I have my own theories about attachment and the biggest one is that it just takes time for it to be normal, routine and part of daily life. Most of us don’t meet our spouses on Saturday and get married a week later. The general custom is to date for at least a few months before committing to someone else forever. It usually takes time to get to know each other, to understand one another and to have feelings that make us want to spend the rest of our lives with someone. It may happen that two people meet, fall in love and get married a week later and live till death-do-they part, but it is not ordinary.
Why would it be any different for a child placed with a new adoptive family?
Can you imagine one day having nice people come into your home, and “rescuing” you from your husband? Witnessing him being arrested by the police and hauled off to jail. Then being taken to the home of another man and told he was your foster husband? You can visit your husband while they decided where you are going to spend the rest of your life. Maybe you end up being moved from one foster husband to another before the people decide your actual husband is never going to be good enough for you. So now you need to wait until they find the right husband for you?
When they do find the right husband for you, and you get your things moved into his house. How long would it take for you to love him?
The situations are not the same, I understand this fact. Children are not adults and adults would never put up with spousal replacement programs such as that. It would violate us to live in a society where such behavior could take place. We don’t even do this For Batters Spouses, or the ones married to the big mistakes. But, this is what we do when we rescue children from some of the horrible homes they have come from.
Adoptive parents need to remember it takes time, love and more time for children to get over the traumatic experience it really was, when someone decided they needed new parents.