Bonding and attachment. Not words I thought about a lot until I entered the world of adoption. I was very fortunate that I had an immediate bond with all of my birth children. But there are various reasons why a family could have trouble or a delay in bonding. It is not a "given" that a parent and child will attach and bond immediately. Pre-mature births with long NICU stays, an adoption of an infant or child, or an unplanned pregnancy, could all be potential reasons why the bonding is delayed. Not having an immediate bond doesn't mean anything is wrong with you, or your child!! It might just be a "process in the works". There are wonderful ways to help facilitate attachment with various methods and therapies to guide you in the right direction.
Our family "fostered" our two youngest and then eventually was able to adopt them. This is extremely hard to admit but what unfortunately happened with me is I found that I unintentionally "guarded" myself during the early stages of fostering my two little guys, which didn't allow me to fully bond. I was "afraid" to give myself completely to my sons because they may not stay with our family and then I'd be left with a broken heart. Selfish but also the hard and honest truth. Really wish this was a time that I could have a "do over." I'm very happy to say that with God's grace and mercy, we are all fully bonded and attached!With experience, better understanding and knowledge I hope I'd do things a bit differently but then again when emotions are involved, we don't always "do what we want". We have this self protective part of us that is innate. But what I'm learning is that true love doesn't look like we humans think. God tells us in I Corinthians 13:4 -8
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8Love never fails.
Loving as God describes takes work, energy and help from our Heavenly Father!
If you read my January prayer and praise post, you saw that I requested prayer in bonding with our newest Zimmerman. It is such a deep and personal desire of mine that I bond with my new daughter and she with me. However, it's a two sided thing and she's already been through a lot of emotional stress in her life. She's got broken pieces to her heart. She was abandoned and rejected. She very possibly has never ever experienced love? She may do what this Mommy did years ago when her brothers came to this family. She may try to "guard herself" in an attempt to self protect? She may be so use to being independent in an effort to get her needs met that her independence will pro-long the process of attaching?
Those are only possibilities of what could be. The flip side is we could have an "instant bond." I don't know the future. But I sure do know WHO holds the future and who promises to be both before us and behind us!!!! Hallelujah, I do not have to be strong enough or brave enough on my own -- my Father promises to "hem me in." Just what I absolutely need and so does our daughter!!!! HE'S so got this bonding thing!
"You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me." Psalm 139:5