'The bonding bubble'

Tuesday 15 February 2022

‘The Bonding Bubble’

‘The Bonding Bubble’ or at least that is what we called it; represents the first few weeks the children were home. They arrived home about 10 days before Christmas and absolutely everyone was keen to get a sneak-peek at their new family members and really, who could blame them?!

However, we kept to our ‘bonding bubble’ allowing the children time to adapt to their new surroundings and us. Bringing three children, under the age of three home with then, no parenting experience, was probably the craziest move and you could see everyone around us was thinking the same!

Alongside our very excited and supportive families, our social worker was our biggest cheerleader. In those first few weeks, she was readily available to us as we needed her, something we know not every potential adoptive parent has access too, so we were grateful.

Day-to-day though, it is just you and three children.

This is not to say, that your social worker, family, or friends are not on the end of a phone or email, but you have to give yourself time to figure out how life looks without the involvement of anyone from outside your new family unit.

I imagine that as when a newborn is brought home, the new parents are torn between wanting to keep their new baby safe, all to themselves to bond and show them off to the world, a decision is made based on your own personal views and feelings about when to introduce them.

However, for children with trauma and potential attachment issues, you are presented with a whole new set of factors to consider. It may appear selfish to some and over the top to others, but we knew that creating this family bonding bubble was absolutely the right thing to do for our children.

My husband and I decided that as it was Christmas, we would see a few family members in our home and introduce the children. This was as exciting and emotional as you can imagine!

We had spent many conversations discussing what reactions would be, but nothing can really prepare you to see them play out in front of you. As predicted, my mother-in-law shed buckets of tears and our nieces were shrieking with excitement and dishing out cuddles!

Otherwise, we waited between 4-6 weeks before we introduced them to anyone else. Covid restrictions, to some extent, did play a part in this as well.

It was the forming of the ‘bonding bubble’ and us sticking to it, that we feel has made a difference in the way our children interact with us. They had to learn who would feed them, soothe them, clean them, dress them and who was their primary care giver. We imagine that if too many people were introduced initially, it would have made a difficult time for them, even more confusing and difficult.

Those first few weeks were special, Jennifer and John learnt to walk and even started to say a few words, George potty trained, and all three children continued their excellent sleep routine – it is a shame we did not do the same! All three children settled well into their new home with us and despite all the challenges they had faced, they made us proud from Day 1 with their ability to take on what the World was throwing at them and smash it!

How our day-to-day lives have changed, well that is a whole different story but whilst chaos reigns almost 24/7, there is nothing else we like better than having them here with us!

If you think you could adopt siblings, we'd love to hear from you. Call 01642 526400 or email info@adoptionteesvalley.org.uk