Details on Coming Home

Hello to all our family and friends:

We just wanted to communicate with everyone before we arrive home from China. No doubt, we'll be happy to see everyone when we are back in the airport. We know everyone will be excited to see us, especially Lucy. There has been a good bit of research that we've read and taken counsel from, regarding an adopted child's entry into their new country. Our primary focus is Lucy's proper bonding with our family. Although it is going well this first week in China, there is still more ground to plow, so to speak. It is still clear to us that she still needs time to fully understand the life of a family. Lucy still needs to meet her brothers and begin bonding with them. She will need to understand who our family unit is and our relationship to each other, first and foremost. The best way to do this is to keep her world very simple for a little while so that she can learn who her family is through experience and repetition.

There are some things about adoptive parenting that are the same as parenting a biological child. There are also quite a few areas that we have learned are different. Through our adoption agency, the UAB International Adoption Clinic, books, other adoptive parents, adoption social workers, psychologists and more, we have learned that our baby needs a specific type of environment and parenting when he/she first comes home in order to feel safe and secure and to learn how to live successfully in our family.

When our child gets home, at the recommendation of experienced adoption professionals, we need to implement specific parenting approaches to help encourage a strong, attached, emotionally healthy family member. Our child needs to learn that we're the parents. She needs to feel nurtured and safe. She is not used to having parents to love and care for her.

Here are some things we will be doing for our child based on research and experience with other adopted children. We'll be living a quieter life with limited trips out and few visitors in for a little while. Social workers and psychologists tell us that when children are first adopted, they may be overwhelmed, scared, and nervous. By keeping our lives very boring at first, we'll be helping our child feel safe. We will have to limit interaction outside of immediate family so it is not overwhelming. I know a number of people are planning to meet us at the airport when we arrive home. That will be wonderful and touching for us to see so many familiar and supportive faces when we arrive. We will just have to be mindful of overloading Lucy with new things and people.

If you are coming to the airport, we ask that everyone give Henry and Finn a chance to approach us first so that they can meet their new sister and reunite with their family!! Not that we are expecting any, but just to be sure, we ask that you do not bring any gifts for Lucy or her siblings. Please do not hand anything to Lucy directly. Any food or treats need to be given to Lucy by her parents for now. We know that this sounds a little extreme.. so we thank you so much for your sensitivity to helping support Lucy's bonding to our family.

We know you'll all want to hug, kiss and help spoil Lucy, but it is recommended that we be the only ones to do that at first to improve her chances of attaching strongly to us. Until we feel our child has attached and clearly knows we are her parents, we will need to be her main caretakers and givers of affection.

As strange as it may seem, adopted children who act very outgoing and affectionate with strangers is not a healthy thing. It is called "indiscriminate affection" and can mean that they haven't really attached to anyone. It would not be a good sign that Lucy has attached to us if during his first months home she will let just anyone take her and hold her without searching for her mom or dad. If you are greeting us at the airport and Lucy tries to come to someone other than her parents or siblings, or reaches out for you, simply direct her back to us gently.

For sure it is going to be a weird and wonderful experience for us. We are so excited and can't wait to bring our Lucy home so you can all see her and get to know her. Things are just a little different when you are adopting rather than having a biological child. She will be adapting to a lot of new things . . . new parents, new family, new home, new foods, new time zone (totally opposite what she's used to). That's a lot to swallow at one time.

We appreciate your understanding in reading this. We've writing you all this letter so that you will understand how dedicated and committed we are to helping our new child adjust and adapt during this stressful time in her life. We feel confident that everything is going better than we expected and in due time, Lucy will be fully bonded and attached to her family and be able to enjoy getting to know the incredible community that we live in!!

Here is another blog post that was written by a fellow adoptive family from our agency that we feel communicates our heart about this matter, as well:


Here is our most recent flight information for our flight home:

Flight # KE 33 (Korean Air)

Arrives ATL 8:15pm on Thursday, August 8th at the new International Terminal.   *We are expecting to come through customs and immigration and come to the arrivals gate around 8:45pm - 9pm*

Love you all and see you soon!


  1. This is awesome, guys!! Very necessary, very smart, and very important. Don't stray from it, not just in the first week or two or even month or two, but from my experience, even the first 6 months to a year. I would even send this as an email to your closest 20 or 30 friends who might want to visit anyway, and might even feel 'exempt' from this (out of good intentions).... and stick with it. You'll be glad you did! I see the difference in the children I did this with and the children I didn't, and it's night and day!

  2. You do what is best for Lucy! We had to isolate our boys for different reasons...most will understand and then there will be those that think the "rules" don't apply to them. You will handle it with more grace than me, I'm sure!!! Love and blessings!!

  3. This is sound wisdom. We'll be celebrating with you and praying from home, awaiting your direction on when it is time to get to know Lucy personally. We're so excited for you all on this adventure as you take the next step to completing your family.

  4. Excellent advice for all of us! We love you all and wish you traveling mercies.

  5. Our agency and the many books I loaned you said the same thing. Six months is a good timeline. Let your Harris neighbors know if you need anything.

    Joy to you and Thanks be to God!

    Love, Patti, Steve, Lily & Geneva

  6. Hi Laura! I'm Heather and I just have a quick question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1@gmail.com