I should be packing.
We move in just a couple of days.
It has been long enough since our last move that we are no longer efficient, unfazed Rockstars at it. Yet it’s been recent enough that we do keenly recall how
awful much work it is.
Moving is stressful. For everyone.
For pint-sized adoptees, a transition of this magnitude can be a huge blow, causing stress and even regression.
Putting it plainly, relocation can be a trigger for some kiddos– yet another in a long history of disruption: In China, many start their lives with their birth families for a time before finding themselves in an orphanage. Some spend the rest of their days there before joining their forever families, but many are actually placed into in-country foster care (an ideal, as they get a head start on family dynamics). For those requiring surgery, there is a hospital stay and perhaps even an extended “healing home” stay, before returning to orphanage. Often they then have yet another foster home placement, post surgery. Either way, right before the biggest trauma that- for lack of a better term– is Gotcha Day, most children typically return to the orphanage once more, as it remains a “home base” of sorts…. Oye!
With cocooning, what I’ve found to be most important is routine and consistency, developing trust with predictability and follow-through. Knowing our son’s personal story, and anticipating some confusion/stress, the following are methods we have employed in hopes of lessening additional, undue trauma:
We talk about and visit the new house often. Since our new home is nearby new construction, frequent visits have been an easy option. We have driven by or toured the house about twice a week throughout the entire transaction. We talk about the “new house” and “new room“s daily. We pour over photos snapped on my (now repaired, thank you Husband) iPhone constantly.
We are excited, so he’s excited. We are enthusiastically making it a big deal, with exaggerated repetition.
At the advice of friends, both online and in real-life, his room will be the last to be boxed/loaded, and the first to be swiftly unpacked and set up– before he arrives to the new house. We will set it up EXACTLY the same as his space in our master bedroom alcove currently. Any changes planned for his space will be done after he adjusts to the new house as a whole.
We are making extra room for grace– preparing for a setback, yet hoping for the best.
This time, this move, there’s a constant… WE are the constant, our family is the constant. We are all moving TOGETHER; no one will be left behind.