to work with without destroying the rest of their family.

We know several such families.

One fairly intimately.

The child came home when he was young, but he never really attached to them.

They are going through the process of disruption.

This little boy has a new home.

Sometimes, these children can succeed in a different environment.

Disruption can give the child hope for a future and save the sanity of the rest of the family.

I’ll talk more about that next week