Contact in adoption. There are so many aspects of contact to consider - letterbox, direct, with siblings, with grandparents, with foster carers, but I've written about that type of contact before, and I'm not ready to re-visit just yet.
This time, I want to write about a different type of contact - touch. Skin contact. Something so vital in building a relationship. Indeed when Dollop was born skin to skin contact was encouraged as soon as possible. And when Mini came we were advised to try skin to skin cuddles where we could. Mini wasn't ready though to start with...it was too much, he recoiled, he pulled away, he shivered, he would swipe our hands away, even when very little, not wanting touch from strangers or comfort from a held hand, stroked cheek or ruffled hair...and it's taken time (and a baby massage course) to get there.
I longed for him; I longed for my child,
and a tender touch between him and I.
A gentle caress, that joining of skin,
a contented sigh while I stroked his cheek.
But for my child and I this was not to be,
he pushed me away, too fearful of touch.
I could just about hold him,
but gentle caress was too much, too tough.
He was careful not to offer many signs of affection.
Hugs, kisses, touch, kept to a minimum.
Hands turned defensive, or to weapons.
To push, sometimes pull, then push again.
Years in, I'm allowed to stroke his back,
relaxing him into a blissful place.
Drawing patterns, different pressures,
sometimes til sleep comes.
Trust came, was learnt, was earned,
and loving touch was accepted.
Time has helped, and many reassurances have passed with a quick hair ruffle,
gentle, less intrusive, but loving...touch.
I'm linking this post up with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out on the theme of 'contact', do head over and have a read of some other interesting adoption blogs...