When we arrive back in Montana with Little Man in tow, any and all are welcome to greet us at the airport before we retreat into our Cocoon for an unspecified period of time.
Though we will have had almost three weeks of bonding as a family of five under our belt from our time in China, we will still be actively limiting outside stimulus for the sake of our son who will certainly be enduring some serious culture shock. (Ahem, it’s -27′ here today. Welcome to Montana!) We don’t know how long it will be until we venture outside of our house, but starting with our arrival at the airport it will be important to think of him as a figurative Bubble Boy. Per overwhelming attachment-parenting advice, only we will be holding him, feeding him, and caring for him. Whether it is the airport, church, or the grocery store, it will be critical for folks to make a concerted effort to give him a little extra space and not fawn over him, as might be their first instinct.
When a family welcomes home a new child, it is always exciting. We are appreciative that so many family and friends are eager to celebrate with us, again, this time around. Just like when we brought home our second daughter from the hospital, we hope that though our new addition will be positively adorable, and virtually irresistible, that well-wishers will make a deliberate effort to evenly allocate their attention/affection between all of our children.
Even though this seems glaringly obvious, it begs repeating: Sometimes, older siblings are left ignored in the wake of the spotlight now abruptly redirected towards this new little person. Feelings can be hurt, resentment and jealousy can breed, and it can be a real side-step in the whole attachment process. I have several adoptive-mom-friends who have confided that this has been a particularly frustrating situation they hadn’t really anticipated.
We were fortunate enough to have friends/family who readily and deliberately fawned over New Big Sister when our second daughter was born, so as not to leave her feeling dethroned or usurped, and we would hope that everyone would be similarly conscientious this time around, being sure to evenly acknowledge each of our three children whenever they see them.
Believe me, I know you’re super excited to meet our Little Guy– I realize that you have also been waiting a year and a half to meet him. But please be mindful of our two other daughters when you see us. Call them “Big Sister”s, ask them what they think of New Brother, you will surely get way more feedback from them than our timid Little Guy, anyway.
And remember, respect The Bubble.