Monday, November 25, 2013

Cocooning (aka Where Did You Go?)

Hey everyone!! We are SO EXCITED to bring Isaac T home very, very soon! We know many of you are very excited also, are very invested in our growing little family, and have expressed interest in meeting our son right away. Because of this we wanted to take a minute ad explain a process called cocooning that we will be implementing as soon as we leave the airport and arrive home. 

Cocooning is basically where a newly adoptive family takes a dedicated amount of time to stay home, get to know each other, and build bonds and *attach*. Attachment is a big buzzword in the adoption world and is highly recommended by adoption experts. Most children attach naturally when they learn that their parent(s) will meet all of their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This continues UNLESS something happens to disrupt that attachment. 

Without publicizing our son's personal story, it is fair to say that for pretty much all children in his situation, the next few months will be extremely difficult. Please understand that EVERYTHING is brand new and therefore scary. Almost every sight, sound, smell, taste, and texture will be new. His family is also so so new, and he will have to grow to trust us as parents who always provide and who are always there for him. In the orphanage/transition home he has had a rotation of people come in and out to care for him. This is very different from a family structure. 

All this to say, we would love if we could invite everybody over to meet him and bring him everywhere we would normally go right away, but this just is not a logical possibility. We don't know exactly how long we will cocoon. Three months is what we have been saying as a general guideline, but it could be more or less just depending on his needs. Sometimes we may go out to very uncrowded public places, sometimes we may invite one or two people over, but there's no guarantees on these things. It's even a possibility that after we leave the cocoon we will go back into the cocoon if that is needed. Please know that we love you and we want you to get to know our son, but ultimately his needs will come first. 

When we do start to break out of our cocoon, there are a few things to remember. If you happen to see us out and about, feel free to say hi, talk to him, wave, high five, etc. For now though, please please please refrain from hugs, holding, kisses, pats on the back, and other physical signs of affection. As his parents, we want him to be safe, and part of safety is a healthy sense of stranger danger. You all are obviously not strangers to us, but you are very much strangers to him. This guideline goes both for friends and family, and please know it won't last forever, just until Isaac T gets to know you. :) 

A special note for when he eventually starts coming to church... this is a special situation because not just one or two, but dozens and dozens of you will likely want to approach him and meet him. Please realize that although we want each and every one of you to get to know him, if a mob "attacked" that would be an incredibly overwhelming and anxiety-filled time for him. Give him space, let him get used to things, smile and wave and only approach if he looks safe and comfortable. This is just for a season, it won't be forever, and we want him to enjoy attending church and not fear it. :) 

Finally, although we just discussed numerous ways that Isaac T's arrival is different from a newborn coming home from the hospital, there are some similarities too. We will most likely be frazzled for a while, lacking sleep, lucky to take a shower and to put on clean clothes. Although it may seem to the contrary, you really do have a huge role to play in Isaac T's homecoming. We covet your prayers for all three of us as we transition into this new normal and as God begins to heal our son's heart from his great loss. It will be easy for us to feel isolated during the cocoon, so please text, call, email, and generally stay in touch. 

Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. We can't wait to bring Isaac T home!! :)


  1. PB&J - We will support you in ANY way needed, and right now you are in our daily prayers. May God continue to bless this process, Little T, and your new family. Love you all SO much. - Jackie

  2. Whatever it takes to make this transition easier for T and his parents, we will do. We are continuing to pray for all of you, and truly cannot wait to meet T...when the time is right. In the meantime, if you need anything, please let us know...if we can do it, we would feel blessed to help! Love you guys!! ~Dan and Stef~

  3. All of this makes perfect sense and seems very wise to me. Prayers continue for the three of you.

  4. I so understand where you are coming from. Totally reminds me of when Brianna was in the NICU after birth, and we were told to keep her at home (no malls or shopping) for 3 months, and to limit visitors. Praying for your family. Jen

  5. Always there for ya. Let us know if you ever need a day trip and we would love to have you here or we can have a play date with you all there. Just let us know when you are ready.