Bonding with foster child

We've were placed with an infant about 2 months ago. He's such a good baby and we've made so many strides in his development. He's my joy but I feel as is a tiny part of me is closed off, as in 3%. Is this normal? Our case worker keep reiterating how we need to "protect ourselves". I love him hands down. He amazes me daily. I feel as if he's been with us forever. And I remind myself daily, hourly that reunification is always the goal. Has anyone else felt this way?
I always wanted to be a mom, I just didn't know how I would get there.

Re: Bonding with foster child

  • Spooko said it very well.  It's also been two months and I would think that as you have this LO in your home for longer, you may feel that 3% creeping down to 2% and then 1% and it may one day fully disappear.  It may not. You are giving him a loving, safe home and helping him grow up even if you are still protecting your heart a little.  If you are giving what you can, that is good enough.


    [Deleted User]
  • As usual, I agree with @Spooko , but I don't think that in this kind of situation you'd end up living with regret if you hold back just a little--even if you end up with him as your forever son.

    True bonding and attachment take time and are a process that takes much longer than we expect.  As adoptive/foster parents, I think we are constantly looking for those early signs of attachment because we harbor fears that it might not come, but in reality, it takes months and sometimes years for a complete bond to build, just like in any relationship.  Given that, I think it's perfectly reasonable for any foster parent (and adoptive parents, too!) to not be okay with giving over that last little piece of their heart so soon.  That doesn't mean you're not completely in love.

    Think about when you first met your husband/partner.  Did you just give over your entire heart the first time it fluttered?  Likely not, but that didn't mean you weren't falling in love, right?  It's the same thing.  Follow your heart, treat him as your own, and you will both be okay, even if you shield that deepest part of you.

    The thing I've learned about kids is that even when you think you're protecting yourself, they have a way of digging in deep into your heart, and before you realize it, you've given yourself over anyway.

    Lots of love as you bring love and care into your FS's life!
    irismorning[Deleted User]
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  • fernanefernane member
    Totally normal. We have had our almost 9 month old since birth and the tug of war of emotions can be exhausting. There's a sense of guilt if you hold back, but a complete vulnerability if you don't. In the end, I felt it impossible to hold back and made the decision to love him like my own, if only for a fraction of his life, because I think its what he deserves. If a baby leaves, you will be crushed either way, there's no preventing that, and I personally don't believe it does anyone a service to hold back.
  • str8otastr8ota member
    We got Baby Z when she was 15 m/o and she was returned back to her mom at 22 m/o. MH definitely held back because he knew there was very little chance we would get to adopt her. As for me, I loved her like my own. I knew my heart would be broken if/when she went back, and it was. But to me, every child deserves to be loved completely, no matter the circumstances, plus, I refused to treat Z any different than our bio 3 y/o DD. I miss Z everyday but wouldn't change a thing. Good luck!
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