I found a great post on adoptive bonding and it really struck close to my heart. This is going to be hard to write and even harder to admit but I really feel like it needs to be said. You can read the post here: http://www.laurachristianson.com/laura/myths-about-bonding/ and it will really help explain some of my feelings.
Being in the delivery room with Grace was incredible. It was one of the best things I have ever experienced. And then Grace came out. I was terrified. After the whole situation with Grace's birth dad wanting to disrupt the adoption and my heart being broken, I was still terrified that something would happen and we would have to go home with empty hands and empty hearts. Because of this, I guarded my heart like crazy. I held Grace only a handful of times in the hospital. I kept trying to have Grace's birth mom hold her and I tried to guard my heart.
Normally after 72 hours, the birth parents relinquish their rights. When talking with Kayla (birth mom) and Austin (birth dad) at 72 hours neither of their family could be there to support them. So we were supposed to push it back another day. I sobbed. I was terrified that one more day would change everything. After bringing Grace home, I just went through the emotions but I couldn't bring myself to sit and stare at her and soak it in. Placement happened at about 76 hours after birth and when Kayla went in the room to sign, I was on the verge of a breakdown. I felt like I was making her tear away her right arm. I know now that she was doing all of this for Grace but then, I was just so terrified. Kayla was back there for over 30 minutes. I felt sure she had changed her mind. When her caseworker came out alone, I knew what I feared had happened. But her caseworker just asked if Kayla could spend time with Grace and she had already signed her papers. At that time, my heart exploded. I felt so many emotions and my heart couldn't contain them all.
After that, I thought I would automatically bond with Grace. I was wrong. I felt so much love for her but I thought it would be more or different. Yet another thing I didn't expect as a mom. I thought it would be automatic and strong. But it did happen. There wasn't one moment that stands out that I can say was the turning point, but over time we've grown closer and closer together. And now, Grace won't go to anyone but me or Robby. She knows I'm her mother and more importantly, I know I'm her mother. There were too many miracles that happened for me to not believe it. It was a long, incredible journey but I would do it again in a heart beat.