June 11, 2004. We bring home Josh, a little 6-month-old bundle of joy. We’ve taken all the classes, read the books…you name it. But nothing could truly prepare me for the roller coaster of emotions I felt during the months following his adoption. No one ever told me that it may take awhile to bond with this little one. I mean, it seems obvious now, but I must be dense or something. I was expecting to hold this little guy and immediately fall in love with him. But instead, I looked at him and as the months wore on, I thought of him more as a “nephew” than a “son.”
My soul was in anguish. I felt like there must be something wrong with me. I would look at Caleb, our dear biological son, and be filled with pride. My heart would skip a beat when I saw him accomplishing new things, learning about the world around him. But with Josh, he was like a child I was babysitting. I wanted to protect him, take care of him, provide for his needs. But I didn’t yearn for him when he was in my absence. I didn’t look at him and think, “That’s my son. He’s perfect.”
I prayed nightly that the Lord would change my heart. I felt my worst nightmare was coming true–I had brought this little boy into our lives, but I didn’t love him like he needed. I desperately sought comfort and guidance from the Lord. I confessed to Superman (my husband) that I was struggling. He comforted me, told me to give it time, that it would be a process, not something to happen overnight, but I had to work at it.
Nearly seven long months went by. Each day would creep by, with my heart hurting, believing I was truly going to live my whole life feeling this way.
There were days when I looked in the mirror and asked myself if I would ever love this boy?
One morning, Josh took his first step. Suddenly, my heart went pitter patter and I thought, “That’s my son!” And I realized, surprisingly, that the Lord had answered my prayers. I looked at him in that moment, and I didn’t see the color of his skin or the fact that he hadn’t come from my womb. I saw my. son. Yes, my friends. I doubted. I had prayed those prayers, but I didn’t truly believe that they would be answered in the way I expected. Quietly, nonchalantly, God had taken my heart, and reformed it. I loved this child! I looked at him and was filled with pride. I was joyful in his triumphs and saddened by his struggles. How this happened can only be attributed to God. Such a change of heart can only be described as divine intervention.
An encouragement for you adoptive mamas out there: give it time. It may not happen overnight, but don’t be so hard on yourself. Give yourself some grace and mercy and know that one day it will happen, and you won’t even know how it did.