26 Days

Bonding and attachment takes time, for all involved. 

And even though Barrett FanFan calls me mama by name–and has since day one–I can tell he doesn’t feel I am mama just yet. That takes time. But I know that’ll come.

And the same is honestly true for me. Soon, it won’t feel like babysitting. That is already starting to change, in slow increments each day. (There are some who likely cringe that I stated that it feels like babysitting at first, but it does. We don’t have an attachment yet.)

In our instant gratification culture, it is hard to wait. We want, what we want, instantly. Often, we want it without hard work or sacrifice. We don’t want to invest. That’s just not how much of life works.

Even with cocooning, we realized some people were not supportive of our cocooning efforts with Lydia because it is so counter our culture. It is counter instant gratification.

Wait. Just wait. See what slowing down and pushing the pause button on rushing here and there does. Watch what happens when we choose to slow down life and focus on one thing: connection for the four of us.

Barrett FanFan doesn’t feel comfortable with my kisses–so wait. Oh, how I would love a slobbery toddler kiss, but I will wait. Give it time. He doesn’t feel I am mama just yet.

But that is starting to change in slow increments. Saying no to the busy and hectic, saying no to the dishes and cleaning gives me permission to watch the most beautiful work unfold.

Yesterday, he asked me to get off my twin bed in the guest room and join him on his twin bed next to mine. “Mama,” he said and grunted like a little dinosaur, smacking his hand down next to him. He was saying mama, I want you here. So there I went, only getting as close as his body language told me he was comfortable with.

What a huge gesture. What a big step for both of us as we step into mama and son. 26 days. It took 26 days.

FullSizeRender (4)




  1. Erika McCauley says

    I love this. Thank you for being so beautifully candid and your commitment to the slow and steady path. Best wishes to you both.

  2. says

    We are at just about 1 year with our just turned 10 year old daughter from China.
    Baby steps, sometimes 2 forward and 1 back…
    One of the hardest and most beautiful things I have ever been a part of.
    So grateful.

  3. Kara says

    I can’t express how much I needed this post. I have been feeling so guilty, so hopeless. My son and I have not been bonding. Feels at time the complete opposite. He is mourning hard and is angry and as I am yet another female caretaker in his life, I am bearing the brunt of it. I had been so hard and you have given me hope for the future. Someday I won’t just be “Mama,” I will be his “Mommy.”

  4. says

    Hi I really loved your guys video’s and photos I am also adopted from China and I would love to talk to you guys more about well everything 🙂 Maybe through email or text, you all can also ask me any questions if you would like of course if you guys want to talk if you don’t I completely understand. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *