The Bond Between Mother and Son

Whole-heartedly helping my son find his birth mother.

Denalee Chapman May 08, 2014

Although Bryan was in our foster care for nearly two years before the judge signed adoption papers, our mother-son bond was instantaneous.  As years have passed and we’ve tripped through toddler-hood, traipesed through elementary school, stumbled through the teenage years, and approached adulthood, our bond has tightened.  This bond has showered me with emotional security, so when Bryan announced he was ready to search for his birth mother, I found myself ready to help him … with my whole heart.

1. Comforted

Our connection was instant. But I was a jealous mother whose greatest desire was to have our little family disappear where we could be blissfully ignored by everyone ... especially people who might want Bryan back in their family. I blame my immaturity and Guam's laws that allowed for a birth family to reclaim their child up to 7 years after the adoption had been finalized. "Security" was not a word I understood.

2. Bonded

The ups and downs of school years just made our bond stronger. He'd pull away, I'd pull back and hang tight. It was years of tug-of-war - both of us learning that the other really was never going to let go ... no matter what. He is ours. We are his. Forever.

3. Loved

Bryan proved himself in school, graduating with high honors and at the same time inching towards autonomy. Ready to leave home ... well, that's a bitter/sweet time for any mom. For me, my confidence in this great guy AND in our relationship was all it had to be. I could let him go. I trusted him. And I trusted us. It was time to share him with the world ... and I knew, really knew, that nothing would displace me. This didn't come all at once! And it was no one's job, but mine, to make it happen. It was what happened in my heart and in my mind all those growing-up years. It came from trusting, sharing, observing, and a lot of prayer. But finally the jealous mommy was gone and a confident, selfless mother took her place.

4. Secure

At age 21, Bryan decided it was time. And it felt right to me too. Our bond, our trust, our relationship ... it was enough. I could help search for his birth mother and I could do it with my full heart. It was a journey ... jealous to joyful; hesitant to helpful. And it took a long time. But I got there. And the reward is just around the corner ... the first meeting with his birth mother is just a couple of months away!

Bonding is Natural AND Intentional
5. Bonding is Natural AND Intentional

Although each of our children is unique in personality, character, likes, and dislikes ... whether birthed by me or adopted by us, we were intentional about bonding experiences for and with all of our children.

Time Made All The Difference
6. Time Made All The Difference

As a new adoptive mother, in some ways I was as inexperienced and "young" as Bryan was ... this was all new to me. Sure - I had a couple of decades of life experience, but the adoption experience was brand new. I needed time to develop and mature.

7. Matured

Bryan's growing up was obvious ... taller, stronger, more articulate. And although mine wasn't visible to others, those same years also gifted me with maturity.

9. Contagious

You know how when Mom's happy, the whole family is happy? ... and when Mom is grouchy - it's almost tangible and everyone is on edge? It's the same with security in our relationships. Searching for his birth mother wasn't just about Bryan. And it didn't just affect me. It's a family event. My confidence and my security certainly spilled over to everyone. It's important for adoptive parents to be as ready as the adoptee is ... important for everyone.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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