Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cocooning in the Chase House

Friends and Family,

This is a hard post for me to write.  Here's the nature, I am a people-pleaser.  I rarely say no when someone asks a favor of me and feel guilty for weeks when I do say no!  Ah!  It's kind of a crazy place to live.  Anyway, this post is not intended to upset anyone, but rather, to explain how our family is going to function for the next several weeks.

We will be laying low for awhile.  Our number one priority is to our son and building a strong bond with him.  It's so important to teach him that we are his parents and that Camden and Melia are his brother and sister.  It is criticial that this bond happens before he bonds with any other family or friends.  The way we will do this is by staying home for a couple of weeks {or longer} until we feel that Bek is ready to be introduced to other places. 

When you do see us, it is probable that he will get overwhelmed.  Please keep in mind that our son's view of the world is currently limited to two rooms...his bedroom with 5 other babies about his same age, and the "playroom," a room with mats on the floor and a couple of toys that are shared between about 10 babies.  Places and people will be all new to our boy.  When we do venture out, we will likely not go to places with lots of people and may not stay long.  Please don't be offended if we leave early or quickly {good-byes may need to be implied :) }.

When we discipline Bek, it will look different than how we discipline our other children.  We must do everything we can to build our bonds with our little guy, which includes how we discipline him.  We will be employing a method called "time in," which basically means that we will hold him and calm him while we correct his misbehavior.  This may look exhausting or like it is not the most straight-forward method of discipline, but this has been a proven method of effective discipline for adopted children.

We will do some things with Bek that will look more like what we would do with a baby than what we should do with a toddler.  Although Bek is almost 15 months, his "family age" will begin when we pick him up from the orphanage on Wednesday.  By the very nature of being in an orphanage, there are things done that are very "babyish" with him.  We will not potty train as early as we did with our other kids.  We will continue to feed him very much like a baby {he still takes bottles and eats cereal}, introducing new foods through baby food and working up to solid food.  We will also hold him and carry him and rock him as much as he will tolerate, partly because this is essential to the bonding process and partly because he has not received that kind of care that all babies deserve in order to form and understanding long-lasting, unconditional relationships.

Trevor and I will need to meet all of Bek's needs. If he needs fed, changed, held, rocked, disciplined, or helped, we will need to do all of that for quite a while.  For those of you who will come to visit, please do not try to meet any of his needs as this is, again, essential to his bonding with us.

Coming to visit us will be different than normal.  We want people to come to visit, but please be aware of the previously mentioned things.  For the first few weeks, if you come to our house, we ask that you please call first.  We do not want more than one family here at a time so as not to overwhelm our little guy.  We also ask that you plan for the visit to be quick.  We will not feel comfortable asking you to leave, so please just do that on your own.  If you come, feel free to bring your kids with you as Camden and Melia would love to see their buddies and cousins! :)   Also, bringing a meal would be a huge blessing to us, but please do not feel obligated to do that.  Trevor's sister, Lesley Cowger, has set up a meal schedule for us...if you want to do that, please contact her.  Again, please do not feel obligated to bring anything with you if you come for a visit.

Our sweet Bek has been well taken care of in his transition home, but he does not know how to be a part of a family yet.  It is so important for him to have lots of time and opportunity to bond with us and understand that he is a part of our family forever.  Thank you for helping us through this process and for your continued prayerful support.  We love you all!

Now, off to get our son...


  1. Woohoo!!!!! Can't wait till I can "steal" this entire post and interchange new names. :) LOL. You have written this well, and in a very kind manner. I pray this stage goes so well for you. How good is God!!! Do you have all of July before anyone has to be back at work???

  2. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations. Your plan is actually way more lenient than most I've seen. I'm sure you'll all do great. You'll take your cues from Bek and combine it with your knowledge of attachment. I can't wait to read all about your journey in Ethiopia.


  3. I'm so glad you are to the point where this post is necessary!!! YOU ARE BRINGING YOUR SON HOME!!!!!!!

    I get chills just thinking of it. Can't wait to see him home in your arms.


  4. Jennifer, I am so excited that you are bringing little Bek home! I love that you and Trevor are taking such care to make the bonding experience a healthy and lasting one for Bek and the rest of the family. That's so important.

    Leigh-Ann McGhee (Long)

  5. This is awesome... do it as long as you can, it will help him SO much!!! Stick to your guns even when people think you are weird!!! I know how hard it is but I promise it will be worth every single day you stayed at home, didn't allow visitors and were the only ones to meet his needs!!!! The over-stimulating thing is HUGE!!! Public places are so hard for our sweeties for the first couple of months. And if you have any questions or just need a place to vent (adjustment is tiring!!!!) email for my phone number. :)

  6. Yep, I agree with Christy. You will never regret keeping his world small. Our boys have been home almost 3 months, and they still can't handle very much stimulation. You're doing what's best for your family. If others don't understand that, well, then, too bad. :)