Letter adapted and used with permission by Jenny Elliot. Thanks so much Jenny!
Bringing our kids home.
Bringing our kids home.
After two long years we are finally bringing our kiddos home!!!
Thank you for being a part of this journey and for praying for us and our kids. God’s plan of adoption is a beautiful thing and we are finally seeing it come to fruition for our family.
We want to make you aware of some of the parenting guidelines we will be implementing for Samentha and Emmanuel in the first few months home. This was very new information to us as we entered into this world of adoption, and we are giving much prayer and thought to where our personal boundaries need to be regarding these issues. More than ever, we need your prayers, this could potentially be a very challenging time for our family. While you may not understand all or any of what we are doing and why we are doing this we ask that you accept it and respect our decisions. It may seem like we are pushing you away but that is not the case, we love you all and will most definitely need you and your support during this transition time, but please be aware that we may need some space during the initial bonding phase. That doesn't mean I don't want you to call!
The term that we are referring to is “cocooning.” The recommended timeframe for a family to “cocoon” is MONTHS - with a specific focus being on the first several critical months. Much of this research comes from Karyn Purvis who is a leading expert in all things relating to children who come from hard places.
Here’s the idea....these kiddos have gone through a lot of loss and will be dealing with emotions that we probably didn't even know existed for such small children. Since being in the orphanage they haven't formed an attachment to one caregiver, but instead, many people/caregivers. We need to make deliberate time and space for the kids to attach to Joe and I as parents. Yes, they will also find their place in our family, with Cadie, Jordis, and Coen, but even they can’t become the primary caregivers during this time.
Here are some specifics:
- Affection - we have to be the ones to provide any and all of their care. Food, touch, consoling, rocking...all of these activities need to be done by us right now. You are more than welcome to give them high fives or a kiss on the head or cheek. But please don't pick up, cuddle, or sit either of our adopted children on your lap. I know this sounds awful but it's very important for the well being of our children.
- Their world needs to be small. Just us, in our home, with the occasional outing. When we feel they are able, we will start introducing extended family and friends in small and quiet settings. Please don't be offended if you come by our home and we don't invite you in. It's certainly not because we don't want to but we have to be mindful of our family.
- We need to limit visitors. THIS PAINS ME. You will get a chance to meet them and know them in the future, but for now we need to establish an attachment with Samentha and Emmaneul so that they come to know that we are their parents, their primary caregivers and that all they need will come from us.
- Overstimulation - sometimes with kids from hard places it’s hard to tell what is “too much”. The kids can go from giggling to uncontrolled fit-throwing in an instant. None of it makes “sense” - yet all of it does, when you consider from where they came. Please don’t take it personally if we have to miss an important activity, or excuse ourselves from a situation in the months and years to come.
Again, we are so grateful for the love and support you have given our family. We are praying ultimately that the light of God’s glory will shine brightly in these kids lives as the Lord restores them. Thank you for your understanding and patience!
All our love,