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.