This is different from when we got Brother and Sister. With them, we didn't know if they would stay with us or not and we were just trying to survive the sudden stress we had been thrown into. There was little time in those first days to focus on learning to love truly. Unknowns consumed us. Love grew, but it took time. We felt like we had the time too, plenty of it. We just needed to figure out how to parent in the first place and knew the love would find its place.
But this time...we know she will be our daughter, that she will be ours forever. I feel like I'm supposed to suddenly love her like a daughter, right away. I struggled with this in the days before we got her. I wasn't feeling that love yet but felt pressure to. I kept telling myself that I needed to give it time, let it grow, that I had only seen her a few times, much less had any substantial chance to get to know her.
Now that she has been here a few days, I can feel the beginnings of it, just barely. I tell her "I love you" often, to get in the habit, but I sometimes think "Do I really?". In some fashion, yes, I do. I love her as a beautiful child who needs a home and a family. I love her as a cute little girl who is sweet and funny. But as a daughter? That will come. I know it will. I am not worried. It comes from caring for her, feeding her, bathing her, holding her, getting to know her and letting attachment grow. I am throwing myself into those things since that's all I can do at this point. Those are the things I can easily learn here at the beginning and must learn in order to properly care for her. And they are what cause love to grow. Those and simply time together. When you don't grow your child inside you for nine months, I guess this is the way connection is created and attachment arrives. I guess.
We're moving forward. Smiling, laughing, clapping, playing, rocking. Day by day. Love will grow.