Friday, 15 March 2013

Connections and contact

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 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...


  1. So true Vicki, a very important kind of contact:)

  2. I feel very emotional after reading that, really moving. Clever to do contact like that as well. So hard when all you want to do is hold your child and they don't reciprocate. I'm so pleased that you are find your ways to connect physically now and I'm sure there will be more to come. xx

    Thanks for linking up with The Weekly Adoption Shout Out. xx

    1. Thanks Sarah. It's difficult, but yes we have our ways and although sometimes it's still too much, we're in a much better, stronger place now x

  3. very powerful post and this kind of contact is hard to get connected too and yet so vital and rewarding when it finally comes in those litle and small ways.

    1. Thanks, it is hard, but we have some great techniques now, and I'm pleased to say he enjoys touch so much more now x

  4. This is such an important thing to share Vicki! Touch doesn't have to seem overtly emotional or intimate, but it will still be emotional/intimate - opening up relationship, breaking down barriers. We played - and still do - lots of touch games. Talcum powder hands, face painting, feeding sweeties with eyes closed. All builds up intimacy and more importantly - trust. For our children the tiny steps are massive leaps.

    Wonderful post, crucial reading for adopters Mx

    1. Thanks Mumdrah. There are some great techniques and games out there, baby massage was great and also allowed some safe regression, which has since developed and we do weather massages now.

      Touch really is vital x

  5. What an emotional poem, so full of hopes and dreams and harsh realities. X