My first trip to Cambodia was to meet the baby girl my husband and I were adopting. Nervous butterflies swarmed in my stomach. Would I love the baby? I’d never even seen a photo of her.
As the plane dipped its nose through cotton-puff clouds towards Phnom Penh, I turned to my husband. “What if we don’t feel a connection with her?”
“Sarah, she needs a home. We’ll give her a home,” he said.
He was right.
Walking through the front door of the orphanage, the embers of my fears were extinguished the second a nanny passed me our baby to hold. Cradling her in the crook of my arm, I looked at her heart-shaped face and into her big possum eyes. They were big black marbles saturated with grief. She was so delicate, so vulnerable. Her latte skin was so soft. She was weary and battle-worn. Broken. Her limbs were lithe and she weighed next to nothing. A strong spark of nurturing ignited within me. A strong love and awe of this beautiful creature washed over me. I was attached. I was in love. It was that simple.
Over a year later, the adoption of our second daughter was a different story. I learnt that bonding and attachment come in different ways.
To be continued …