And we can’t believe it!! This is the first photo of all five of us right after we picked them up and were heading towards the hotel for our first night together… Baby Teti is on the left, Yakob in the middle and Simon barely peaking in on the right! They are absolutely precious and all in all we’ve had an amazing first few days together. Soon I’ll share more on our time together but I wanted to hurry up and finally show off their adorable faces!
Also, below is a letter we wanted to share about what the next few months will look like for us at home. We SO very much appreciate everyones enthusiam towards our family and wanted to expalin why you probably won’t be seeing very much of us for a little while:
Dear Family & Friends,
After two years of waiting, our precious children are finally home! We want to share with you some information that we hope will best equip everyone around us to assist in laying the strongest and healthiest foundation – emotionally, physically and spiritually.
In many ways, they will be like the children who enter a family through birth; we will parent like other Christian families as we bring them up in the instruction and discipline of the Lord. But there will be a few, initial differences. We have learned that children who come home through adoption have experienced interruptions in the typical attachment process. The best way for us to form a parent/child bond is to be the ones to hold, snuggle, instruct, soothe and feed each of them. As this repeats between us, they will learn that we are safe parents to trust and to love deeply.
We will have, what may seem like, a lot of structure and boundaries. We plan to spend our first few months “cocooning” at home with very few visitors or outings. This is to help them feel more secure in a stable environment, giving each of us time to attach while allowing them the opportunity to first build foundational trust in us as a family. Please know that these decisions are prayerfully and thoughtfully made choices. Why are we telling you all of this? Because we want you to be in their lives and here’s how you can best help them settle in to start:
Physical boundaries: (We know this is going to be tough but…) It will help us if adults limit what is typically considered normal, physical contact. Children from orphanage settings are prone to attach too easily to anyone and everyone – which hinders the important, primary relationship with parents. Waving, blowing kisses, high fives or fist bumps are perfectly appropriate and welcomed when you first see them, but unfortunately no hugs and holding them at first.
Physical and Emotional Needs: Another area is redirecting their desire to have physical and emotional needs met by anyone to having us meet them. Orphans often have so many caretakers that they, as a survival mechanism, become overly charming toward all adults. Please understand that we want nothing more than to have them hugged and cherished by ALL of you but until they have a firm understanding of family and primary attachments, we would be so grateful if you direct them to us if you see that they are seeking out food, affection or comfort.
We are incredibly blessed to have so many loved ones around us and couldn’t ask for a better extended family & circle of friends. Thank you so much for your love and support! (Don’t worry, we’ll give an update when we feel like everyone has settled in.)
Now let’s get this party started!
Mark and Rachel