Dear Friends & Family,
As we prepare for Maggie’s joyful homecoming, we wanted to share with you some of what we can expect in the coming months. This will be a time of adjustment as we help her adapt to life with us. Bringing home a 13 month old baby is very different from having a newborn join the family! In her short life, she will have gone through more life changes than most adults could handle. She will experience immense loss and feelings of grief. She experienced the loss of her birth family, as well as the care takers at the group foster home and orphanage. The sights, smells, tastes, sounds and language of her birth country will change overnight, not to mention a 12 hour time difference, very long flight, and a blunt introduction to her wild and wacky siblings!
While the day we meet Maggie will be one of the best days of our lives, it may 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 13 months to develop her own likes and dislikes, only to have all that be completely taken away from her.
In order for us to form a bond with her, we'll need 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. We plan to “cocoon” around her and spend time alone at home as a family.
This may take weeks or months, not days. The timeline is different for every child. We will follow her lead and trust our instincts as her parents. Of course, we also have 3 very active kids already, so we will strive for a balance for all our kids. We followed these guidelines with Allie as well, and are so glad we did!
We also want to keep her as healthy as we can. We don’t know how up-to-date her immunizations are and she’ll be fighting off all new germs here. She is facing many doctor’s appointments and at least one surgery in the coming months.
That being said, we’ve decided to follow these guidelines when Maggie comes home:
• No 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.
• 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 us by giving us your prayers and patience! We’ll keep everyone updated here on our blog with lots of pictures and details on how she’s doing, so check that often! We have every confidence that she will adapt in her own time. We are so grateful to have your support, patience and understanding! We know Maggie will grow to love each and every one of you as we do.
The Coleman Family: Jeremy, Jen, Ben, Sam, Allie & Maggie