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Adopting Toddlers–Attachment Grew

Guest Blogger–Adoptive Father

Adoption has always been something we knew we would pursue as we considered growing our family.

Having been adopted by my father as a teen, I knew that I wanted to share that experience with a child/children someday.

We started our adoption journey in 2016 and brought our eldest daughter “E” home in 2018 (22 mo. at the time) through international adoption. In 2022 we brought our youngest daughter “M” (3-years-old at the time) home through Heart to Heart Adoptions.

We did not go into the adoption process considering non-infant adoption or special needs adoption.

But we listened to our hearts and to where God was leading us. It was definitely scary, but the one phrase that God kept giving us was “Love over fear.”

During the process of becoming a family of three and then later a family of four, we discovered a list of  “scary labels” attached to older child adoption:

  • Attachment problems
  • Medical needs
  • Language
  • Developmental delays
  • And more.

We were told these “problems” could hold our children back.

Instead, we learned that our daughters are fierce, kind, goofy, loyal, and most importantly, they are ours, and we are theirs.

Attachment did not happen overnight. It grew from a tiny seed. And miraculously, it grew with tenderness, patience, and grace (for our children and for ourselves).

Having the support of social workers and our agency, Heart to Heart Adoptions, gave us the understanding we needed. The TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) training hours we’ve participated in have all helped guide us through the tough times. The love in our house is abounding and surpasses anything we could have imagined for our family!

Heart to Heart has been amazing at helping guide us through the adoption triad.

Being an adoptee and adoptive parent, I know that there is an invisible thread tying us to our birth families. We want to honor and build that relationship wherever we can for both of our children. I know that love does not divide but expands and grows.

The love for and relationship I have with my birth father does not diminish the love for and relationship I have with my father, and vice versa.

While it is not always easy, I have seen beauty, healing, and redemption in this journey. I pray for that redemption, healing, and beauty for my children. I’m grateful for Heart to Heart as they consistently support, guide, and honor these relationships.

We often watch the girls running around the house squealing with joy, and we thank God. We are so blessed to be their parents.

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