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Struggle

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Hi I have a six year old biological son and have recently adopted a 19month old boy. Placement began 3.5 months ago. I am struggling. New baby is a very lovely boy...cute, sweet, friendly and attaching well to us. My eldest has his moments but on the whole has been brilliant in adjusting to the change and lack of attention and is very loving and overall happy with the new addition. I feel like I am struggling to bond. I am aware it very early and the new situation is very, practically full on. I have a good support network but its not as water tight as I hoped and certain changes in a few family members circumstances have ment it has changed and I am rarely getting a break. I am feeling exhausted most of the time and although I dont mind the practical graft and hardship I feel really uneasy about my emotional response to it all. I can appreciate and see how lovely my new boy is, but I dont feel a hell of alot and on some days I feel resentment, irritation or numbness. I also feel guilty toward mt eldest due to the lack of attention he is now getting. I have managed to keep things going and we have a good routine and do lots of activities, socialize alot. However I am feeling quite broken by the whole thing and like I am not a good enough Mum for either and how they deserve a better more robust parent. Reassurance would be nice that this is temporary. Like I say, he is gorgeous, its me.


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I think what you are explaining tends to be v common if these boards are anything to go by so dont panic. It can take a v long time to feel like you really love this little stranger who has landed in your life.

I adopted my foster child who had been with us 18 months at that point but i was still building that attachment even after that length of time but i absolutely adore him now and he feels like mine in every way possible.

Do you get any breaks at all ? If you could get a few hrs a week to meet a friend for coffee etc it would really help. Just dont spend the time talking about adoption ha ha.

Anyway just that really. It takes time so dont worry too much . I am sure in time the attachment will come for both of you .


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HI milly. Just hang on to the fact that if you have only been parenting for 3.5 months. For any new mum, not just an adoptive parent, to be exhausted and not getting much respite is completely normal after such a short time. I remember my adrenaline running out after about three months, and just feeling knackered (my kids were school/nursery age)! It's completely normal to feel the way you are feeling. I think two kids is definitely tougher than one, even if one is a BC . You have both children's individual needs to take care of, as well as a whole family's.


I'm sure you could start investigating mother & toddler groups etc and wizzywoo's advice about respite in other ways is great. But please don't beat yourself up - I bet you're doing a great job. Love and attachment may come slowly - it often does for adoptive parents, but it will come. x


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Just another voice saying that what you feel is entirely normal. The adoption process is incredibly intense, you get to the 'end' of it thinking you can breathe and think but instead you have a kid, with all the work that involves.


Two kids are much harder than one. I couldn't do that on my own. You are hero for managing. Don't worry, the fluffy feelings will come.


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hello, another single adopter here.


As others have said, such early days, don't worry too much about feelings for now. Just get through the day.


You do mentiont that you do a lot of activities and socialise a lot. It might be worth scaling back a bit, give yourself s bit of breathing space.

Its hard when there is just you to do everything so minimise the demands on you where possible. As long as you are all fed, watered, washed, clean clothes and there is nothing nasty growing in the corners of your kitchen, let the housework go a bit.


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Thankyou for all your helpful comments. The Christmas period has been easier as more people around and no School ! Feel like I am experiencing a drip, drip, drip of love/affection, although still having my numb/I dont want to do this days which I hate myself for.


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Don't forget too that your little one is probably also struggling to attach and may not be responding to you as a securely attached toddler would.


We adopted our second when she was 2. She clung to me but didn't take pleasure in my company. She was scared to lose me but didn't trust me either - understandably, given her experiences. Didn't make her much fun to be around though - I struggled to bond with her too. And it took months, possibly years to really get there. So it is very early days.


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It is difficult to parent a child 24/7 what you do not love, what is not attached and what is basically a stranger. He's not your biological child, you know how that feels, this is different and you have to accept this first. Let go of the dream and try to accept the situation. I would put the youngest to bed at 6.30, so now you have quality time with your birth son. Your youngest is needy but let him wait when you give birth son attention. Be in charge when it comes to who gets attention, be aware where your bounderies are. Adopted children who are in the process of building some sort of attachment can be very manipulative. My youngest would want a hug or attention every time I gave my oldest attention, yet when I wanted to give a hug he would push me away........

Do not feel guilty about loving your birth son, his place in the family is as important as your new child, he needs to feel that. Do not worry about how you feel about your new child, over time he might feel the same as birth son or there will always be a difference, that's oke too.

Do not go out all the time, just be boring at home, that's very good for a newly placed child. I spend weeks at home with only grocery shopping now and than and bringing my oldest to swimming etc. As a single adopter you are forced to tke your child wherever you go, just the groceries and activities your oldest goes to is more than enough stimulation for a newly placed child.


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