One Mother’s Experience with Bonding
I want to take a moment to talk about something that a lot of adoptive parents struggle with and many are afraid to admit. Bonding issues. I have had them with all 3 of my kids. All in completely different ways. And I am at the point where I have accepted that I just take a while. Having said that, while I am going through it, I still feel shame and guilt.
Bonding is different for everyone. I hear stories of so many moms who, whether by birth or adoption, fall madly in love with their children the moment they are in their arms and never have an issue. Take Mary Beth Chapman for example. In her book Choosing to See, she talks about that very thing, while discussing another topic completely. “I saw it. The second she was placed in my arms, I would have fought to the death to protect her. I loved her with everything inside of me.”
Now, let me clarify something. I have never felt love so strong as I do for my children. I too, would die to protect them. But for me in the beginning, I had to become familiar with who it was I was protecting. Who it was that I traveled the spansâ€™ of the globe to claim and name as my own and protect forever. God had designed that each of my children would be mine from the moment the universe was created. He knew each of us as Kobys and he would bring us together in this destiny that is our story. But He also knew that it would take me a little while to bond.
It was a decision I had to make at first. As Aimee was plopped into my arms in that stuffy little smoke filled office in the far reaches of south central China, screaming bloody murder and clawing to get away from me as she watched her foster father leave forever, I had to make a decision. “I will love this child. No matter what we go through together, in the end it will make us stronger. It will make us mother and daughter. Forever.” I at times had to remind myself of that. Eric had to remind me of that as she (and I) continued to cry for the duration of our trip, overwhelmed by the stress of so many factors. But we would get there. That even though things seem a bit off balance for me now, they will one day just click. And there we will be. Her and I….truly bonded forever.