Coaching & Support Before, During, and After Adoption

Beyond Filling the Crib: Nurturing AQ* (Adoption-attunement)

by | May 25, 2016 | Adoption-attunement, Adoptive Parenting Skills/Tool, General Discussion

Children toys hanging from the crib

To the marrow of our bones, adoptive parents understand what we’ve called in earlier blogs “our magnificent obsession”: the consuming desire for children. We pursued adoption with passion and dogged determination, leaped every hurdle and met every requirement that stood between us and our child.

The majority of us chose adoption because of infertility. Our dreams centered on fantasies of “our” baby nestled peacefully in a crib, sleeping under our watchful and loving gaze. The crib simultaneously embodied both the fulfillment of our heart’s desire and symbolized our failure to conceive.

My husband and I adopted after fourteen years of marriage so I can readily identify with this soul-yearning for a baby. Been there. Oh, yes. Been. There. Rebecca Swan Vahle adoptive mom, adoption advocate, and Executive Director of Family to Family Support Network frequently mentions this focus on “filling the crib” in her superb podcasts. She challenges us to grow beyond this point of view. (Check out her archives; they overflow with important interviews from all sides of the adoption constellation.)

It is essential that we move to an even more profound understanding, the one that recognizes and commits to the belief: “Adoption is about providing families for children, not for providing children to potential parents.

The purpose of adoption

Most of us need some education to understand the profound shift in viewpoint, priorities, and choices that is embodied in this statement. Once we embrace the why of this essential shift, we then switch our attention to the how. This is where the process of adoption attunement takes root. The education takes time to acquire. In fact, it is a lifetime endeavor. We must consult many sources: books, videos, podcasts, conferences, therapists, coaches, support groups, etc. This is how we dedicate ourselves to being a high AQ* Family; we strive to better understand how adoption affects our children as well as ourselves.

GIFT Family Services website lists many valuable resources for adoptive families. In this blog, we frequently review worthwhile books in the adoption arena. This includes titles for adults as well as those for children. We mention specific podcasts, blogs, and conferences that we believe parents will find beneficial. GIFT coach Gayle Swift writes an additional weekly blog that reviews children’s books through a lens of adoption attunement. Most titles reviewed are not about adoption. They’re simply interesting, worthwhile and fun books to read. Her blog centers on how to use any book as a support for the adoptive family.

So, why bother reading Adoption blogs, books, attending conferences, etc? Because we choose to be the best version of the parents are children need us to be. How high is your family AQ?

Learn how the coaches at GIFT Family Services can help you and your family navigate your adoption journey. We’ve faced our share of family challenges and crises, ridden the metaphorical rollercoaster, and our families have not only survived; they have thrived. We offer experience, neutrality, and understanding.








Read Adoption-attuned book reviews

by GIFT coach, Gayle H. Swift, on her blog,

Writing to Connect