Our Bonding & Attaching Plan
I hope you all have enjoyed reading about our adoptive friends and families and how God has worked mightily in the lives of them and their precious ones from Ethiopia! I love to hear their stories and throughout these last 2 years we have learned so much from those that have already been at this stage in the adoption journey. There have been those that have gone through so much hurt and pain in the midst of their adjustment as a family, and yet after months of toughness, they can see healing and trust and love. There have been those that have said that it hardly even felt like an adjustment as things went so smoothly. One thing that has encouraged us the most from these stories – whether ‘easy’ or ‘hard’, are the countless times people have said, “it is so worth it! God led us on this path and despite the struggles, despite the tough and challenging times, we knew this is where He was leading us, and it is SO worth it”. To God be the glory!
We know He led us on this path years ago, and He knows the path that stretches before us. He knows already about our tough days ahead, our good days ahead and everything in between. And in the midst of those days, we want to be able to cling to the fact that He alone is the One who led us this direction and nothing that comes our way is a surprise to Him. He led us this way and He will give us the strength, wisdom, love and hope to go through this next chapter.
With all that said, here is what we are planning on doing to facilitate bonding/attaching with our beautiful babies when we get home!
1. We’ll be on lock-down for the first 2-3 weeks. We won’t be inviting people to come over to see the baby (although we plan to post lots of pictures here and on Facebook!). We will probably whisk the baby away to the bedroom soon after introducing her to her new friends or family members.
2. We are so thankful for those that have already said they’d be happy to bring meals to us through this time as we know it will be crazy around here for a while. When those times come please know that we won’t be bringing the babies over to meet you when you come by or pass them over to you. We will try to keep it ‘under the radar’ (for them) that anyone has even stopped by. I on the other hand will want to squeeze your neck! 🙂
3. We won’t be going out much, especially to events with lots of people, noise and stimuli, for 6 weeks to 3 months. This means birthday parties, weddings, church, BBQ’s, etc. These are out for the babies. You probably will often see one of us parents with our 2 oldest boys, and the other parent will stay home with the twins.
4. That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will be indoors all the time, but we have to pick and choose our outings carefully. Walks and trips to the park can hopefully become part of our routine with them as these are generally calm times with not a lot of people right in front of them. Again, predictability and comfort are important here. We’ll ease back into the craziness soon enough.
4. We will need to be the only people holding them for the first 3 months. This might be the hardest one, as it’s typically the most natural way to bring family and friends into the life of your babies. However, this is also one of the most critical aspects of bonding and it is important not to confuse that process. So bear with us during this short season, because they will have a lifetime of loving healthy relationships with you and others.
5. Finally, we will be working with our social worker to evaluate the bonding and attachment process, so we may need to extend these times if we are not hitting certain milestones of development.
For some of you, these steps seem natural and understandable. For others, it feels like you are being shut out from someone you have been supporting, praying for and looking forward to meeting. Please trust us in this process and know that all of you hold very important parts of our community of friends and family that have influence in our older children’s lives and at the right time we would love to have your love, support and influence in the lives of Micah and Makeda.
And please pray for us. This will be a beautiful, wonderful time, but it will be inconvenient and awkward and stressful too. I’ve heard from a few mommas on ‘coping techniques’ during this crazy lock-down time. I’ll probably post on that too!