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When does the love come?

(48 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sun 11-May-14 02:29:47

Can I ask experienced adopters, please.....

When does the love come?

When did you tell your little one you loved them and did you genuinely feel it or were you 'faking it until you make it'?

Please PM me if you prefer, I know it is a sensitive topic.


fasparent Sun 11-May-14 04:39:24

Tend too see love as pot's of jam, comes in all shape's and sizes and many flavours, Having 6 daughters all have different needs and way's of showing their love and affection, their need's and our love for them is the same, When they came home, them came home soon as they entered the house the past closed when the door closed, problems shared problems halved, Lots of fun , feeling safe and loved in a secure environment all contribute, One cant think of answer's for love, love is love like the pots of jam. Remember after DS Celebration daughter said too him you can kiss me now your our brother., sweet but show's true feelings. They all have arguments misunderstandings' but are joined at the hip. Love will find it's natural course may not seem it at times but is very deep.

MooseyMouse Sun 11-May-14 06:25:19

I've sent you a direct message.

Buster51 Sun 11-May-14 07:32:26

Hi Italian,

I spent many months wondering this! However 6 months into placement I can say I definitely whole heartedly love DS. I feel like a mum now, for what felt like an eternity I was faking it, & felt like a fraud. I am sure in another 6 months etc what I feel will be completely different again. I faked it for a good few month, I suppose it is probably just different for every person in every situation.

Like all of you lovely mums told me throughout, to not beat myself up about it, I wish I had a crystal ball! :-)

Hope that helps

UnderTheNameOfSanders Sun 11-May-14 07:52:41

Certainly not straight away.
Also earlier for our little one than for older one sad
But it arrived and is strong.

nervouslurker Sun 11-May-14 09:23:01

It took me 6 weeks to fall in love with my BC. He was a funny little alien thing that had arrived, and I felt hugely responsible for, and certainly wished to look after. But I couldn't say I loved him, I was just terrified.

Then, one day, I looked at him, and my eyes couldn't move. It was like his faced changed, and I knew him so totally, and I've 'loved' him properly, and completely, ever since. But I felt it took indecently long! (All these tales of 'oh, I fell in love straight away!' etc.)

I don't think I'm any worse parent for that love needing to grow, and while I have no experience of AC, I plan to approach it in the same way, and, yes 'fake it until I make it', which is what I did with BC.

Jennifersrabbit Sun 11-May-14 09:34:42

I liked and felt delighted by both our DC pretty quickly. Love in that sense of complete connection and 'mother tiger' defensiveness came as a slow burn over months and years. You gradually realise that how you felt about them six months ago, which you thought was pretty powerful, is nothing compared to how you feel now ... Etc smile

It's all affected by a lot of factors -one of mine was very close to foster family and it took ages for me to feel 'entitled' to be their parent (no criticism to foster family, I think it's served DC very well in the long run, but just to show that circumstances can alter stuff!)

Italiangreyhound Sun 11-May-14 10:12:39

fasparent thank you, that is beautiful.

MooseyMouse thank you so much.

Buster thanks so much, when did you first tell DS you loved him and how did he react?

In fact anyone when did you first tell - ds/dd/the two, three or more of them - that you loved them and how did he react?

Sanders mine is older then your youngest was but not as old as your older one. I'd say almost in the middle, although really closer to the younger one. If you want to say more feel free to pm me, or not, glad that the love came for both. It seems logical an older child may take longer to trust you etc and to love.

Copper13 Sun 11-May-14 13:21:24

For me, I think it has only been in the last 8-12 weeks that I realised a switch had been flicked and I felt enormous protectiveness and love for AD. She came to us in mid October and was 16 months old then. It was absolutely a fake it til you make it situation for me, I really really struggled in the first few months. Full on terror and certainty that I had made a terrible decision to adopt.
I had to have counselling and that alongside the support of my H and family and our SW have got me through to where we are now.
Now I can't imaging our little whirlwind not being here and I love her to pieces. I told her I loved her from quite early on because I couldn't bare the thought of a child her age (or any age) not hearing it from her parents. It felt (and was) utterly false though and I'm sure even at her age it didn't feel right. Now I say it all the time and it feels very different smile it's funny how our emotions change isn't it?

