Have you ever had a child get attached to you? I’ve had children who I knew were connected to me emotionally. I always hated it when I had to move and leave those kids behind.
For the child of divorce though it is a little different kind of connection. They become attached to not only you but also to their memory of you. You might call it a heart-felt connection. And they hold onto this memory for years. In their minds they know where they can find you and while you might not see them for years, they know you are there for them in that heart-felt connection.
When a child of divorce moves on to another church or they out grow your group, in their minds they still stay connected to you. The only thing is you might not realize it.
I learned about this phenomenon years ago. Back in the late sixties I worked for the San Diego School system. I taught music classes and also worked in their afterschool program. We had an older school aged child who lived with her dad. She grew into her teen years and we never saw her again after she graduated sixth grade.