I think cocooning can sometimes feel hurtful to family and friends who have supported the adoptive family for so many years. You have prayed with us, shed tears, questioned, rejoiced when something finally went well – and will be SO excited when Giselle is finally ready to come home.
And then we tell you to please stay away. Please don’t touch her. Don’t be part of our lives for a time. I get that. As a matter of fact, it has been so very hard for me to give space to friends who have finally brought their children home – even though I know how important it is for them to have that time together.
Can I just assure you that, while we are so looking forward to having Giselle in our arms, I am not looking forward to this time of isolation? That everything inside of me will want to drive to your home, your workplace, our church – to throw the largest “Welcome Home” party this city has ever seen, to show off our beautiful new daughter! It will be hard, but doing what we believe to be the best start for her is more important than our desires.
There are ways that you can still be part of our lives. It is likely that we will need you more than ever in this adjustment time!
~Airport Party! – if you live in our area, one way to get a sneak peak at Giselle will be when we land at the airport (don’t forget your camera!) Yes, some adoption experts don’t agree on the large airport party, but I think it is important for us as her family – and for you if you are able – to see her as she enters our city. To rejoice with us on the completion of this step of her adoption. Walking through those doors, knowing our friends and family are waiting on the other side is the best feeling ever! And yes, Darren and I will argue about who gets to carry her through! We will be happy to show her off from the safety of our arms.
~ Verbal Support – just hearing that you support us in doing our best to help Giselle adjust and heal is such a balm to our spirits. We will be questioning ourselves throughout the day with her, so hearing your words of support and encouragement via Facebook/email/text messages might just be what helps lift our spirits to get through that tough moment when we feel at a loss. We might not have a chance to get back to you right away, but know that we appreciate you!
~ Family Support – Giselle will take up a lot of our waking hours for the first while. But we desperately don’t want our other children to feel neglected or left out. And we certainly don’t want them to feel like prisoners in their own home for 2 months as Giselle adjusts. For those of you who are in our day-to-day lives, we might need you to take Kylar out for a play date with your kids. Or Amara to her gymnastics class one week. Or simply take them to the park for a few hours to get some breathing room and a sense of normal life.
~ Meals – I have some amazing friends who have actually offered (or at least not run the other way screaming when asked!) to help me make freezer meals. I am aiming to have 60 meals in my freezer before Giselle comes home. My most amazing sister-in-law, Kristin has offered to plan for us to have hot meals brought a few times per week for the first few weeks as I can imagine that thinking about dinner – even a freezer meal, might feel overwhelming some days. For those of you who will be willing to help with this, please know I still can’t let you come inside to meet Giselle. And believe me when I say “it will hurt me more than it hurts you” because everything inside of me will want to drag you into my house to meet my beautiful baby.
~ I will need to hire a housekeeper to come in about once per week to help me stay sane. While the housekeeper is here, we will be outside (weather permitting or downstairs if not), or perhaps making a trip to the doctor.
~ Yes, I did say making a trip to the Doctor. Of course keeping her home completely, all the time, will not be possible. While it is our goal to be home as much as possible, I also need to find out why her tummy is so bloated. I need to make sure she doesn’t have any parasites or other issues that could easily be passed along to other family members. So fun. So if you do happen to see us out and about… no judging please.
~PRAY!! Please, please be praying. I would love a prayer team with people assigned to different family members. I need people praying specifically for me, others for my children, for my husband, and our family as a whole. I realize that we can do everything that human knowledge says is good and wise… but if I don’t have the wisdom that comes from my God who already knows Giselle intimately, and the rest of us completely… we could still end up in a bad place. We need God more than anything through this. We are desperate for Him to be our guide, our safe place, and our strength. If you feel you would like to partner with us in this, please message me at nausd @ ymail . com (no spaces).
~keep reading here. I am hoping to share as much as I can about what our lives are really like after her arrival home. It is a really hard balance in blog land – to know what you should write in order to make other waiting families more aware of what they can expect, and to encourage other families who have “been there, done that” that they are not alone… with not wanting information on the web that could someday be hurtful to Giselle or the rest of my children. I will be praying for the wisdom I need here, but I really believe that too many waiting moms blog, and then the children come home we see a few nice posts about how happy everyone is… and then they disappear. Some because life is really good and they don’t feel the need to blog anymore (and that’s fine). Others because life is really hard and they don’t know want anyone to know. God is raising a passion in my heart for post – adoption support for families and I am hoping this will be a good place to start. If I can keep my eyes open long enough to write, that is!
Denise and her husband are blessed to be the parents of one son by birth, one daughter by adoption (USA – at birth), and a Haitian daughter they are anxiously waiting to bring home. Denise is a regular contributor at Adoption Magazine and blogs at Pressing In.
Latest posts by Sharla Kostelyk (see all)
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