This week I’ve been thinking about loving my daughter….
They say that true love in adoption does not always happen at first sight. I have been thinking these last few days about whether this was true for me or not.
From the first viewing of my daughter’s profile on LinkMaker I was drawn to her cheeky, infectious smile before I’d even read her profile properly. As we found out more about her, the good feelings grew, and I was falling for her. The videos and photos we saw really brought her and her beautiful personality to life. By the time we got to the matching panel I was fully committed to her, but did I love her? Difficult to say as unlike giving birth to her, I didn’t grow and nuture her inside me. I remember being quite emotional in the matching panel, and I think this is where I first realised I wanted to love and protect her as if she was already mine.
I loved her from first meeting her, who couldn’t though? she was amazing. But, did I really love her? Intros was a strange time, with all the emotions and excitement. I think it was only just dawning on me that I was going to be responsible for a little girl, and would be her mummy for the rest of my life. I remember meeting with the social worker during that week, and talking about how we were finding things. She asked her if we liked our little girl. We said of course we did! The social worker said that she didn’t expect us to love our daughter straight away. As long as we liked each other at this early stage, she was happy.
However, this was not real life, and when real life hit for sure, I found it hard. There were tantrums and testing behaviours. I really really missed my ‘old’ life with friends and work. We had long days to fill with an active toddler who didn’t nap. There were many tears from her and me, and at times I did wonder did I really, truly love her? this sweet but at times challenging little person? I sometimes felt that if I really loved her, I’d be a better mummy and be more gentle/understanding. But there were times of pure joy, seeing her beautiful smile, watching her achieve something new and being so proud with herself, and I was emotional with pride, and I knew I was really an truly falling in love with her. She is such a loving and forgiving little girl, that I feel that she’s taught me how to love so much more.
This week has been a good week, I’ve tried really hard to be patient and relax a bit. It’s really helped, and it’s made me realise that she is so mine, and I love her so much. Of course there have been less easy times this week, but I think my desire to show her how much I love her has helped me to be calm and more loving. I realise that when I don’t get it right, that feeling of failure (still working on trying not to feel a failure all the time when it doesn’t go to plan) is in some ways a good thing. It shows I care, and am doing what every parent does, in that they love their child so much they want to strive to get it right.
I think the point at which I knew I really & truly unconditionally loved my precious daughter was the other night (7months after placement) when she was terrified of being taken away from us. I was almost crying myself as I could’t make it better for her. All I could do was hold her, cuddle her and reassure her that she was going no where. My heart broke for her, and I knew then I absolutely do love her, and will do anything I can to protect and nurture her. She did eventually settle and fell asleep next to me, and it was the best feeling in the world. I was a Mummy who’s child loved and trusted me so much she (eventually) felt safe to go to sleep.
So, to my sweet, precious daughter, I Love You! ❤️