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International Adoption E-zine, Issue #001 -- When your adopted child doesn't love you
October 02, 2009

When Your Adopted Child Doesn't Love You

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

Recently in the news an adoptive mom wrote to the New York Times describing how she relinquished rights to her son after 18 months because they never attached. I truly understand what this poor woman is going through. Four years ago, I brought my beautiful daughter home from Guatemala, and it took three years before we bonded.

In his book, Love Must Be Tough, Dr. James Dobson describes children as being born with love tanks that are half full at best. If they were abandoned, neglected or abused those love tanks empty pretty quickly, and it takes a lot of work to fill them up again.

Children arenít born knowing how to give unconditional love. They are self-centered by nature, and itís only through the nurturing care of others who meet their needs in a loving way that they even learn normal, selfish, childish love. Take away that ordinary nurturing, and it becomes much harder. Itís not impossible. In fact, itís very possible, but it does take more time. In my daughterís case, it took years.

My little girl was less than four months old when we brought her home. Because she was so young, it never occurred to me that whatever neglect she experienced could have such a powerful impact on our lives. All I knew was she didnít like me. She didnít enjoy cuddling like my son had, and she never fought going to bed at night or being put in her crib for a nap. Actually she preferred it; anything to get away from me.

The turning point came when I asked her to pray with me. I told her she was my prayer partner and we were going to pray together. ďJust us girls,Ē I said and meant it. This would be our special time. I showed her how to kneel and clasp her hands together, and then I taught her a simple little prayer asking Jesus into her heart and praying for our family.

Within days I noticed a difference. She acted out far less. Soon she not only let me cuddle with her, she actually acted like she enjoyed it.

Now my daughter is four and a half, and lately Iíve noticed she really enjoys it when I baby her. I do believe she would take a bottle from me. I suspect that deep down, she yearns for that baby-love time she spurned during our first year together.

I am so thankful now that I didnít give up on her. Fortunately, it never occurred to me. I had always wanted a daughter, someone I could have lunch with when she was grown and talk to on the phone. How could I even think of giving her up?

My daughter is beautiful, intelligent, talented and caring. At four, she is already one of those kids I used to be in awe of when I was in school, the kind you admired, and wished you could be and knew you never would. Iím just grateful I can be a part of her amazing life. Sheís going to grow up and do spectacular things, and Iíll be cheering her on from the sidelines.

So if youíve adopted a child, and things seem tough, please pray and hang on. The great times you have ahead will be well worth the momentary grief you may be suffering now.

What's New

Pursuing an international adoption without an agency is challenging enough, but when you want adopt independently from a country that is a member of the Hague Convention, you are treading on untried grounds. Still it may be possible. Learn more.

If youíre looking for ways to help pay those adoption expenses, adoption grants are a great way to help offset those costs. Learn more.

Still unsure whether to pursue a international versus a domestic adoption? There pros to an international adoption as well as the cons. Here are also some pointers about a domestic versus an international adoption.

Jamaica is home to warm, sunny skies, beautiful beaches, and some of the most affordable international adoptions available. Learn more.

The tax credit for international adoption can help pay off an adoption loan. Learn how it works.

Are you looking for the affordable international adoption? Here are some countries to consider.

Those international adoption fees seem so high. Did you ever wonder why? Here are some of the costs those fees cover.

The right adoption agency makes all the difference between a positive experience and the nightmare adoption journey. Here are some tips on choosing an international adoption agency.

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