My husband and I adopted a child from foster care earlier this year. She has been living in our home for over a year now and we have all grown closer together as a family. We love our child very much, but at times we do not connect. I think back to when my husband and I met 12 years ago; we had to form a connection. When my husband and I were dating I remember thinking that he was a nice person but I didn’t think I wanted a serious relationship with him. We both laugh as we talk about that because we could not imagine our lives without each other now, but that took time- it didn’t happen overnight.

When we were starting our adoption journey I read all the forums about other people’s adoption experiences. Almost everyone stated that they knew they were going to be a family and that the child was meant to be theirs immediately! My husband and I did not necessarily fall head over heels at first sight; rather, we thought our daughter seemed nice. During our visits with our daughter we had mixed emotions and we wondered if the situation was something we could handle, as our daughter has special needs. We ultimately decided we could handle her needs and moved forward with the adoption, and we are glad we did.

Taking care of a child with special needs can be stressful, but at the same time it is very rewarding. We know that we are all still learning about each other, as a year is not a long time to be together. We are moving closer together every day but at times it still feels a little forced. Our daughter willingly embraces her dad and me, and she tells us that she loves us, and we do the same to her. While in foster care she had a psychological examination (foster care requires them every 2 years) and they mentioned that she may have problems attaching but then they dismissed it due to her history in foster care. She doesn’t exhibit the typical symptoms of RAD but we keep it in the back of our minds.

For now, we are all getting to know things about each other that we didn’t know before because we missed the first 8 years of our lives together. I am sure we will bond more and have a strong connection!