Often when I do home studies, one of the biggest topics of conversation is bonding.  When I was in the wait before our first child was born, I had real fears.  I was so afraid I wouldn’t bond to her right away or that she wouldn’t recognize my voice since she’d been around different voices and sounds for nine months.  All of those fears are okay to feel.  It’s okay to worry that it won’t feel real or that you won’t feel like a parent.  But guess what?  I’ve had MANY parents who had biological children tell me they feared the same things!  I remember reading an adoption quote from Oprah that said, “Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother,” and it’s always stuck with me.  My mom isn’t my mom because we share genetics.  She’s my mom because she’s there when I need to talk, she laughs at my weird sense of humor, she was there for me when I was heart broken and there for me in my greatest joys.  My dad isn’t my dad because we share genetics.  He introduced my to music on vinyl and he taught my how to do a perfect can-opener off the diving board and we planted and harvested a garden together every summer.  These are the things that make relationships.  It’s all about the love, people! 🙂

When my daughter was born, she did feel a little bit like a stranger.  I’m okay admitting that now.  Because she’s almost six years old now, and she’s my entire heart.  She is a momma’s girl, and there absolute ferocity of my love for her is like nothing I’ve experienced on this earth.  My son was different – I was so blessed by his birth mom to be able to hold her hand and experience the moment he came into this world.  The second I set my eyes on him, it was magic.  Something clicked in me, and it was like, “Ah, there you are.  I’ve been waiting for you.”  Much like any labor and delivery, these were two different experiences, but the love is the same. 

So, when you worry about bonding, yes, it’s important.  There are so many things you can do to aid bonding – skin to skin contact, holding eye contact while you feed your child, being the primary need-meeter for the first few weeks – and all of it is so important.  But, don’t stress – the feelings are there and they’ll come and they’ll hit you like a ton of bricks and you’ll never be the same.  I love, love, love this job of mine because I get to witness it every day.  I am so blessed by you guys and by the love you share. 🙂

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