As we prepare for Joey’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 him adapt to life with us. Bringing home an 8 year old boy is very different from having a baby join the family! In his life, he has gone through more life changes than most adults could handle. He will have experienced immense loss and feelings of grief. He experienced the loss of his birth family, as well as the care takers and friends at the orphanage. The sights, smells, tastes, sounds and language of his birth country will change overnight, not to mention a 12 hour time difference, very long flight, and a blunt introduction to his wild and wacky siblings!
While the day we meet Joey will be one of the best days of our lives, it may be one of the most difficult days of his life. He will be grieving for the life he has lost. We won’t know what he likes to eat, how he sleeps, what his favorite toys are, etc. We’ll be starting scratch with this boy who has already had 8 years to develop his own likes and dislikes, only to have all that be completely taken away from him. He also speaks no English- imagine not being able to communicate with the people who are taking care of you!
In order for us to form a bond with him, we'll need the time and privacy to hold, soothe and feed him, and basically help him learn that we're his forever family. Over time, he will learn that we are safe to trust and to love. We plan to “cocoon” around him and spend time at home as a family as much as we can for a while. Of course we have to go out some, he has plenty of doctor's appointments, etc. but we're going to make a conscious effort to keep life as quiet as possible at first.
This may take weeks or months, not days. The timeline is different for every child. We will follow his lead and trust our instincts as his parents. Of course, we also have 4 very active kids already, so we will strive for a balance for all our kids. We followed these guidelines with Allie and Maggie as well, and are so glad we did!
You can help us by giving us your prayers and patience! We’ll keep everyone updated here as best as we can! We have every confidence that he will adapt in his own time. We are so grateful to have your support, patience and understanding! We know Joey will grow to love each and every one of you as we do.
The Coleman Family: Jeremy, Jen, Ben, Sam, Allie, Maggie and Joey
We were recently given some more older pictures of him, so much cuteness!!