About Me

My photo

I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

When Did He Feel Like Mine?

I ran into an online Mom friend of mine at an adoption conference in my city a few weeks ago. We had never met in person, and neither of us knew the other would be attending. I love meeting online friends IRL!

This Mom, after chatting a bit, asked me a hard question.  Attachment and bonding is going well between her two newly adopted children and the rest of the family, but my friend is struggling. She doesn't have the same kind of feelings towards her children that came to her by adoption as she does towards her biological children.

She asked me when Buddy felt like "mine".

The question is hard, partly because it's one of those topics I usually like to give a lot of thought to before giving my thoughts. I rambled on a bit, told her to give herself some grace and time, and excused myself feeling like an idiot.

Something I always do when writing a blog post, tweet or comment online is write, read, edit, repeat until I get the words just the way I want. I also often read something, let it sit with me for a bit, and then come back to it.

You can't do that in real life.

It's also a hard question because of the very different make-up of our families. I don't know what it feels like to grow a child inside my body, to know a child from their first moment, to give birth. My son lived over a decade on this planet before I knew he existed. I can't compare being a birth Mom and an adoptive Mom. 

What I do know is that Buddy felt like mine from the first time I saw his picture. We have had our struggles and in the past I have questioned if I was able to give Buddy everything that he needed, but I have always felt like his Mom.

Hubby, on the other hand, didn't feel like a Dad until long after we got home. He stressed himself over this initially, but eventually just decided to "fake it till you make it." He went through the motions of dad-ing, and eventually the feelings followed. Now, Hubby and Buddy have a great relationship that is unique and totally their own.

What I'm trying to say in all of this is that there isn't a "right" way to feel after adopting. It is not the same as having a biological child, so no one should be expected to feel the same. When a family is made by adoption, everyone brings their past into the new family. It can take time to sort through all the feelings and settle in to a groove. Because of that, it's OK, and even important, to acknowledging to ourselves where we are emotionally.

So, I guess I really do believe my original (poorly delivered) response to my friend. As adoptive parents, we all need to give ourselves grace and time.

No comments:

Post a Comment