Youth Speak-Out: Attachment

Contributor(s): 

One of the toughest things about growing up in foster care is learning to have loving, trusting attachments to people. Most of us were let down by adults more than once and it seems safer to just rely on ourselves. But being part of a family means learning to trust and rely on each other. It’s really important to do if we ever want to have close relationships. Here are some of our experiences with attachment.

If you have a good or bad experience to share about attachment, please write it as a comment below.

"Attachment for me was a very hard thing to deal with. I was always a very shy and quiet person because I was scared, scared of the world. I was lucky to have foster parents that never gave up on me, even when I abused their trust. I was very attached to my foster mom because she was what my mother wasn’t. She was there for me.

When I was going to be adopted I didn’t want to leave my foster home because they were my family and I loved them, but I had to move on and let my new parents in my life. It took me a few months to trust my parents and let myself love them. I had to learn to open myself up to people so they can learn who I really am.

Now, I love them. We are a very happy family. It’s okay to be cautious and scared, but you can’t let your fears get to you. It’s important to build your attachment with your parents so you can have the permanency that comes with it." - Ebony

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"At first it was hard for me to trust my adoptive mom and dad. I wouldn’t let them buy me stuff or do stuff for me. I hated it at first when my mom wanted to do my laundry and simple stuff like that. We all agreed that we wouldn’t push it to go faster. It didn’t happen overnight, or the moment I moved in. Now I have accepted that this is what parents do for you." - Courtney R

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"While I’ve attempted to change my mindset, break down walls and accept the protective and loving nature which comes with having a mom, I still wonder, ‘why did she choose me?’ Switching from an independent, hard-headed teen in survival mode to a young adult who openly accepts guidance and love has been the cause of many heart-wrenching fights. When I think about it, I can’t believe that I was okay with my life in foster care. It’s only been three years since I was adopted but it feels like a lifetime. I’m eternally grateful for my mom’s refusal to give up on me.

I still don’t fully understand why my mom chose me, and how she can love me so easily. I’m not sure if I will ever really understand. But I’m okay with that. No matter what, somebody loves me. And, honestly, what more can a girl ask for?" - April