- Usborne Reach For The Stars program at two schools (I had to do this in order to pay for next year's homeschool curriculum and the post-adoption visits for Joshua).
- Two kids in baseball/softball
- Homeschooling (I didn't even take ANY time off for the new baby...we just kept going because I figured I could do it. I should NOT have done that!)
- Taking care of Joshua...I had forgotten how much work a newborn is!
Here comes the confession: I was having trouble bonding with Joshua. There. I said it. On the very first night that we picked him up, I felt myself rejecting him. It...was...awful. There's more to that night that gave me hope, though. As I sat in bed that night feeding Joshua, I just started praying and asking Jesus, "What am I going to do? I change my mind! I want to take him back!" I was SO upset...mostly about the fact that I actually felt that way! I felt like an animal rejecting it's young. I now know how that feels. I used to think it was ridiculous that an animal could do that. I sat there staring at Joshua, and suddenly I looked up. I wasn't trying to find anything...just looked up. I looked up and saw a picture of Jesus with children in what used to be my niece's room (We stayed at my sisters' house in Michigan while picking up Joshua). I didn't even know that picture was there. That was Jesus' answer to my prayer. "Love him anyway. He needs you like these children needed Me...the feelings will come." That's what I felt. "Ok," I said. "I will, Lord." And I did.
But, it hasn't been an easy road. My "busy-ness" has definitely been delaying our bonding. But...it's getting much better. I have cut some things out of my schedule that didn't HAVE to be done. I still have some Usborne work to do, but I'm not going to sell them on Ebay anymore, baseball is almost finished and we've stopped homeschooling for the year (mostly). I try to be the one to feed Joshua whenever he is hungry. I definitely feel like the main caregiver now.
But, gosh, why didn't I bond with him right away? I thought that was what was supposed to happen! "Just wait until you have him in your arms," people would say. "It will be love at first sight," others said. That just didn't happen.
Boy, was it bad, though, for a while. I felt so guilty. I was still having these "take him back" feelings, and couldn't find anyone to talk to. I tried googling all sorts of things like: "how to bond with your baby," "adoption trouble bonding," things like that. I wasn't finding anything. So, since I had no one to turn to, I turned to my old way of life that I thought used to make me "happy." I thought: "If I can feel better on the inside, then I can love him more." I won't get into the details, but it didn't work. I felt worse. I felt better in the moment, but worse after because I knew I was out of God's will doing those things.
Well, I've found people to talk to! Whew! Was I relieved that this was not abnormal AT ALL and that many women go through this! I cried with joy. I found a few folks over at www.babycenter.com who have experienced what I have and they even offered to talk to me next week. Yay! Sometimes you just HAVE to hear from others who have been through a valley that you are going through, you know? It's like they are at the top of the valley saying, "You're ok! You're going to make it! You're doing fine! Try this and this to help!" Love it. One of them told me that this bonding process, the "not love at first sight" is "Adoptions Greatest Secret." Wow. You'd think on all of the adoption and Down Syndrome forums and on Facebook that SOMEONE would have told me that we might NOT bond right away. Somehow that feels wrong.
So, I hope to post more now. I just didn't know what to say before. I felt so guilty. I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I. Felt. Awful.
But...everything is getting better...at last.