Attachment is a word we hear a lot about, primarily we think of it with regards to people and parenting, however for children who have been adopted and / or in foster care a soft toy or something similar can provide comfort in a changing world and they form many different sorts of attachments.
Bear is the love of James’ (1) life. He has had him since he was born and will not sleep without him, Bear needs to be within 2 inches of his face or he wakes up! When James is upset he cries for Bear. Bear is so precious he doesn’t leave the house.
Bear has been chewed a lot (good for teething) and his nose has had a few repairs however this week the nose had to come off as it was at risk of being a choking hazard.
I took off Bear’s hard stud nose and replaced it with a fabric one (took me over an hour as Bear’s fabric had been chewed too much).
Now I think I did a good job on the nose, it looks like the original and is at the same weird slant, but it’s different.
I gave James back Bear, he chewed the nose, it didn’t feel right. He then threw Bear across the room (much to the shock of his brother). He then spent the rest of the evening pointing to his nose then Bear’s. He just sat there distraught and confused at how his most precious thing was different.
Watching this acute trauma reaction was heart breaking. I would go so far as to say Bear is one of his main attachments and seeing this little boy deep in thought about the changes was so sad.
His elder brother (Tom -4) was also upset to see his brother not playing with his precious bear and decided to help them re-attach! Tom spent lots of time sat next to James cuddling and stroking Bear, talking and signing to him in the way James does. This was beautiful to watch. Eventually James went to bed with Bear and seems to be learning to love him again, though he still touches the nose with real sadness on his face.
It was horrible watching the distress but beautiful to watch Tom’s reaction and understanding of his brother’s needs. (If he hadn’t been able to cuddle Bear by the time he went to bed he wouldn’t have slept, as we know from washing day).
Seeing how they now play together and respond to each other is lovely, something I didn’t think we would see at one point, let’s hope it continues and Bear remains in one piece.