Babywearing adopted children is a wonderful way to bond with them and, as a new parent, to care for your baby while getting things done. However, sometimes adopted babies need time to adjust to their new family and lifestyle, including to babywearing. In this personal narrative, Bridget Adams-Brewer talks about her worries about whether her surprise baby would like being worn and the joy and connection she experienced in connecting with her new daughter while babywearing.
Surprise adoption: “Are you sure you’re not ready for a second?”
On April 20, 2016, I was handing over my keys to the guy at the garage so he could install new brakes in my car. My son, Miles, 2, was at day care, and I was enjoying the quiet when I got a text notification. Our adoption caseworker, who had evaluated us for our home study when we had adopted miles, was now a friend, and it wasn’t odd to receive a text from her.
The content of her text, however, took my by surprise: Are you sure you aren’t ready for a second? I am cuddling a beautiful, healthy, little baby girl and I feel like she is supposed to be yours.
I can’t explain every feeling I had, but most fell into two categories: “But I don’t even know what I’m doing with one kid yet!” or, “A little girl. A little girl. A little girl!”
My husband, Joe, was across the country for work, and busy producing a video with a whole team of coworkers. He had about twenty seconds to read and consider my text, which said something like, “Hey, do you want a daughter?” He answered yes. Then, he showed his coworkers the photo that I sent and proudly told them, “This is probably my new baby.”
A preparation whirlwind
We had not planned for this. Surprise pregnancies usually give you some time to adjust and figure things out, but our baby had already been born. We had let our adoption home study expire a few months earlier, so we had to jump into that quickly. What had taken us six months to accomplish the first time around had to get done in thirty days.
I spent half of my time frantically filling out hundreds of pages of paperwork, scheduling home visits, scheduling and attending medical exams, fingerprinting, and training. I spent 25% of my time panicking, took a bit of time to manage regular life, and I spent the last bit dreaming about the daughter we’d always dreamt of having.
My position at work was eliminated that same week and we also heard that yes, we were officially chosen to adopt the baby we named Lucy. My head was spinning. At that point we were finally allowed to visit her at her foster home.
But will she like being worn?
Of course, when you add a child to your family, you have hopes and dreams and worries. In the whirlwind of this adoption, for some reason, I just kept thinking, “I hope she likes being worn.” Babywearing is one of my favorite things about parenting. I love the closeness you can have while still being able to do things. I love how portable it makes your family. I love how much you can communicate and teach while wearing.
Adoptive parents don’t carry their children before they’re born like biological parents do, and babywearing helps so much with bonding. I couldn’t picture parenting two young children without babywearing, as Miles was alternately on my back and running around at full tilt. I could barely wait to get a wrap on Lucy when we met her.
I was thrilled to meet her amazing foster family, and moreso to see a ring sling on the table in their home. Lucy already liked being worn. She was also tiny and perfect and absolutely beautiful. Joe and Miles fell in love quickly. It took me a little longer. I hadn’t done FWCC (front wrap cross carry) in a while, but it felt absolutely right the first time I wrapped Lu up. That moment, though still very anxious, I knew I could do it. Every chance I got, I wrapped her and walked.
One year of babywearing my beautiful adopted child
Lucy turned one a couple of weeks ago, and she has grown into the sweetest child. She is funny and clever and the tiniest bit mischievous. She is even more beautiful than she was when we first saw her. We are still bonding while babywearing, every day, and every place we go.
I will never forget that first time I wrapped her, and the moment I knew she would be my baby girl.
For more reading on babywearing adopted children
On the Wrapsody site
- Hope and Griffin: A babywearing Love Story
- Babywearing 101
- The science of babywearing
- Newborn babywearing
- Toddler babywearing
Around the web
- Babywearing an adopted infant on the Parents of Color Seek Newborn to Adopt blog
- The role of babywearing in promoting attachment in adoptive families on the North East Sling Library Blog
- Ashley Kriegel on adoption and babywearing on the Sakura Bloom blog
Latest posts by Bridget Adams (see all)
- Babywearing adopted children: Lucy’s suprise adoption - July 25, 2017