Sunday, April 15, 2012

Feelings are Fleeting

Everyday our transition gets smoother.

I noticed a new light in LJ's eyes this week. He's laughing and smiling and affectionate. When it comes to his affection, I've noticed a couple things. He is very tender and sweet with Ben and me. This morning, in fact, he woke me up with a big kiss and said, "Good morning, Mama." Unlike Ty, he loves to snuggle in the morning and let me pull him right into bed with me. When I pulled him close he said, "I love you."

He shows the same tenderness toward Ben and Ty.

When we're with family or friends, however, he's much more reserved. Most of the time he won't talk to adults or Ty's friends and refuses to say goodbye or give hugs or high fives. We don't push it.

I think he likes us fine. He's comfortable and sweet. The worst of his defiant behaviors have ceased.

Love on the other hand is going to take time....for all of us.

Mom and Dad and brother have no meaning for LJ. Twice this week, we had to correct LJ when he called other men in our lives "Daddy." Trying to explain to him that he only has one mommy, one daddy, and one brother was futile. I'm not sure what else to do, but give it time.

Ben and I still struggle with the lack of bond.

I love LJ, deeply, and enjoy his kisses and cuddles...but it doesn't feel any different than the affection I have for any of the lovies in my life that call me "Aunt B". I'm not concerned about our bond. I know it will form, it just feels strange. It feels unnatural.

I was flipping through the TV the other night and overheard a God-inspired snippet that I've been hanging onto. Bishop T.D. Jakes was talking to young mom that had adopted her nephew from foster care. Due to some difficult family history, the woman had built up resentment toward the little boy's father (her brother) and was taking it out on the little boy. She said, "I don't feel anything for this child...and I know that's not fair to him."

The Holy Spirit spoke right to my heart when T.D. Jakes said, "Our feelings are fleeting. You cannot trust them; you cannot depend on them. If you don't feel love for this boy, you go through the motions until you do." He went on to give her practical advice, but the above encouragement was all I needed.

One day I WILL feel like my boy's mother.  Right now, LJ just needs a mother. Whether I feel it or not is irrelevant.

The feelings will come.


24 comments:

  1. You're words are encouraging to me in my own family life, specifically my marriage. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. This advice is sooo true! And applicable in probably every situation. We live by faith not by feelings and so we have to act it out until we do feel it. Great advice I have learned the hard way.

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  3. I promise you will feel it. It will sneak up on you when you least expect it and you will know it. -kriss

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  4. This is solid advice - the motto I used was "Fake it 'til you make it!" :)

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    1. Exactly what I was thinking Heather!

      I remember when my first child was born and I thought I couldn't possibly love her any more. Weeks went by, we had issues with feeding and reflux, etc., and I kept loving her. She was so unsettled though, that I often thought she didn't like me very much, that maybe I wasn't right for her. One day, when she was about three months old, she wouldn't settle for ages. I carried her, burped her, rocked her, everything I could think of. She looked up at me, threw up all over me, gave a huge sigh and went to sleep in my arms. That's when I realised that we were going to be just fine. I loved her more that day than I had before. It still happens now (the finding out I love her more, not the throwing up) and she is almost 12. It happens with her three younger siblings as well.

      I guess that I am trying to say that love between parents and children evolves our whole lives. God has entrusted LJ to you and will lead you as you need. The love WILL come, and then more will, and then more.

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  5. #1. I'm SO glad adjustment is happening! That's SUCH good news!

    #2. What solid advice you received through T.D. Jakes. Word! I love what you wrote, "LJ just needs a mother..." you've a great perspective.

    #3. I'm proud of you for doing what others wont. You're an inspiration. I love you. :)

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  6. You are such an amazing woman of God and setting such a wonderful example of following Him. Thank you!

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  7. You are such an amazing woman of God and a wonderful example of following what God has called you todo.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. God bless you.

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  8. This is so true! I hope you can help to teach this to other mommies out there! You certainly can have empathy for this child who does not yet see you as his mom - because you do not yet love him as your son. And how could you? What is beautiful about you is that you are honest about it with yourself and with your family. AND you put LJ's needs first - you recognize that his needs come before your own. Oh, how I wish I could pack you up and take you around to families we work with and say "THIS is what you should aspire to!" LOL! So, write a book and then I'll take your book:). Keep up this amazing work you are doing in the lives of your TWO children:). Thinking of you!

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  9. As Dr. Phil would say "Fake it till make it"
    Hang in there!

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  10. I'm happy for all of you that it's getting smoother. Give it time. Don't rush it. Don't force it. It will come.

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  11. I know mother who have given birth to their children who have followed this same advice. And I know I did with my first. As Heather said, "fake it til you make it" and trust that it will be there one day, as strong and big as it is for Ty.

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  12. I'm praying for your precious family! It makes me wonder how it is going to be when we adopt. You and your husband are awesome examples. Thank you for being so open!!!

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  13. The boys are doing such a good joy of adjusting. So glad to hear things are smoother every day.

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  14. I'm so glad to see an update and to see the answer to prayer! I cannot imagine how hard it is for LJ to learn to trust, but it will come. We know the HEALER! It sure took me awhile to learn to trust and the love grew and is still growing for my Heavenly Father and my spiritual adoption.

    Keep on keeping on Mama, your boys are blessed with you and Ben!

    Still praying for your sweet family,
    Kim M
    Waterford, MI

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  15. I went through this same thing with our foster son that we are adopting. My husband bonded immediately but it was a lot harder for me. I had so overwhelmingly bonded with my our first daughter that my expectations were too high. It took about 6 months for me to tell him I loved and feel it in the deepest part of my heart. Noe our relationship is amazing and I love him more than anything. It really does just take time. Try to enjoy the process and not put too much pressure on yourself. You are lucky to have each other.

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  16. I adopted 2 girls (sisters) from foster care 5 years ago, and I'm in the process of adopting a sibling group of 3 right now.

    The love will come. I've read this before and I believe it is true....first comes commitment, then the love. He will know you're committed to him, and eventually, you will feel the love as well. He's never had someone in his corner THAT STAYED.

    Tara in FL

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  17. Amen, sister! I think God CAN use our "feelings" to help us discern what is right and wrong---meaning, he guides us at times w/feelings of "something isn't right." BUT, BUT, YES---our feelings ARE FLEETING! We are wrong so many times. Thank God for whispers, like the TV show you saw, that remind us that GOD IS GOD and we aren't to be led by feelings but by HIM. :) xoxoxo

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  18. As one who adopted an older child after having bio kids, it was very difficult to wait for those feelings to grow. "Fake it til you make it" is not what I wanted to do, but I can say that those feelings did grow eventually, but it took time. Not sure if you read Shaun Groves' blog, but he posted about this concerning his recently adopted son. Here's the link if you're interested: http://shaungroves.com/2012/04/until-a-better-love/

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  19. As someone else said...don't be so hard on yourself. Be as gentle with yourself as you are with LJ. Just as you can't force his feelings, you can't force your own. Put away the "shoulds". You guys will all be fine. So happy to hear how well LJ is doing.

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  20. I love your honesty...
    TD Jakes makes some very valid points in his sermons. With the word of God in hand and heart, it will come....Glory!

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