As I shared at the beginning of this series on bonding, God gave me a connection with my children before we even knew them. However, just like with a phone, a connection can be weak. It can be intermittent. Or it can be lost. This connection had to be built upon so that a bond was formed.
My husband formed a close bond with our oldest adopted son within the first year. It was my husband that was able to reach Troy through all his anger. He held him when he raged out of control. He cried with him. He talked to him. He learned to love what Troy loved (football) in order to reach him. My husband is as close to him as any of our other children. It has taken me much longer to the feel that bond, but it has developed. We have some pretty special moments that I wouldn't trade for the world. I call them heart treasure.
For Michael because of the Reactive Attachment Disorder it has been much longer journey to bonding. We still have to continually work towards strengthening that bond. This is part of the reason I say the amount of time depends on the child and the parent. There are life circumstances that can make this process difficult. As an adoptive parent we must not feel like we've failed when that bond takes more time then we think it should. We must realize that it's a process. If we are loving as God calls us to love then we are doing our part. It is difficult though because our hearts and souls have been poured into these children. Many days, months, and even years, it feels like there are no results. But how sweet it is when progress is made. It leads to a heart overflowing with love and joy.
I had a bond with our Amber Girl almost immediately. When we met each other, it was like we knew each other from the beginning. I spent nights singing "Jesus Loves Me" to her to soothe her fears. I brought her prayers before my Heavenly Father begging him to hear. My husband on the other hand has poured so much into the boys, that he feels he needs to work on this bond. However, our little girl absolutely adores her daddy, and I think they have bonded marvelously.
Sometimes I think we are more aware of our lack in the relationships with our adopted children versus our lack in the relationships with our biological children. However, if we are brutally honest we might admit the bond with any of our children can be lacking at times. Sometimes we are not close because we haven't spent the time together. We may not be close because we do not have the same interests. Perhaps we're not close because our personalities clash. Bonding takes time and work, but every minute and every bit of effort pays off.
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:14