Much like bringing home a newborn, bringing home an adopted child from a foreign country, I suspect, will be VERY similar.
With newborn KK, I didn't know how to meet some of her needs right away. There were times that she cried when NOTHING I did could soothe her short of taking a 3am drive around I-270. Yes, we made that drive...Khris and I each took a turn and once she was asleep, we just left her in the infant carrier the rest of the night. We did NOT want her to wake up!
Bringing Kindu home, there's a language barrier, so I won't always understand his needs either. I'm learning a little of his Amharic language and can sort of communicate with him to hopefully meet his basic needs. Until he learns English, we'll be playing a LOT of charades!
With newborn Lily, she came out screaming 10 days early because just a couple hours before I was induced with her, she was breech. This little one was set in her ways from the beginning. She even screamed right through her first few feedings. We had quite an adjustment as she grew accustomed to her new surroundings.
Bringing Kindu home, he will be coming into our family with nothing but himself. He has no possessions - we even have to give back the clothes on his back when we pick him up. He's coming into a completely different culture where everything will be very different - from table manners to holidays, his world is about to change drastically. Yes, we are anticipating some screaming from him too.
With newborn Reese, I had a busy preschooler and a very
Bringing Kindu home, he's coming into an established household. All of us have our roles to play - our own responsibilities - for this family to operate like a well-oiled machine. ALL of the Rogi will be adjusting to new roles as sisters having to be more independent with their homeschooling, brother sharing a room for the first time, and parents of now 4 Little Rogi.
Khris and I will still be needing to meet ALL 4 Little Rogi's needs without neglecting each other's. This is difficult enough without adding another child, newborn or not, to the mix. Cooking meals, keeping up with school, not forsaking together time or individual time for each Little Rogi will be a challenge.
All this to say, there are some things we have yet to address with our loving family members and church family that we think are very important. A lot of this I have been thinking about and haven't found very easy to articulate. I love how my sweet friend, Annie, over at PennyPickles.net has written these things so I am using her post as a springboard for this one - with permission, of course ;-) (Annie and her hubby, Ryan were our suite-mates at the guest house in Ethiopia for our court trip). Also, Jen Hatmaker's post, "After the Airport" is quite helpful.
: : CLUELESS: We have NO IDEA what to expect when we bring Kindu home. Our hearts are prepared for loving on him, but we don't know what to expect as far as how he will respond to this BIG change. We have read the adoption/attachment books, had training for interracial adoption families, and we have a support network through our fellow adoptive parents with our agency and locally. We have played out worst-case-scenarios in our heads and we have met Kindu and spent time with him...in HIS country and culture. Kindu was an easygoing boy who seemed to be rattled by very little. Here at home, it could be a whole new ballgame. Or not. Thus we are clueless.
: : THRILLED: We are thrilled to be adding Kindu to our family. We have followed the LORD's lead on this adoption and trust that He intends Kindu for our family. Miracle after miracle has occurred for all the paperwork, logistics and funds to be in place. Adoption isn't all rainbows and cotton candy though. Kindu has endured much loss in his 6 1/2 years as well as trauma that no child should have ever seen or endured. He is leaving everything he knows. While we are very excited to welcome him home, please understand that we are embracing this change and will be grieving and coping, right alongside of our son, through all he's lost in order to gain The Rogi as a family. As my pal Annie says, "It's nothing short of tragic."
: : EXCITED: While we receive reports that Kindu is excited to join our family and is anxious for us to come get him, I'm pretty sure that if given the choice, he would choose his own birth family to remain intact. We don't think that Kindu should feel grateful or lucky to be joining the Rogi in America. Of course he will have some opportunities that he may have never been given without being adopted, but really, God's will for all of us is to have an intact, God-fearing family. Because we live in a fallen world, this just isn't a reality for many like Kindu. So, with his life taking a left-turn to America, we will be loving him through whatever may be difficult for him as he walks this journey. So, don't assume he feels lucky or grateful, and please don't ask him if he's excited to be in America with a new family.
: : COCOONING: What's that? This is a method of developing a strong, trusting, secure relationship between us and our newly adopted child (see more here). Essentially, our plan is to lay low for a few weeks. Depending on how Kindu responds to coming home, we plan to take a break from E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Well, at least me (Michelle) and the kids do. You probably won't see Kindu and I at church or homeschool gym or (maybe) even the barn (unless it's an equine therapy emergency!). I won't be taking him to the store or out to eat at any restaurants. We probably won't welcome any visitors either for the first few weeks, but we'd LOVE to see you all at the airport when we arrive so you all can meet & greet him and make him feel special for those first few moments home.
: : HELP: Although I find it difficult to ask, let it be known, I. WILL. NEED. HELP. With each newborn homecoming, people offered all manner of help, i.e. meals, cleaning, shopping, playdates for the older Little Rogi, etc. I will definitely take you up on any of those offers once Kindu is home. I have been the one in the past to coordinate things like this (or at least delegate the duty to someone else), but I'm NOT going to coordinate any of that for myself. If you feel led to provide any of the aforementioned, don't ask, JUST DO! Here's how Annie put it, "I won’t turn you down. I remember when my mom was sick and dying and people would say to her and me – 'what do you need?' or 'please let me know what I can do' etc. You don’t take advantage of those things because really who wants to call a person and say – 'hey, I need a dinner, when can you make one for me?' I mean just sit on that one for a minute. I dare anyone to say they’d be comfortable making that call. No? It’s just me then, I’m not comfortable making that call." Don't ya just love Annie's candor? I sure do! ;-) Please don't forget about me all holed up here at home either. I can tend to become a homebody sometimes, but I also get to a point of stir-craziness. I will absolutely appreciate any emails, cards, texts, tweets, and phone calls, I assure you <3 FYI, coffee, chocolate and french fries are my love language - hee hee!
Our plan is to take each day as it comes, knowing that God's mercies are new every morning. Please keep us in your prayers as we take on THE. BIGGEST. CHANGE. EVER. in the Rogi history and know we appreciate all your love and support as we have taken this journey.
If you would like to talk about any of this or ask any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or comment below. I'm open to continuing the conversation.
Love you all,
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)