Italiangreyhound Sun 11-May-14 15:28:28

Thank you * nervouslurker*, * Jennifersrabbit* and Copper13.

Thank you for sharing something so personal with me, I do really appreciate it.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 11-May-14 17:37:49

More or less straight away for me. DH it was probably a good few months.

We said "I love you" to DD from the first week she was home with us (just occasionally, not all the time!) and she first said it back after about six months (that was one if the best bits!)

Thebluedog Sun 11-May-14 18:27:05

Mine was definitely a 'fake it till you make it' scenario. I told dd I loved her all the time (this week is the first time she's responded to it). But in my head I felt like a glorified babysitter for this stranger that had entered my house and turned my life upside down.

I'm 6 months into placement and a month or so ago some thing happened that threatened her future with me, it was then that I realised this tiny creature had wormed her way into my heart and I'd fight tooth and nail to keep her.

For months she'd never return a smile and I think this was one if the most difficult things to deal with. She'd laugh and okay and smile when interacting but I remember the frat time I turned around in the car and simply smiled at her, normally she'd just 'look' at me, but a bout a month ago she simply returned the smile - bliss smilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmilesmile

Don't beat yourself up about your feelings, I still have moments where I think wtf have I done smile but they aren't on a hourly basis now and generally when she's written on the walls in crayon grin

HappySunflower Sun 11-May-14 19:04:42

I felt a sort of protective love towards my daughter very quickly. From then on in, it just grows quite gradually I think.
The first time she sunk into me for a really relaxed cuddle and made that deep sigh type noise of contentment, I felt a sudden rush of such total love towards her that I thought I was going to burst. It had crept up on me to that point I think.

In the beginning it felt kind of like I was role playing/babysitting someone else's child. It was hard to take in that she was my child at first.

Italiangreyhound Sun 11-May-14 19:56:23

Families, Thebluedog and HappySunflower thank you for such fab stories.

It's all hypothetical at moment, I don't feel no love I just want to know experiences.

Devora Sun 11-May-14 23:49:23

Definitely took awhile here. I was fond and protective quite quickly, but took several months to feel actual love. (But it did with my birth dd as well.)

When I'm overwhelmed I tend to shut down emotionally, and I think that happened with both of mine.

Some people have said the final adoption order cemented the love. I didn't really find that. For me, it was just time. It helped that my dd is very loving and responsive, and desperately wanted to bond with me.

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-May-14 00:42:57

Thanks, Devora. Would you be scared if the love came too soon?

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Mon 12-May-14 06:29:09

I guess we were lucky in that the love came very very quickly. By the end of intros definitely, but to be honest, I think we both started loving her when we first saw a photo. I'm not even sure about the getting stronger thing, it was just there full on.

I know that's not the fashionable thing to say on here, but it's my experience. That sounds a bit defensive, but what I mean is that having more of a slow burn seems more usual, but the instant thing does happen.

I do think that I'm a bit predisposed to that type of kaboom love. Both times I've fallen in romantic love it's been in a bolt of lightning kind of way.

We told her we loved her from the time she came home. I can't imagine putting a child to bed without saying that, so it was almost automatic.

MooseyMouse Mon 12-May-14 06:57:17

Non-adopters love the fairy tale of adoption. In the weeks that followed our son's placement, friends and colleagues would smile and say "I bet you just adore him now don't you?" Or "I bet you can't imagine being without him". Some even asked outright "Do you love him as much as your birth children yet?". At the time I felt like I was drowning.

I love hearing about adopters who bond quickly but I'm better at reading between the lines now. I use to hear "it took a little while to adjust but now it's hard to remember what it was like before he arrived" to mean "after a week or two I fell deeply in love with him".

Now I know (because I've said similarly ambiguous things) that it can mean "For months I regretted applying to adopt and wished it would all disappear and, while I'm feeling better, I'm not able to say I love him yet so I'm saying something vaguely positive in the hope you won't ask anything even more probing".

It's just over a year for us and I can now confidently say that I have started to love my son and it's growing all the time. It feels good!

