Dear Family and Friends, We have been waiting awhile see and hold our baby girl. We’ve had quite a few months to prepare for the changes we will experience, to learn as much as we can, to contemplate what adoption will mean to us as a family, and to anticipate the changes we will experience as our family grows from a family of six to a family of seven. We have started to come to know and love Mia Grace Heimee through the photos and updates we have received from our agency. It is hard for us to believe we are still strangers to her! While we are preparing a place for her in our home and hearts, Mia Grace has not even thought of leaving where she is. She is happy and content in the loving arms of her foster family. In a few days, she will be experiencing the loss of everything she has ever known. Her world will be turned upside down. We anticipate that this will be a very difficult time for our little girl. We ask that you keep Mia Grace in your prayers. As Mia’s arrival is approaching, we wanted to talk to everyone a bit about bonding and attachment. We are thrilled that everyone is excited to welcome our new daughter. That said, we want to make our expectations clear from the start, so that there won’t be any confusion, misunderstandings, or hurt feelings after her arrival. We have talked a lot with our social worker and agency about this transition and have done a lot of reading about ways to make healthy attachments with adopted children. As hard as it is to say, please enjoy her from our arms for awhile. Mia Grace needs to recognize us as mom and dad before she is ready to be passed around. This is a small window of time we have to develop an appropriate bond. She will be a much happier baby if we give her time to grieve her losses and then form a forever bond. There is no set length of time for this, but we will be able to tell by her reactions whether or not she is ready to be held by others. We still invite you to say “hi” to her, talk to her and play with her (keeping in mind her reaction of course); but, for awhile, we need to be the only ones to feed, diaper, bathe, cuddle Mia Grace. She will be grieving the loss of her environment, foster parents, language, familiar foods, etc. This usually lasts for at least a few weeks, but grieving episodes could occur for months after her arrival. Grieving episodes are also intensified by over stimulation, so we need to keep her world quiet, small and consistent for her first weeks with us as she begins to bond with her forever mommy, daddy and big sisters and big brothers. We have been so blessed by this gift. We want to make sure we are doing everything we can for Mia Grace to feel secure. It is important to remember, in her short 2 1/2 years, she’s lost her birth-mother and now will be losing her foster parents, the two people who have taken care of her every need since she was born. We know many of you have bonded with Mia Grace just as we have! So many of you have prayed daily for her and we do not underestimate the bond or love you feel for her. We hope you understand our need for this special time with our baby girl. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. Thank you in advance for understanding!
Ken and Wendi