caution: bonding in progress

I am so excited about this adoption. I am so grateful that we followed our hearts and went forward with faith last October.

It was one year ago that I had “the break-down.” Thanks to some serious soul-searching, prodding by family members, and some lucky (blessed) breaks…we put the first of our money down and officially started the process that we had been preparing ourselves for! Within a month of filling out the application, we had a pre-referral for the four sunshines that now brighten and warm our home. Their picture stared us in the face every night as we went to bed for eight months. Now that they are officially ours (it’s already been 10 weeks–can you believe that!), our home is full of life and energy.

I have been asked the question, “do you really truly love them?” a few times by genuinely curious and well-meaning friends and family. My answer is an honest and resounding “YES.” Our love grows for each other every day. Sometimes, I catch myself feeling it grow. I will look at one of the children after they have done something super cute or super naughty, and I am stopped in my tracks because I realize that I love them more than the day or week before. The children’s love for each other is also growing. The other night I was laying in bed with the girls talking and bonding. They were each sitting on a side of me chattering on about school and such. After awhile they snuggled in under my arms. Daniela reached her hand across me, touched Ezzy’s arm and said a heart-felt, “I love you, Ezzy.” Ezzy reciprocated and then they both fell asleep.

For those who were in Bogota with us, you know what a break-through this is. They both truly meant it. They have started to view each other as sisters instead of just housemates. In fact, right now Daniela is dragging Ezzy around with her because she wants her company. Last night, at the Brummett’s pool party, Danny was giving rides to Juan Pablo on his back. He has stopped the constant pestering of his brother this past week or so, and started to be kinder to him. Great strides are being made in this house. 

Although we have loved our children from the beginning, we have started to see the fruits of our parenting labors, and it is an amazing feeling. My love for my husband has grown as I watch him “handle” our kids with a joyful smile and the patience of Job. It is difficult to explain in words how we love these little people that were inserted into our lives. We just do! It isn’t exactly apples to apples, but I think of it in terms of my relationship with Adam. I didn’t just randomly love him at first. But now, my whole world revolves around our love for and commitment to each other. I love him more than anybody else. In that light, it is not hard to see how I continue to grow in love and tenderness for each of our children.

In the spirit of loving honesty, our love was not deep and abiding for our sunshines in the beginning. But the hope of something wonderful allowed us to make the commitment–just like our marriage to each other. And now–10 weeks later– I feel like their mother. I am their mother! As I have continued to love and nurture, the role of care-taker has seamlessly slipped into that of mother–in my eyes and the children’s. 

Every month I HOPE and FEAR that I am pregnant. But that has nothing to do with the sunshines that wake up every morning and greet me with a “buenos dias” or more recently “good morning.” They make me so happy. Adam hates to be away from them. And I find myself wanting them home when they are at school. Our adoption hasn’t been able to heal the grief of our miscarriages, but that was never our intention in adopting. Of course, we hoped it would help a little as a side-effect, but that is just rehashing a previous topic. What is more important is that our adoption has brought complete joy and love into our lives and the lives of our friends and family. It is almost indescribable, seriously. You have to see these four kids in action to truly grasp the magnitude of their joyful spirits. They are grateful, they are humble, they are happy!!!

I am so blessed to be their mother. I can’t wait for the rest of you to meet them. :)

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5 Responses to caution: bonding in progress

  1. babyltx says:

    Some good points made there. I have to say that I remember when I started to love Landon as a baby. I think I loved him before, …but I guess I could “feel my love for him grow”, as you stated. And it was when he was crying the hardest at the hospital (as opposed to being quiet and cute),…so I like what you had to say. And good point about loving a husband…or anyone for that matter. People come into our lives and we love them as we get to know them, bond and serve them. Excellent!

  2. I can’t wait to meet them! I am excited to observe the changes in you and Adam as I see you in your new roles. Love ya and counting down.

  3. xraymom62 says:

    What a good description of what happens when you adopt. While you do start out as more of a “caretaker” in the beginning and just try to survive those first few days and weeks it does gradually change. I think it almost happens without your being aware of it. We loved our boys from the beginning, but it is different now. Love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a choice and it takes time to develop. Sounds like lots of good things are “developing” in your home!
    Karen

  4. Jaime Lynne says:

    Yay for bonding! Yay for hope and nay for fear! Thank you for putting your thoughts so eloquently into words. I think it helps so many people, whether or not they are considering adoption.

  5. Shauna says:

    Rachel, you are so eloquent. Thank you for sharing so much through this whole process of adoption and family bonding, etc., etc. We are all being enlightened.

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