Bonding is an interesting thing. Given the way most adoptions take place, the pressure of bonding with your new baby/toddler/elementary aged child I believe takes a huge toll on the newly adoptive parents. Everyone has their own way of trying to create that bond, some do the cocooning method where only the adoptive parents hold/change/feed the child in an effort to instill a genuine security within the child. It makes total sense to me, especially if the child has been in an orphanage for years and is used to multiple caretakers that institutionalized care provides. Had Emery's circumstances been different we probably would have adopted that method and while it would have been hard to not allow any additional bonding to take place between grandparents, aunts and uncles it would have benefited OUR situation undeniably. When we first brought her home I was terrified, nervous, and afraid that I wouldn't bond with her. I seriously probably only ate a combined total of like three meals the first four days just because my stomach was in knots! I think the double edged sword for me was that I didn't have anything to compare it to, I hadn't been a mama to a biological child let alone an adopted child. Which left me with feelings of extreme inadequacy and complete terror that this little being and I would never truly attach to one another...instead living life more like a nanny and the "nannied'. People would say to me..."Is it just the most wonderful thing ever? Being a mother?" and I would just nod my head and agree with them all the while inside being tortured by the fact that while it was fantastic there were still times when I didn't love it. Times when my selfishness prevailed and I wanted to sleep in, not have barf on my shirt and just go to the flippin' grocery store without it taking me one million years to get in and out of the car AND doggonit I forgot that diaper bag again. SO if I'm being completely honest, which I generally don't struggle with, I would say its taken me months to bond with Emery. It definitely didn't help that she is not a very cuddly child either, when they're at an age of being completely non-verbal I found myself looking for signs (smiles, moving towards me etc.) to reassure me that she viewed me as "mama". There were little breakthroughs here and there and someone even told me that a friend of hers indicated she had a bonding breakthrough when her child became very sick once and the worry and concern for her well being took over and from them on they were bonded. Well my friends, these last two months as full time stay at home mom, by default have been the love affair I've been praying for. The way she is around me is completely different than with anyone else, and I simply can't get enough. She looks for me when she's hurt and crawls toward me for comfort and also looks for my approval. She likes being close to me, touching me and loves my hugs and kisses. We have an understanding. Finally. I protect her, nurture her, and comfort her and...she lets me. These moments with my first born are immeasurable. I never once doubted that she knew I was her mama, it was only getting to this point. The point that our love affair with each other truly began. The adventures I've had thus far with my little lovey are the most fulfilling of anything in my entire existence.
I've said this before and I'll say it again...she's pure magic.