Katie and I are really excited with nervous anticipation as we look to bring B and M home. Although it has been heart wrenching at times, we are eager to reach the next chapter of the process, and we are nearly there.
We wanted to share with you a couple of things related to how life will be "after the airport" as they say. It involves something quite important in the adoption process. It is called attachment. We've poured over books, blogs and counseled friends and others on how we should create an environment of attachment for B and M and this is our plan. We are asking that you pray along side us and respect the decision we've made in bonding with them in these early stages.
What is attachment?
Attachment is the process of having adopted children bond to the family unit.
Attachment is a critical step in the adoption process. Without clear attachment, adopted children especially, are left with an unclear picture of where their security, trust and affection lie. This stage is an important part of ensuring they understand who their parents and siblings are and that we will be there for them...forever.
What is our attachment plan?
TIMELINE: For the first 4-6 weeks, We will not be welcoming any visitors into our home at this time - family or otherwise - and we will not be going out much. Exceptions will be made for doctor appointments we have scheduled for them and/or other important events. This may sound drastic, however, they need to understand that WE are their parents...it can be very confusing to a child who has had different people coming in and out of their lives to understand having many visitors over....even as biological children require a common routine and environment, adopted children need time to understand what their new routine and environment involves to a much greater degree. After this initial phase, we are truly praying that the bonding process will be well established and we can begin the moving back to "normalcy". We are unsure of what that looks like, however, it will most likely involve limited trips out, having friends over for lunch, etc. But we really believe that the more we can have them at home, in familiar surroundings with their parents and siblings the better. We believe this may take anywhere from 3-6 months. Ultimately we will take our cues from them and adjust accordingly.
COMMUNICATION: We are also requesting that if you would like to get in contact with us, that you send email. We will be focusing all of our attention on being with our kids. ALL of them. We also feel it is very important to have B and M attach and bond with their siblings. This will involve creating activities they all can be involved in and interact with one another in a healthy positive way.
VISITORS: As we stated above, we are kindly requesting no visitors for the first 4-6 weeks after our return. Trust us when we say that this will probably more painful for us than for you. However, there are many things that we will be working on that will require our full attention. Language: B and M have very limited English vocabulary. It will be important for us to being the process of educating them on specific words that will help them communicate with us, and us to them. Bonding: We will be the only people that will hug on, play with, and comfort our new family members. This does not mean that you won't ever get to connect with them in this way, but again, it is important that WE are seen as their primary caregivers...their Mom and Dad. We are praying that during the last couple of weeks of this bonding period, we will see great gains and possibly begin to introduce family and friends sooner than we expect.
What does this mean to you?
We have read a lot of material and read lots of stories of families and the attachment of their adopted children. There are often many deep seeded issues that need resolved in the hearts minds and spirits of these precious children. It is our plan to ensure these needs are met and will take the appropriate amount of time to ensure it does. We are simply asking for your understanding and more importantly, your continued prayers.
You all have played a vital role in bringing B and M home, and know that you're support will continue. We are so thankful for our friends and family.
If you are so inclined, we would greatly appreciate meal support upon our return...because you know, jet lag can be awesome. With six children. Please visit the Take Them a Meal website for more information.
If you have any questions, let us know. We are more than happy to answer them.