Tommy and I have different views on how the last two years of "attachment" have gone. Since he doesn't blog, I'll share mine.
Judah was only 6 months old when he came home. A young, huge, beautiful baby. He was always good with eye contact. He connected. He laughed. With EVERYone. Very fun for people. To take.
After he was home for about two weeks, we took him to a doctor, an international adoption specialist. He "tested" his attachment (e.g. let Judah choose to either go with a stranger or me). Judah "failed" the tests. Before the doctor could say anything, I looked him straight in the eye and said, "It's been TWO weeks. He needs time." I didn't want him to tell me what he thought it meant. Not out loud. I didn't want to hear it. I knew. It hurt. MY attachment to Judah was cement. In the waiting room, he flirted and laughed with every adult he saw. And every child.
Everyone in our lives constantly commented:
He's doing so well.
I've never seen such a happy baby in my entire life.
He has the world's best laugh.
He's so smart.
He's so outgoing.
He has so much personality.
I agreed. Wholeheartedly. I still do.
But, I kept my secret. It was no secret that I had the world's friendliest baby. Who I loved deeply...and who loved me as much as the guy in the supermarket he met three minutes ago. Hopefully.
People would comment. About how well he was doing. How happy he was. He was. He is. He still laughs more than anyone I've ever met. Big huge belly laughs. He also laughs so hard that he's almost silent. I like those laughs. A lot.
When did the change happen? When did I KNOW that his love was real and deep and for ME?
I don't know. It was so slow, I could never give you a date. I can tell you about our relationship now. I can tell you that he loves me and has a billion ways to express it. When I tell him something sweet, he opens his mouth a little bit and pants. He comes to me and asks to cuddle a billion times a day. He looks deeply in my eyes forever. He asks to hold my hand while I drive the car. He loves to sit on my lap while he drinks and gently strokes my arm. He squeezes my leg so hard that he cringes.
He takes really good care of me. During meals, he makes sure I have food. While I'm sitting on the couch, he searches the house until he finds me a blanket. Then he tucks me in sweetly and asks "Mama, you cozy?" Before we go out, he looks me up and down to make sure I have shoes and a jacket. On BBQ nights, he makes sure I have a beer.
Judah points out every truck, every tire, every "neat car", every trailer. He cares that I see them.
He cheers when he sees me. Every time.
He tells me he loves me. Every day.
Judah's attachment didn't happen instantly. We had to celebrate each small step.
It's a love I would have waited a lifetime for.