Because this is our first adoption, I could only wonder what to expect. I didn't know how I would feel toward B when I met him. Some have told me that it's just like meeting your baby after childbirth. That was of little comfort to me as I've experienced post partum depression following the birth of two of mine.
With those two, the connection didn't happen right away and, in fact, took a long time to develop. Because of those experiences, I was very prepared to have the feeling that I was caring for someone else's child, for a very long time. I know that love can take time to emerge and that it is just as strong, just as lasting, just as rewarding when it gradually blossoms as when it explodes in a burst of color.
But a burst of color is what I received.
This child is mine. It doesn't matter what his blood says or that his face belies his Slavic heritage. It is of no consequence that the papers are not yet signed, the new birth certificate not issued.
He is mine.
It is not awkward to change his diaper or feed him bites of food. It does not feel strange to hold him close and murmur words of sweetness in his ear. It is not weird to correct his behavior or delight in his adorable smile.
Instead, while I don't yet know him like I should, it feels perfectly natural to mother him. And that lack of strangeness is a gift that I do not take for granted. I know that there are some who have not immediately felt the same about the child to which they are committed and have chosen to parent.
It seems weird that it's not weird.
In discussing our instant attachment to him with the social workers, they pointed out that, while it's a common phenomenom among adoptive parents, they have noticed it among the children, too. Children respond differently to the parents when they meet them, than they do to other adults. It certainly was the case with B. He warmed right up to us and was sitting in my lap within thirty minutes of our initial encounter.
We are blessed, and we revel in that blessing. We can't wait to get home and let his siblings bond with him, as well. Skype is no substitute for a face-to-face encounter.