In less than 48 hours we will be boarding a plane bound for China. WhooHoo!!!! That means we are only 8 days away from meeting Konnor for the first time and becoming a family of 3 : ) Today we are laundry cleaning fools. Thanks to some packing tips from a MaMa that is recently back with her little bundle of joy we now have 2 bags packed (the orphanage donation bag and Konnor's). We are basically just waiting on laundry to be done before we pack Mark and I's bags. I thought this would be a good time to post a few do's and don't for when we get home.
1) Only Mark and I's parents are going to be meeting us at the airport. I know we are flying into Springfield and everyone would love to come out for our homecoming, but we will have been traveling for 20 some odd hours and will be very tired. We don't want to overwhelm Konnor with a ton of new people all cheering, flashing camera's and touching him. We will however upload coming home pictures for everyone to see.
2) Fact: studies show that for every 3 months a child spends in an orphanage setting they tend to be 1 month behind developmentally. We are aware of these statistics and have spoken with our Physicians and therapists about things we can do to help Konnor. He may or may not have any issues in this regard, but please understand that if you see a behavior you feel is concerning we are not ignoring the situation. We will be working with the appropriate healthcare professional to help him in whatever way he needs.
3) Children that come from orphanage settings are often overly friendly with strangers. Unfortuantely Konnor will never have had one stable caregiver. He would have relied on whichever person was close and able to meet his need at that time. We will be working with him so that he recognizes that Mark and I are his primary caregivers (there will be some do's and don't for this listed later). Until Konnor shows signs that he is bonding and attaching to Mark and I we will be the only ones holding/feeding or doing daily care with him.
4) It will be obvious to your children that there is something different about Konnor. He is tenitavely scheduled for his first surgery in July, but even after that he will have scars. Please talk to your children about this so that they are not scared when they see Konnor. What we have been generally telling children is that his lip did not close all the way when he was born, but the Doctors are going to fix it so he can eat and drink ok. This seems to be just enough information to appease children's minds without going into great detail. Also please make them aware of the fact that he will have food that comes out of his nose until his palate is repaired. We are not going to make a big fuss over it and if the kids are aware it may happen before they see it hopefully they won't make a big fuss either.
-Do feel free to talk to Konnor, make silly faces or play with him. Don't try taking him out of our arms. Don't be offended if he reaches for you and we don't let him go to you (see above about not being able to tell strangers from caregivers). Once he is showing consistent signs of bonding and attachment to Mark and I we will be more lax on this and start allowing other people to hold him.
-Do feel free to ask any questions. We are happy to talk about our adoption story and can't wait to share our little guy with the world. Don't be offended if we don't go into specifics about some of his history. We are trying to keep parts of his story private so that as he ages he gets to choose who knows these personal facts about him.
-Do feel free to offer any suggestions about parenting (we are afterall first time parents : ) Don't be offended if we do not take your suggestions or explain why those won't work for us. This is a different situation then having a child from the day they were born and not all of the same techniques will work (but some of them may and we are always willing to learn more).
-Do be aware that this is all subject to change on a whim : ) We have taken classes, read books, talked to countless other adoptive parents and feel that we are ready to take on the responsibility of raising this little guy. We do understand though that all the plans in the world mean nothing b/c ultimately we are going to do whatever is best for Konnor. We are just going to have to go with the flow for awhile until we get to know him and he gets to know us. Please be patient with us during this transition time.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. We are so appreciative to have been blessed with such amazing people to support us during this time. If I think of anything else I will let you know, but right now my dryer is buzzing that it is time for more laundry. Less than 48 hrs till we leave so I need to get cracking!!!