Stromberg's Adoption Dream

The journey to our little girl in China

Re-Entry Plan

Well, we’re officially done. We’re done with the paperwork, visa in hand, done packing, done shopping, done with Chinese Yuan money, and totally done with this trip mentally and emotionally. We’re ready to come home in a way that is beyond words.

Lars here, our last night in Guangzhou. We head by van to Hong Kong tomorrow, stay one night and then hop on a direct flight on Sunday morning, yes, the same Sunday morning we arrive in Chicago. The math takes my brain hurt too. We’ll be on one of the longest flights in the world, direct to Chicago. Pray for sleep for Lydia.

So with that in mind, we thought we might share some thoughts on our re-entry plan. These feelings come from our experience with Liddy thus far, conversations with fellow adoptive parents, and a lot of reading on childhood attachment. We do this because it’s important to share our expectations with friends and family upon our return. Bringing this child into our family and community is so fundamentally different than bringing our newborn boys into our world. We think it’s only fair to share a few important items to us. As we shared the other day, it’s all about Lydia right now, and these requests are all in her best interests.

For the next several weeks/or perhaps months, unless we let you know otherwise, we need to be the only people to hold or care for Lydia. We request that you not pick her up or attempt to take her from our arms. Also, we need to handle feeding, diaper changing, clothing, etc. The reason for this is to ensure that Lydia understands who her parents are and that she bonds and attaches to us. God’s design for the family has been disrupted for Lydia, and it will take some work for us to restore it.

So please don’t be offended at home, church or elsewhere when we don’t pass Lydia around. Feel free to greet her warmly, speak to her, and give her a squeeze while she’s in our arms. Lydia is not shy. In fact, our concern is that she is quite indiscriminate. She may well reach for you, and Katie and I will pull her back in our arms. Please understand that we trust and love you all, we haven’t all of a sudden become germophobes or anything like that. We’re simply following good sound wisdom. I am confident that it won’t be long before Lydia is fully integrated into our family and community system and is attaching properly. Until then, we’ll be keeping her close and guarding her from confusion.

We hope you understand. Please don’t be shy about knocking on the door if you’re bringing anything over to the house (thanks for organizing meals, WOW!). We’d love to say hello for a few minutes, introduce Liddy if she’s awake, and give you a hug for all the prayers and encouragement throughout this entire process.

We’re SUPER excited for you to meet Lydia, and it’s hard for us to be so careful with her interactions, but thanks for understanding and supporting us as the process continues.

If this all seems a bit heavy handed, here are some adorable pictures of my daughter. Love to all.

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7 thoughts on “Re-Entry Plan

  1. Vernadene on said:

    Thank you for explaining the reasons for your actions. They are very reasonable but most of us would not have thought of that and would have tried to pick her up, a normal response. You two are very wise and your reading and actions will help her integrate into your family. My prayers are with all of you still. We’ll be glad to see you back home, too. Don’t know how the weather is over there but better dress Lydia very warm for your return. It is bitterly cold here, below “0”.

  2. I’m so happy to hear that your paperwork is completed and you are beginning to transition for your trip home with your new daughter! Praise the Lord! I loved seeing your pictures, too! You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thanks for sharing you needs and wishes for when you get home with your new and beloved daughter. I first heard of this when friends of mine were adopting a child from Ethiopia. My friend called it “cocooning” and wrote an “Instruction Manual” for others to understand how differently they would be relating to others, until their child grew in “family age” and in her attachment to them, as her new parents. If you’re interested, you can read her blog post and find other similar links at: http://spectrumofamber.blogspot.com/2012/03/instruction-manual-for-understanding.html.

    God bless you, Lars, Katie, Lydia and your family back home!

  3. You made it!!!!! A beautiful brand new life awaits…just a plane ride away! Love you! Wish I could be there at the airport 😦 And sorry if I gave you bad advice about flying to Hong Kong. What hotel are you at there?

  4. Brianne on said:

    Almost home! I can’t imagine your excitement to start life with Lydia here. I wish we could be at the airport….we will be back on the 4th and please call for anything! I wish you the fastest 16 hour plane ride!

  5. The end of your journey is in sight and soon you will be home with your precious daughter. Thank you for sharing your experience and all that is involved in an international adoption. Lydia is a very lucky girl and is blessed with a loving, Christ centered family. I pray that the transition will be smooth and that Lydia will adapt easily to her new surroundings. I’ll bet her brothers are anxious to meet her. She sounds like a loving and outgoing child and I look forward to meeting her.

  6. Julie Akers on said:

    We are so grateful for all the details and pictures you’ve shared. Can’t wait to meet her!! You are the perfect family for the perfect angelic addition that is Lydia! Congratulations and welcome home!!!

  7. Carolyn Peterson on said:

    Your Gramma is thinking about your family sooooo much, I hope all is going well. If you have time just drop me a couple sentences to hear how the boys and Lydia except each other. Is she in her crib???   Thanks, Gramma

    ________________________________

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