What Love and a Family Can Do

Just over two years ago, Liz Larson traveled to China to meet and bring home 2-and-a-half-year-old Ellia. A child and family counselor, Liz felt confident and well-equipped, although a bit anxious, to begin the journey of bonding and healing with her daughter.

Today, Ellia is thriving in her mom’s care. In just two years, Ellia has grown from a shy and quiet 2-year-old to an energetic, outgoing, silly 4-year-old who is secure and so loved. Liz says adopting as a single parent is “the hardest thing she has ever done on purpose,” but also the greatest gift.

Liz encourages all hopeful parents — whether married or single — to consider adoption.

MYTH: You and Your Adopted Child Will Feel Love at First Sight.

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So many parents fall in love with their idea of what their new child will be like. They fantasize about what a life-changing event this adoption will be, especially for the child. The love of a committed family and everything that comes with that — nurturing, support, healthy food, warm clothing, good schooling, sports teams, art, a lifetime of safety and security. Sometimes, the family member who “discovered” the new arrival on Holt’s waiting child photolisting is a future sibling. This child also has ideas about what their new sibling will be like and what they will do together. Everyone is so excited about the new member of the family and cannot wait to meet the latest addition.

Then finally, the day arrives and you meet this longed-for child. And nothing. Instead of love at first sight, you may instead feel shock, shame, guilt, surprise and confusion. This is not what you are supposed to feel, but it is real.

You are not the first parent to hit the wall of nothingness when they first meet their child. Continue reading “MYTH: You and Your Adopted Child Will Feel Love at First Sight.”