For those of you in the adoption community, you don't even need to read this post. You know, just by reading the title, what this post is. But, for those of you who aren't familiar... this is for you. It's really to write and inform everyone who is local what our plan is when we are all home.
Cocooning is a practice in the adoption community of bonding after you return home with your new child. Cocooning is when you stay at home with limited contact with the "outside" world for a while. Our plan right now is to play it by ear. We will be staying at home for as long as we can and as much as we can. We'll be getting home mid-December, so that is a hard time to do that. If Emily has a hard time adjusting to her new life, Christmas activities take a back burner.
While we know everyone is dying to meet her (right now, me included!), and I promise you will meet her. Eventually we'll be back at church, we'll be back to "normal" life. But it may take time. For the first few weeks and maybe months, we won't be having people to our house. We welcome meals and that sort of thing, but don't be offended if we don't ask you to come in.
What's the point of doing this? For the past 2 1/2 (or possibly more if they estimated her age incorrectly), Emily has had a lot of care givers. She has turned to any adult near her to receive food, nurture, safety, love... all of her needs were met by whoever she could get them met by first. So to teach her that Andrew and I are her parents, we're forever... we're not leaving, this is what we have to do. We aren't going to let any one else care for her, hold her, feed her, etc. until she KNOWS that we are her's... for keeps.
This "rule" includes all family that isn't Andrew and I. We will introduce the idea of grandparents and aunts/uncles while we're still in Congo, but we want her to know that WE are her parents, not everyone else. This may get tricky with it being the Christmas season. We may miss out on some events/get-togethers. Right now there's no way to know. She may fit right in and go along perfectly with everything. Or she may have a really hard time with everything, and we may just celebrate Christmas at our house with our new family of 5. We just have to play it by ear and see how it goes.
Everyone please be sensitive, that while we are over the moon excited to bring her home, this will be scary for her. She is going through an enormous amount of loss, she is being taken away from everything she knows and being thrown into a world that is completely different. New faces, new language, new sounds, new living space, and a new family... scary for a 2 year old! We just want to do everything in our power to make it easier on her and help her bond with us. Thank you so much for understanding and helping us with that!
With ALL of that said, all of this really doesn't start until we are HOME, which means... we'd love to see anyone and everyone who wants to make the trip when we arrive at the airport. I'll be updating as often as I can through our private Facebook group and I will post our return flight information as soon as I know for sure that we're going to make our original flight. Right now we're hopeful that I'll be returning on December 9th (after getting on the plane on Dec. 8th), so pencil us in ;)