HappySunflower Mon 12-May-14 07:23:58

I have been reflecting on this a bit and thinking about it more.

had strong feelings for my daughter the first time I was shown a photograph of her. Looking back, I think I mistook those feelings for love, when in actual fact I think it was the beginnings of an attachment developing. I told her that I loved her all the time, but those feelings just grew and grew over time.
I felt like her Mother from that moment on, and it was as though all my maternal feelings suddenly switched on.
When you hear a child's history, often including details of quite a difficult and traumatic start in life, it can ignite a very powerful emotional response from within, so I think its natural for a protective urge to want to keep them safe, and make them feel loved, to be evident.
The first time she looked me in the eye and said 'Uv ooo Mummy' now THAT just made me feel as though my heart was going to explode!

Buster51 Mon 12-May-14 08:43:53

Italian I think we started telling him straight away, i.e. putting him to bed etc, sometimes he said it back, sometimes he didn't. If we just tell him 'not in his routine' i.e. out of habit he sometimes is unable to say it back. But we do all of the time now, I could tell the difference in myself when I actually meant it so perhaps he felt it more too, and it wasn't 'just words'.

I do agree with others I think even saying it to a child, even if you don't feel it is important.

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-May-14 10:36:11

GirlsWhoWearGlasses thank you. I don't think there are any right or wrong answers, I think it id lovely you loved your dd instantly and nothing to be defensive about. With my (birth) dd it was kind of instant and not, I felt a strong feeling but was in hospital and ill for 11 days and the feelings did not really come until we were home. But of course had had 9 months first and with adoption not.

MooseyMouse your story is equally heartening. It shows you cared for your son for ages before the 'love' really came in! But what is love. There is a song, 'Love is not a feeling it's an act of the will'. I do believe that. It is a feeling too! It's both.

The song is by Don Francisco. It's a Christian song so I know it will not feel right for everyone. But I like it.

Happysunflower you said I felt like her Mother from that moment on, which moment? When you saw her photo, or when you said you loved her or when those feelings grew? Sorry to be dense was not sure. Oh lovely * 'Uv ooo Mummy' now THAT just made me feel as though my heart was going to explode! How great, I will look forward to hearing something similar.

Buster yes agree, it is important to say it. And in a lovely way so they know what it means.

I reflected this week on how words can be said in a certain way and actually it is the way you say it that is so key. My daughter and I were messing about and I was hugging her and I said in the most loving way something that could be a bit rude, well very rude, something like 'shut your big pie hole'. Now my dd knows we super well and in the context it was a fun jokey comment and she knew that, I would not say it to little boy when he comes! But what was key was we were cuddling and joking and it was in the context.

So likewise I love you said in a loving way is great but I can imagine it being said in a way that is less good, a more controlling way, and I would include me trying to coerce little one to say it back, e.g. 'I love you, don't you love me too!" So I think for me I must be careful with little one to express love but not to expect it too soon!

Buster51 Mon 12-May-14 10:41:55

I once was told by a mum on here to get the Todd Parr books, I bought the 'I love you book' although it is quite young for DS he does still enjoy it every now and then, I think for a younger child it would be a really nice book to read.

HappySunflower Mon 12-May-14 21:39:41

From when I saw her photo. At that point they really could've told me anything about her and I still would have said yes.
I found myself waking up in the morning and thinking about her and wondering what she was doing at random points throughout the day.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Tue 13-May-14 20:00:29

Agree with Buster about the Todd Parr I Love You book. Our DD has read it thousands of times. The Okay Book is also great, as was The Mummy Book for our purposes. I wasn't as keen on the one specifically oddly.

Mama, Do You Love Me? is a lovely book too and very popular in this house.

2old2beamum Wed 14-May-14 12:56:30

Haven't read all posts yet. Was going to PM you but decided to go "public"

We had our DS when he was 3 and a half. He was a 23 week prem and was left with hydrocephalus, blind and cp. He was a poor little chap unhappy, screaming and continually slapping and clawing his face. Yes I did love him but it wasn't the same as the others but my heart went out to him.

Things did improve somewhat but when he was nearly 5 he became poorly with a blocked shunt, this was changed 3X in 8 days and then he became very ill needed more surgery, he looked so ill, I had to go to the loo where I howled and howled and then I had the kick in the guts feeling and knew I really did love him. Oddly enough the screaming and slapping stopped and he was one of the happiest child I knew.

He lived another 8 years I loved him so much but I will never forget that moment in the lavatory.

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