It was a normal Monday in November when I went to work, and around 9 am got a text from my son’s birth mother saying “My water broke, you better get up here!” My heart raced so fast and my husband and I ran around at home like chickens with our heads cut off loading up the car with everything we needed. Our son was being born in Wyoming, and we were in Utah so we knew we would be staying in Wyoming for about a week because interstate adoption laws required us to stay. On the drive to the hospital, I felt excited and nervous. In the back of my mind, I was a little worried about if I would feel a connection to this baby boy that I hadn’t carried the last nine months. I was more confident than worried though, and here is why:
My best friend had become pregnant with twins while we were going through the heartbreak of infertility testing. My results were devastating, and it was hard watching her grow in her pregnancy. But when she had her babies, a perfect little girl and boy, the pain and jealousy went away and I was instantly in love with them.
I was babysitting them one morning while she was at the gym. I was snuggling her little boy and had the thought, “If Shay gave me this baby and told me to love him as my own son… I would. It would be so easy.” We started our adoption papers a few weeks later.
My husband and I were on the other side of a curtain while our son’s birth mother Krista went through the painful last moments of labor and delivery. I heard him cry and it was like my whole world changed in that moment. I hadn’t even seen him yet and my heart already held more love for him than I could have ever imagined. Krista invited my husband Mike to cut the cord. That moment was so special for him. When we first saw our son Grant, we were in love with him instantly. Everything about him was perfect and beautiful in our eyes, and in the eyes of Krista.
There was so much joy and love in the room. We were able to give him his first bath, and the bonding just kept growing from there.
We left the hospital and stayed in a hotel for 7 days. Those seven days were wonderful and hard. It’s hard to live out of a hotel room with a newborn, especially when you’re a first time parent and have little idea of what you are doing. But it was also a time of bonding as a new family. I would look at his little face and think about how much he looked like Krista. Sometimes that was odd for me. I felt like I was looking into her face. But I loved Krista, and to this day, it brings me joy to see both her and his birth father in my son’s face.
When I would feed him his bottles, I would think of all the ignorant people who told me that to bond, I needed to breast feed. They obviously didn’t know what they were talking about. Bonding for our family was easy. When our daughter was born a year later, we felt the same way about her. She looks even more like her birth mother, and is one of my favorite things about her.
It’s not always as easy to bond with your child after adoption as it was in our situation. If you are in a situation where it takes a little longer to bond, that is not a bad thing. The best things in life are the things you have to work at. Bonding with your child can take time. Give it time, give it your all, and don’t get discouraged.
If you are considering adoption, and are unsure if you could love a child who is not biologically related to you, think of the love you feel for others. You are a loving person; you will love your child no matter how they come to you. Your heart can hold an unbelievable amount of love. Trust that. Move forward.