My heart doesn't know that my body didn't carry this beautiful child. It doesn't know that I didn't give birth to him and nurse him. My heart only knows that he belongs to me. That I'm his mama, and that when I hold him tight and inhale the scent of this little rascal I could snort him right into my soul. I love him so much.
Bonding and attachment don't always work like that. Sometimes it comes right away and sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes much longer and occasionally not at all. It takes work in some cases. Strenuous. Maybe it's not like giving birth physically but it feels like it emotionally. Want some freedom? Read Jen Hatmaker's blog post. I love that she's funny and real.
It took me much longer to bond with the baby girl we have. I am in the process of struggling through the "honey moon is over" phase with the older girl. It's only been 6 weeks or so, and I'm not expecting a bond to form anytime soon, but some days it feels like the enemy has a stranglehold on me. Literally. Fear is scary. Profound, right? But when I'm anxious and really giving way to fear my throat gets swollen and infected. This time it's closing up my airway even. For real. I had to go to a doctor and get steroids to stop the swelling. It's lame, but it's the truth. I need to breath.
I know that's a temporary fix and the problem is really spiritual. I know that faith and thinking worthy thoughts and telling myself God's truth instead of my weak flesh's truth will be the only way my throat/heart will heal.
Adoption is scary and exciting and good and it's placing yourself and your whole family on the front lines of a battlefield. Why do I always forget to keep my armor on and get ready for war?
So what am I afraid of?
Tense relationships. They are a strain. Without love, everything is hard. Irritating. Faults are magnified. It's depressing and it's guilt/dread/ inspiring to wake up to a hard relationship day after day. You feel trapped. It's all-consuming. It's also sin.
It has to be beaten. Living by feelings is dignity-stripping wrong.
So, I'm going to my happy place and I'm going to smile and dance around the kitchen and I'm not going to give my mind over. Feelings shall have no say for awhile. I'll check back in with them later, but for now we are going to shut the volume way down on those little liars until we are all settled in.
I'll let you know when I let them back out.
For now I'm digging out my sense of humor and giving myself a spa day.
Don't judge me.