Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Allie's Homecoming!!!

Allison Hee Young Coleman

Born: June 28, 2010, Seoul, South Korea

Homecoming: Friday, June 10th, 2011

Dear Friends & Family,

Wonderful news! Allie is FINALLY scheduled to come home next Friday, June 10th!! As we prepare for Allie's joyful homecoming, we wanted to share with you some of what we can expect in the coming weeks. This will be a time of adjustment for our family as we help her adjust to life with us. Bringing home an 11 month old baby is very different from having a newborn join the family!

In Allie's short life, she will have gone through more life changes than most adults coudl handle. She will experience immense loss and feelings of grief. She experienced the loss of her birth family, as well as the caretakers at the orphanages where she lived for her first 2 months. She will experience the loss of her foster family, who has cared for her for the last 9 months. The sights, smells, tastes, sounds and language of her birth country will change overnight. She will also be dealing with a 14 hour time difference and a very long flight with a stranger!

Our social worker has shared with us that while the day we meet Allie at the airport will be one of the best days of our lives, it will be one of the most difficult days of her life. She will be grieving for the life she has lost. We won't know what she likes to eat, how she sleeps, what her favorite toys are, etc. We'll be starting fresh with this little baby who has already had 11 months to develop her own likes, dislikes and preferences, only to have that be completely taken away from her.

The best way for us to form a bond with her is for us to have the time and privacy to hold, snuggle, soothe and feed her. Over time, she will learn that we are safe to trust and to love. Although it may appear that we are over-protecting her, please know that these decisions are thoughtfully made choices based on our training and advice from trusted adoption mentors. We plan to "cocoon" around her and spend time alone at home as a family. This may take weeks or months, not days.

We want nothing more than to have Allie cuddled and cherished by ALL of you, but until she has a firm understanding of our family, we would be so grateful if you would allow us time to bond as a family. The timeline is different for every child. We will follow her lead and trust our instincts as her parents. Of course, we also have 2 very active boys, ages 3 and 5, so we will strive for a balance for all our kids.

That being said, we've decided to follow these guidelines when Allie comes home:
-Only immediate family members will meet her at the airport.

-No initial welcoming parties in an effort to avoid an overwhelming situation.

-Limited visitors for at least the first few weeks to allow her to bond with us. Once she's ready, we'd love you to come here to meet her in small groups.

-Avoiding outings and errands as much as possible at first.

-Even after her initial period of adjustment, we'll continue to be cautious about any situation with large groups of people or traveling long distances.

You can help by giving us your prayers and patience! We'll keep everyone updated through our blog with lots of pictures and details on how she's doing, so check back often!

We have every confidence that she will adapt and become a part of our family in her own time. We are so grateful to have your support, patience and understanding! we know Allie will grow to love each and every one of you as we do!

With love,

The Coleman Family

Jeremy, Jen, Ben, Sam and Allie

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