I still take a step back whenever someone makes this sort of surprised statement in regards to my son and his relationship with Corey and I. It shouldn’t shock me. It’s probably one of the most common statements made to us once someone realizes that Logan is adopted. (And yes, although his color has “come in”, many people still do not think he is adopted upon meeting us.)
My new answer is simple. “Yes he does. We love him just the same. We are all he’s ever known. Love knows no boundaries, after all.” It sounds good, but I don’t think it does justice to how we really feel when someone makes such a statement. This statement comes in many forms.
“Look at him, he really does know you!”
“He looks at you as if he’s loved you his entire life!”
So on and so forth. But really, these are all the same to the adoptive parent. Because of course he does! My child is almost four months old. Don’t most four month old children know their parents and love them?
You really don’t hear people saying that to families with biological children. Why? Because it’s “natural” to them and adoption is not. People presume that because you carried a child that the child has a bond from birth.
There has been so much research done on this subject that it shocks me that this belief is still in full force. A mother does bond with her child in the womb, but a child doesn’t bond to the mother until later. It takes a little while for this bond to be formed. Most babies do not even realize who “mom and dad” truly are until they are several weeks (over a month) in age. THIS is when they put it together that “these are the two people who are most significant in my life”. A child doesn’t just “know” his mother or his father at birth. He only knows if his basic needs are being met or if they are not.
Perhaps it’s easier to understand when thinking about a father bonding to his biological son. Your child’s father did not carry him. Your baby may have recognized his father’s “voice” for a short while after birth, (and studies show that what an infant really recognizes is dialect and fluctuations of tones–not the actual voices themselves) but he quickly would forget those sounds if he did not continue to be around his father often until this true bond was MADE.
(FYI–he didn’t “miss” his biological mother either. The fussiness that he had at birth was because his days and nights were mixed up. Period. I really wish that one would “go away” as well. How can you miss someone that you never really knew personally? If anything is missed, it’s the sounds of the heartbeat and other womb noises.)
No, my son didn’t recognize me at first–no more than he would have “recognized” his biological parents. In his heart (and in ours) we are the two people that mean the most to him. That is what the relationship IS between parents and children. This aspect of adoption is no different than in a family where are its members are connected by DNA. The family element truly has nothing to do with biological connection. Love does not know this boundary. I love my husband with all of my heart. He is in no way biologically related to me.
I have friends with natural-born children and adopted children. They do not feel any differently towards any of them. I know biological families that cannot say this within their family element. How many times have you heard of biological families that did not love one child as much as another?
So yes, my child really does love his mama and daddy. He does know who we are when he sees us and he knows our voices in a room. He does recognize us as his family.
We are his family. 🙂