Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bonding with a Child You've Never Met

Whether you have bonded with a child in your pregnant belly, with a child in your arms, or with a child overseas it takes many forms. Even in those different types of mommy bonding experiences can vary as widely as the types. I have seen women bond faster with adopted children than with biological children. I have seen women take seconds to bond and others take years. I have talked with friends about what the possible reasons are for one or another, and how to more quickly successfully bond by "controlling" circumstances. But the truth is that I think we bond to our children in a similar way that we come to know the Lord. Some quick. Some slow. Some in some ways, some in others. Some require knowledge some just require that love. I don't think its something that we can control, or that we can foresee. Just something that happens...

Anyhow, for over 2 years I have wondered how that connection develops. Whether it will be love from the first photo, or after we meet, or after he comes home, or after a year? Well I can say that I now know it is different for everyone. But I can tell you how it has worked for me up to this point.

1) I have felt bonded to our son for years. Even when we were waiting in the wrong country. Even when we held a newborn in our arms. I felt bonded to the child that was to be. It turns out that the very month we started our venture was the month he was likely born in. It turns out that the very week that we were approved and officially waiting (for another country mind you), he was brought to the orphanage he has lived in since. He has been waiting for us exactly as long as we have been waiting for him. And I know that those prayers we prayed over all that time were specifically referencing this little treasure of our hearts. I vividly can hear the prayers we have sent up to the Lord over the years "Lord provide him clean water. Lord provide him food today. Lord love on his bio family. Lord protect him today. Lord tell him we love him today. Lord kiss him for me today. Lord fill his belly and his heart today. Lord protect his body from illness. Lord protect his heart from pain. Lord fill his spirit with you..." So in a way, we have been bonded since long before we saw his photo and the familiarity of him makes me realize that God has spent these years preparing us for this treasure.

2) Upon hearing his name, and his story my heart immediately connected to him. Though not in my belly, though not connected to my physiology, that boy has been connected to my heart from the moment we knew of him. Though, when he is so far away and being a living breathing child that you have never met... its a weird connection. I think of him every day. I pray for him every day. I have mourned his losses. I have yearned to hold him. But in a weird different way. There is a disconnected feeling from not hearing his voice, never seeing him move, only knowing him from frozen moments caught by a camera. But there is this connected feeling as if I already know him and he has always been with us. Its not really explainable by words, but I wanted to put it to words so I can remember later what this felt like the best I can. I also know this isn't the way everyone feels at this point.

Never have I ever wanted so badly to get on a plane. There are moments that are just excruciating when I have to settle my heart and remember that we are waiting on God's timing. But how do we just sit here when our child is there? Knowing it just takes a plane to cover the distance between us and the boy we love makes it so hard to not just go. It just feels weird to sit and wait instead of racing over there, scooping him up, and telling him that he is loved and will never be an orphan again. But for now. we wait :)

So... bonding with a child you've never met. Its intense. and weird. and different for everyone.

Heres your gotcha video of the day:


  1. Speaking from your mommy heart, because you are his mommy already, precious. Sister, it will happen, the love you have for this little guy, the years you've spent praying over him, it already has happened for you!

    I envision him becoming your little cling-on! Very very soon.

    Can't wait to see and hear about meeting him for the first time!

    Blessings my friend,

  2. I am clearly WAY behind on your blog! For some reason it's not showing up in my Reader - I will add it back in. I was glad to see your comment on my blog this weekend, because I had seen something on FB and was confused because I didn't know you had a referral! Congratulations!


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