Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Letter to our family and friends

Dear Friends and Family-

Our "Gotcha" day is almost here. As I write this I'm waiting for a call from Aaron hoping he got to meet our boy today. We wanted to take a minute to share with you "our plan" for transitioning into a family of four.

In a perfect world, babies would be raised by their birth moms and never have to experience the trauma of separation from them. They would be given the gift of knowing their mom's hearbeat, voice, and birth language. With adoption, this is interrupted, or lost for a variety of reasons.....and trust is broken.

Thankfully, there is a window of time where healing can take place for adopted children. In the adoption community this is referred to as "cocooning."

Cocooning will look different for every family. During our time of cocooning, we will be going above and beyond to help Kamble attach to our family and to heal....

Soon he will be saying goodbye to the familiar surroundings he has grown accustomed to. We are very confident that he has grown attached to the caregivers at her orphanage. But, when we start parenting Kamble, trauma will again happen in his life as he leaves another caretaker's arms. There will be grieving even from leaving the orphanage he has grown familiar with.

We want to be very sensitive to our little guy. We want to remember the realities of his transitions in life thus far:

-The first part of his life he heard one language and connected to one caregiver, his mother.
-And now, he has has spent 6 months hearing a new language, and bonded again with another (or multiple) caregivers.

In the coming weeks, he will meet his new parents (us!) and be introduced to yet another language, environment, and family. It is very important that our son gets to know me as Mommy and Aaron as Daddy. He needs to see us as his caregivers and establish a strong, healthy bond with us-which will enable him to establish healthy bonds in the future with other members of our family, and our friends. It will also help him to establish healthy boundaries, and solid relationships in his future.

We know you have walked alongside of us through our adoption for nearly 1.5 years. When we announced our joyous news, you were there with us. When our path began taking many twists, and turns, delays, and more delays, you offered your encouragement, support, prayers, and finances. We are forever grateful for each of you. We know that you, just like us, want Kamble home to his family, and you want your chance to meet him, hold him, play with him, and love him. We know that just like us, however, you want his transition to his forever family to be as positive as it can be. Kamble needs to learn to trust us. And we need your help in doing that.

Through careful consideration we have considered a cocooning plan for our son. We want to take into consideration that adoption professionals recommend cocooning for a duration of 3 months. Our plan may change as we see possible new needs arise, or if we feel he is bonding/attaching to us better than expected.

It is important to keep Kamble's world as small as possible. For the first month we will be establishing structure, and we will be staying home a lot during this time. We hope to not ever leave his eyesight. You are welcome to text, email, and send cards. I will likely be limiting my phone conversations though, so I can devote more time with the kids.

We want him to know that he will never again have to change his environment, or loved ones. When we feel he is ready, we will gradually go out and about for short times so he doesn't feel overwhelmed. For a time, we will ask you not to hold, kiss, or hug him as he learns that we are his primary caregivers. We would love for you to talk with him, wave, blow kisses, and high five. Our desire is for Kamble to learn that we, his parents, will meet his physical and emotional needs.

We also want to share some of what we have learned. Research has shown the benefits of parenting an adopted child according to their "family age" not their biological age. This means he will be rocked, cuddled, fed and soothed much like babies are. We will carry him around with us as much as he likes (and our backs will allow!). Only Aaron and myself will provide food, drink, bathing, dressing, etc. All caregiving will be done by us.

As you can imagine all of this will not be easy. But we are certain that our investment will be worth it! Our little Man is worth all of the hard days ahead. We truly can't wait to get started!

Please let us know if you have any questions. We're happy to discuss our plan with everyone. We will also invite people to visit us at the airport when we come home. You will be able to say hi and snuggle him if he will allow it. Please remember even though this is a joyous occasion for us, this will most likely be very traumatic for him. He may not want others to touch him and will will respect that. After that night our time In as a family will begin.

Thanks for all you love and support during this adoption adventure. We are so close to the end of the waiting and can't wait to share him with all of you. Special thanks to my friend and fellow adoptive mom, Kerri, who let me use her letter she wrote to her family and friends. It was so perfect and really said what we wanted to say!

The Marvin's

Friday, November 16, 2012

We're so close........

My emotions are everywhere!!!! These days I go from being excited, scared, mad, and joyous all in the same hour. The adoption process is an emotional roller coaster; not the tiny roller coasters in the parking lots, I'm talking about the huge ones with double loops and blazing fast speeds.
I can't even describe the amount of times my emotions change in a day, or how it feels to be dealing with them.   I'm not really a crier but I feel like I'm on the verge of tears pretty much everyday.  And I have cried a few times, usually when I'm driving somewhere on my own, and it doesn't seem to help the sadness.

We thought we would be leaving in a few weeks to get our son, but we've had a slight change in plans.  I found a typo on his passport yesterday,  so now we have to have a new one issued.  I sent money today for the new passport and pray it will get done in a timely manner.  This slight hold up will for sure effect our ability to have our son home for Christmas, but it's okay. We have to look at the bigger picture and realize that we will have a life time with him. There will be more Christmas' and birthdays (which we may also miss) to celebrate in his life and at this point he doesn't even now he's missing something here.  It's more about us missing him.

Aaron is going to travel to Africa and attend our appointment. I am super excited and sad all at the same time.  I wanted to be there and meet Kamble (his name once he comes home to our family!) for the first time together. I also wanted to stay and care for him while we waited for his visa and exit letter. I was looking forward to our bonding time in country, no matter how hard it was going to be.

But it will be okay! As I said before this adoption journey has been hard to say the least. So many times you get your hopes up, and things don't work out the way you thought they would.  What I am grateful for is how hard everyone around us are working on our case. We have multiple people who are supporting us through this journey and we couldn't be more grateful.

This change in plans has effected us in many ways, but financially is the hardest. We are having to pay for a third round trip ticket at one of the most expensive times to fly.  We are so grateful for all the donations we have received for the puzzle! I'm going to pull it out again and get it framed soon! So excited to show you all the finished product. There are still pieces left for names, let me now if you'd like to donate to our adoption fund!

We are so thankful for our adoption journey and our son, can't wait to show you all a picture of us together!!!

Love, April

Friday, November 9, 2012

Family Time

Last week Aaron and I were lucky enough to receive some standby tickets and took a short trip to California. We really wanted to do something with Carson away from work, paperwork, and our everyday chaos at home. We were so excited to take Carson to Disneyland and California Adventure. We had an amazing time and loved getting to watch the excitement in Carson's face. 

We also love getting the opportunity to visit family and friends when we are in California and can't wait to travel there as a family of four. We had such as wonderful time with Nan's and Pop's and are so thankful for them and their hospitality! 

In adoption news, we are still waiting for a few things to come our way. We did get our sons passport but are still waiting to get our embassy appt. scheduled. We did work really hard the past two days and got our binder ready to send with a family traveling this weekend. We are going a little crazy with all this waiting, but we know it will be worth it once we hug our son for the first time. 

Here's a few pics of our Family Vacation for you to enjoy.

Love, April