Hi Looking for some experience in adopting after having 2 of my own. Is the bonding different? Do you feel differently about the adopted than you do your biological? Nursing.... easy to get going again.... so many questions!
Welcome, and I'm sure you'll get tons of good answers from the moms and dads here--there are so many different kinds of adoption experiences in this group!
just a friendly FYI...referring to biological children as being "of our own" is sometimes a little hurtful in the world of adoption, because it creates a separation between biological and adopted kids...(would your adopted child not be "one of your own?")
Thought you might want to know...I'm in your same situation (we have three boys and would like to adopt our fourth child), and it's been a learning experience!
I hope you get great answers! Also, check out the resources posted above the forum on feeding, and you can use the "search this forum" button to find a lot of very informative old discussions.
We adopted our Dd after two bio boys. I can honestly say I feel as close to her as I did the boys when they were her age.
Our only difference is, she came to us at 7mths and I never breastfed her. I was the only one to feed her the bottle, and I always held it with her on my lap. It made for a good bonding experience.
I'm just as protective of her and feel I know her just as well as I did the boys.
My son is biological and my daughter was adopted. I think that the bonding between mother and child is different every time it happens with a new child, biological or adopted. I bonded very quickly with my daughter, and was not able to nurse her. I think co-sleeping and wearing her in the sling were helpful to our attachment (she insisted on both of them anyway....).
I don't feel that I had trouble bonding with my son, but it was a very complicated birth, we were in the hospital for 10 days after, with nurses, lactation consultants, etc. (including my insane mother) interfering/helping, so it was definitely less peaceful at first.
I feel differently about them because they are very different people. I love them both very very much.
There was a thread about this in August and here is what I wrote then:
"I love all three of my kids differently. My oldest joined us 11 weeks ago. I feel much compassion and concern for her. I really delight in learning what "makes her tick." I enjoy her company. But the really deep, connected love is not there yet. I am sure that it will come, but it will probably always look different than the love I feel for ...
My middle child joined us 4.5 years ago. She was a struggle from the start. She has always been very demanding and somewhat of a malcontent. She is also extremely bright, very verbal, very imaginative, and has a terrific sense of humor. She is the hardest child to parent and I feel that I have a deeper bond with her because I spend proportionally more time trying to figure out how to parent her correctly based on her "difficult" nature. I feel extremely connected to her, and that connection will probably always look different than the connection I have with ...
My youngest child joined us 21 months ago. He has always been very easy to parent. He is extremely laid back, although he does have a few annoying personality quirks. He is very funny and very active. He's fairly compliant, though not pathologically so. He loves to be loud and I am frequently amused by his silly facial expressions and body movements. He's a real cuddle bug and has wormed his way into my heart through his huge hugs and happy, sloppy kisses. He's the most likely to make me laugh, which has forged a strong bond between us.
All of my kids are different, and they all joined our family under different circumstances. I think that I will never love them "the same," and based on their personalities I think that I will have varying degrees of feeling connected to them at varying times in their lives. But I love them all for who they are, and I could not imagine my family without them. I don't think that my feelings for them are based on whether or not I gave birth to them (in fact, I had PPD and had a very rought first year with my bio child; much rougher than I have experienced thus far with adjusting to having my adopted kids). I think it depends on a lot on how our personalities mesh and how each kid responds to my parenting style.
To people who ask, "Do you love your adopted kids as much as your bio kids?" I say, "I love each of my kids for who they are."
We adopted our DS last year, after having 3 biological children. I'll be honest and say that *for me* the bonding process was different with our adopted child vs. our bio children. I think a big part of this has to do with the circumstances under which DS joined our family. He was 5yo when he came to our family. He was a child with his own history, preferences and personality when he came into our family. It wasn't an instant love, either way- DH and I didn't fall madly in love with DS immediately, and DS didn't fall in love or attach to us right away either. Rather than an immediate bond, I fell in love with DS slowly over time. It was a process of getting to know him, and love him.
Now that DS has been with us for a year, I don't love him any more or less than my bio children. As Dharmamama wrote, I do love all of my children differently because they're all different people. The things I love about DS1 are much different than the things I love about DS2. But despite the rocky beginning, I have grown to love my adopted child as much as I love my bio children. I dearly love and cherish ALL of my children.