A question I have gotten occasionally is if I love my adopted children like I love my "own" children. All of my children are "my own" of course, but I know the person asking wants to know if I love them like my biological children. To be honest, each time we have adopted, I have had this question myself. Will I love my new child like I love the others? Course, I remember having those feelings each and every time I was pregnant too sooooo take it with a grain of salt I guess.
Sometimes when you bring a new child home (at least for me), there isn't an instantaneous connection. Sometimes it feels like babysitting. Sometimes you wonder when the kid is going home and then you remember they are home. I've heard from other adoptive parents that those feelings are all normal. It can be shocking as a parent to not be immediately overwhelmed with love for that child you have been working for so long, but there it is.
For me, my aha moment came two weeks ago. Of course, I "love" the girls, and we have fallen into a good routine so I don't feel like a completely crazy person anymore, but sometimes those lingering doubts come. We noticed that Lanie had unusual bruising on her back, and being that she is nonmobile, we were concerned. Children with DS are much more likely to get leukemia in general. Our pediatrician didn't seem overly concerned but ran bloodwork just to be on the safe side.
We got the phone call the next day from the pediatrician. It was early when the doc's number came up on my cell, and I had a sinking feeling. They never call early if it's nothing. She told me that Lanie's platelets were low, much lower than they had been previously, and that she was referring us to a hematologist. I asked her if she was actually worried or just sending us to cover bases. She told me she was worried, and that she had put a stat referral in. She wanted us to be seen that next day (fri) or mon at the latest. Her urgency in wanting us to be seen was not reassuring at all. The hospital called us themselves an hour later, and that just made me even more nervous.
I called my mom to tell her what the doctor said, as she knew we had taken her to the doc for the bruising. I thought I was ok, calm even, until I heard her voice. I broke down and cried like my heart was shattered at the thought of my baby, MY baby having leukemia. Heartwrenching, ugly sobs that you can't control.
We took Lanie the next day and they ran bloodwork. Her counts are up so they are just going to watch her every three months, but are not overly concerned. Which is GREAT and what we wanted of course. The whole thing was eye opening for me though, in that it really showed me my deep down feelings for my little squishy girl.