Dear friends and family,
We are beyond excited to be leaving to meet Morrissey THIS week!! I really cannot believe it is here. For years we have dreamed of this...and now, we are only a few sleeps away, from holding her in our arms.
We wanted to write to let you know a
little about what this transition period is going to look like for our
family – and how you can help!
I know you have heard me talking about "cocooning" and the importance of this. But I wanted to share a little more about it, and what it MAY look like over the next few months. Obviously, this could change, but this is the method we want to try to instill to help her bond quickly with our family.
Ri does not know me as mommy, she does not see me as mommy, we have to show her this, and this could take time. So during this time, we will try our hardest to "cocoon" her. We will be the primary ones to love her, to meet her needs, and we will try to limit new surroundings, as this can be very over-stimulating to a child who comes from an orphanage setting.
Children who come home through adoption have experienced
interruptions in the typical attachment process. The loss of a
biological mother and father at an early age can be a major trauma on
their little hearts. For our daughter, she is about to experience the loss of
familiar and comforting caretakers as well as the sights, smells, and
language of her birth country. When she comes home, she will be
overwhelmed by this loss. Everything around her will be new and she will
need to learn not just about a new environment, but also about love and
family. As I have mentioned, she has been in 3 different homes that we know of, had over 50 caretakers most likely, and on top of that, been fragile in health, and in and out of the hospital over her short 20 months of life.
The good news is that we can now, as her forever parents, rebuild attachment and help her heal from these emotional wounds. The
best way for us to form a parent/child bond is to be the only ones to
hold, cuddle, instruct, soothe and feed her. As this repeats between us,
she will be able to learn that we are mommy and daddy. We will meet her needs the best that we can. We will love her and NOT leave her. We are, essentially, recreating the newborn/parent connection.
Once she begins to establish this important bond with us, and the bond
with her siblings, then she will then be able to branch out to other healthy
Please know that these decisions are prayerfully
and thoughtfully made choices based on personal experience, research,
and instruction from trusted adoption mentors. We will be doing what we
believe is best to help her heal from the early interruptions she had in
attachment as effectively as possible.
Why are we telling you all of this? Because you will actually play an
incredible and vital role in helping our little girl to settle in, heal,
and lay a foundation for the future. There are a few areas in which you
can help us:
The first is to set physical boundaries. It will
help us immensely if adults who are around Morrissey limit what is
typically considered normal, physical contact with a young child. This will (for a while) include things like not
holding or excessive hugging and kissing.
Children from orphanage
settings are prone to attach too easily to anyone and everyone – which
hinders the important, primary relationship with parents.
Another area (probably the biggest as we’ll be keeping her close to us
for the first few months) is redirecting her desire to have her physical
and emotional needs met by anyone (including strangers) to having us
meet those needs. When Morrissey seeks food, sippy cup, hugs, etc...redirect her to us...re-inforcing, Mommy and Daddy can and will meet those needs.
orphans often have had so many caretakers that they, as a survival
mechanism, become overly charming toward all adults. A child struggling
to learn to attach may exhibit indiscriminate affection with people
outside of their family unit. It may appear harmless and as if they are
“very friendly” but this is actually quite dangerous for the child.
Please understand that we want nothing more than to have her hugged,
cuddled and cherished by ALL of you. But until she has a firm
understanding of family and primary attachments, we would be so grateful
if you direct her to us if you see that she is seeking out food or
comfort from anyone but us.
All that being said, we need you, we want you to come by, we want you to come meet our littlest light. Though we will be meeting her primary needs, that does not mean that we do not need you. Please come visit, please come by...I cannot wait to show you all the beautiful creation God has made. You are her village. And in time, the visits will soon turn in to hugs and kisses from all her village too. We just want to make sure that she knows who her mommy and daddy are first. We want to make sure that she knows we will not leave her. And soon...she will learn...not just the beauty of family, but the beauty of her village.
Finally, until we know the degree of her health, and can get her vaccinated, we will also be limiting her exposure to lots of new places. Not only can all the new environments be overstimulating, but we have to watch out for her health. She is a congenital heart disease baby that has no immunity due to passive or active measures. Any immunity her birth mommy passed on is gone...and she has received no vaccines. So, please be understanding to, if you are feeling ill or possibly sick, that you limit your exposure to Ri until we have her vaccinated and have a better idea of what her little body is going through.
October 27th...Morrissey, my mom and I, will step foot off the airplane. If you are free, we would love to see you. Obviously, this will be Matt and the boys first time to meet Ri...so they get first dibs. We want them to have their moment in time, their moment to soak in the reality of our beautiful new family. But, we would love you there too. (Though it will be late :)) We may be tired, things may not be pretty, but as I have said before, you are my village. If you cannot come that night, we COMPLETELY understand. It will be quick, and this mommy will be ready to give hugs and get her babies home. So, if I don't see you that night....come visit in the coming weeks. Come see what God has done. Just help us, to teach Ri, that we are Mommy and Daddy...she is no longer alone. Just as God never gives up on us, we will never give up on her. We will love her, we will protect her, and most importantly, we will show her, that even when we fail, there is a God who loves her even more.
Thank you for understanding, thank you for your love and support....5 more days...