Journey Home and Adjusting

posted in: Adoption | 0

I’ve been wanting to write about going and being home all week and just haven’t had the opportunity!

Our flight home was not too fun, but we survived. Chapel slept about an hour and a half on the entire 26-30 hour journey home of flights and layovers and van rides. I seriously felt for the folks around us on the 14 hr flight from Hong Kong to Dallas, and the ones around us from Dallas to Baton Rouge too. I didn’t know Chapel had that much tantrum in her but boy did she prove me wrong. She didn’t cry the entire 14 hours but wasn’t happy for a lot of it. She didn’t want me to rock her, give her a bottle or console her. She was straight mad. She wanted off of the planes.

But amazingly, as soon as she met Danny and went to him- she immediately went to sleep on his shoulder. Right before that, when my Deddy began talking to her- she finally stopped crying. It was a long journey home but I cannot express how great it felt to see Danny and the kids, my sister Grubby, Deddy and Leelee (who all met us with joy at the airport) and BE HOME.

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Our first few days at home were a bit rough. I know Chapel is exhausted. She hasn’t slept well or hardly at all most nights. We did get one full night of sleep! That helped us all. But since we’ve been home she sleeps about the first three hours of the night and then she is up. Of course she is sleepy all day and wants to sleep- so I’ve spent the days trying to keep her awake so she’ll sleep at night; only the sleeping at night part isn’t happening much. I’m praying she gets her schedule flipped quickly. I know it will come!

Still, even in all of the tiredness, Chapel was letting her sweet, giggly little personality shine through yesterday. My other Reedlings adore her. They sit and watch her and talk to her and laugh at every little thing she does. It’s the cutest thing ever.

Chapel is simply adorable. I couldn’t help but weep yesterday as she sat in my lap swaying side to side in a sassy way with the sweetest grin on her face. I’m in love with this little beauty!

We are in that stretch of walking that delicate dance of attachment. We are excited for our family and friends to meet Chapel. We are more than happy for them to come by and see us. We are super excited about the holidays and all of the gatherings which are pretty much our most favorite time of the year. I’m also having to try to use wisdom and be cautious about how to handle all of the bustle with a new daughter home who needs to learn the very foundational and necessary parts of home and family- which are completely foreign to her.

This is that critical stretch of attachment where we are focusing all of our attention on making sure Chapel learns who daddy and mama are- and where home is. Because of how important that is for kids who have been in institutions, we have to be really careful to be sure that we are the ones providing for all her nurturing and care. Many people have asked what that means and if we want visitors. I know this seems confusing from the outside. We’d love to see friends and family and we’d welcome anyone to come by and meet Chapel! I’ve missed everyone so much! We just can’t pass her around. We have to do the holding, cuddling, caring for; etc.

I know that’s difficult to understand unless you’ve seen the challenges involved with poor attachment that comes from spending formative years in an institution. It’s also difficult to walk out because you’d actually like to have a bit of a break and allow someone the opportunity to feed or comfort a child working through loss. But the only way to help connect dots that should have been connected in infancy for a child who has been denied the privilege of a stable family life is to go back to square one with real diligence. Chapel is extremely lovable and snuggable (I invented that word. Ha!). She doesn’t have a problem going to anyone, it seems. While many people see that as a good thing- it’s actually not. Real attachment should be a desire for mom or dad above any stranger (which is pretty much anyone at this point since she’s only just met everyone in her circle now.) A child who is okay going to any random person and being comforted and loved on by them should raise some red flags. For someone to feel loved or liked by Chapel right now is way down on the list compared to Chapel feeling loved by and attached to her new mommy, daddy, then siblings and then extended family and…it branches out from there.

So my prayer right now is that Chapel will begin to understand and grow in what being loved and treasured is. That she’ll begin to be progressively secure in her family. That she’ll get the rest she needs (preferably at night-time) LOL. ¬†And that God would give me rest and grace in the middle of it all- for her.

When Danny gets home I have gone on a drive or walked outside just so I can get some fresh air. I’m excited to have some adult conversation with friends and family soon because I have missed that immensely. And I’m also praying for God’s peace over Chapel during this busy month.

As far as eating goes, Chapel is eating more and more every day. She’s trying new things and she is putting down the groceries! I’m SO happy. I’m sure she’s gained at least 4 lbs and maybe more! We have several Doctor visits soon and are looking forward to some answers and direction.

Thank you so much for praying for us and for loving us! The encouragement I’ve received during this process that continues now has seriously been life to me. I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you!