Critical Bonding Period

I often wonder if I missed out on the critical bonding period with Samarah.

I see my new-mom friends with their newborns swaddled in tightly, close to their chests. They spend a good portion of their days clenched together as such.

A lot of research seems to confirm how important the critical bonding period is.

When we got Samarah, she was only 5.15 pounds, but yet she had already been on this Earth for 2 months and 2 days. I did everything I could to “make up” for those 2 months she spent, alone, in the NICU. There was a sadness that lay over me,

How could anyone not be desperate to hold this child every single moment?

I did my very best to wrap her in close to my chest. I practiced skin-to-skin at night, as often as I could.

But if you want the honest truth, she really wasn’t a fan of either.

I can’t help but think, “Did I miss the critical bonding period?

There are moments – sometimes full days – when Samarah doesn’t want a whole lot to do with me. I see other children crying for their mama’s to return, and I can’t help but return to, “Did I miss the critical bonding period?”

I so often feel like the love signals are few and far between.

As my eyes wondered at MOPS yesterday to the mother’s who had their infants swaddled in tightly, it began to occur to me that even if I did miss the critical bonding period, God has given me everything I need to be the mother to Samarah that will love her like no one else. Maybe for us the critical bonding period will turn out to not be so critical after all.

I believe with my full heart that love is the only true critical factor.

Moments like this have me reflecting that YES, yes adoption is hard. And YES, yes it scares me so often that those 2 months might be a little “set back.” But there is nothing as hard as imagining a life where Samarah never calls me “mommy,” and where Samarah is left wondering who loves her.

These real and raw feelings, the way in which we love that little girl and how the Lord has equipped us for everything up until now (and everything that is to come) far outweighs the importance of the critical bonding period.

Critical Bonding Period. Adoption


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