Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"I'm Leavin' on a Jet Plane...don't know when I'll be back again."

The last few nights have been wonderful!  Sveta slept for 11 hours straight last night…and it was WONDERFUL!  We are grateful that she is getting rest.  She needs it.

Our adoption paperwork is now completed and we are preparing to travel home.  We aren’t going to post a specific time, or day for that matter, but just a simple…we are soon headed that way and will be home by the end of the week.

Our reasoning, honestly, for not posting flight information, etc, is because we don’t really want everyone who has access to this blog (everyone in the WORLD) to welcome us home.  We want it to be quiet around our house for a while…not only for our own sanity (there will be lots of laundry and catch up to do), but also for Sveta.  She needs to continue to bond with us, and only us for a while. 

We desire so much for everyone to meet her, but it has to be the right time.  She’s so friendly, and we want her to know that we are Mama and Papa and we aren’t leaving her.  Then we can introduce her to you. 

We’re going to leave you with a newly created list of things “to do” and what “NOT to do.”   We hope that it is helpful and not upsetting to you.  Please remember that we are so grateful for your support as we brought Sveta home, and we still need your love and support as we make sure that bonding, attachment, and transitioning goes well.  This is just one more way we are asking for your love and support.  Soon, she will be running around, and it will seem as though she’s always been here!  (again, we’ve adapted this from Jen Hatmaker (if you’ve not read her new book 7: An Experimental Munity Against Excess, do it) http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/11/02/how-to-be-the-village)

Things you could do:
1.     Bring us a meal. Talk with Katie McNealy or drop a gift card off in the mailbox so we can just run and pick something up!  To avoid the stress of Sveta having to meet lots of people, we have asked that meals be taken to the church for Barry to bring home with him.  The meal would be HUGELY appreciated, and the recipe with it would be awesome too (I can’t wait to cook again!). 
2.     Offer to help.  Call or text to see if we need something from the store while you are there.  Take our laundry home to do so we can spend more time together.  Come over and wash our dishes, clean our toilets, sweep our floors, etc. Offer to go to the church to run copies for Barry.  There are many things that will take our time away from Sveta, and anything that you can do to allow us to be her primary caregivers would be AWESOME.
3.     Spend time with us.  Ask if we can chat after Sveta is asleep, or see if Barry or I could come out to lunch, dinner, breakfast, tea, etc for an hour.  We will need our family and friends, and their companionship.  We have missed you terribly, and will want to spend time with you even if it isn’t as much as it used to be! 
4.     Tell us how our adoption story has affected you.  Maybe you have a pull to adopt, or a desire to help others do so.  Maybe you want to volunteer at the Pregnancy Care Center to help mothers who are struggling with how to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.  Etc.  We would be so blessed to hear how our story is crossing into yours.  One of our biggest blessings in this process has been sharing stories with an adoptive family who lives down the street…and how our stories overlap is a constant reminder of our BIG God.

Please DO NOT do/say these things:
1.     Ask “when are you finally going to let me/us meet Sveta?”  We want you to meet her.  We want her to meet you.  We just don’t want to overwhelm her with that amount of love.  She’s already overwhelmed enough, and needs to know us, and her extended family before she’s introduced all over the place.

2.     Stop by our house without an invitation. We know you might just want to pop in to drop off a gift, or dinner, but we are going to be trying to establish a routine and a comfortable place for Sveta to call home.  She’s had revolving caregivers, and if our door revolves with people in and out, she will likely not realize that this set up is permanent.  That her Mama and Papa are constants, and that we aren’t going anywhere.

3.     Do not hug, kiss, touch, hold, or use physical affection with Sveta…for a while.  Maybe even the next few months.  We know how much you love her.  You’ve cried, prayed, hoped, wished, etc for her as well.  You are a gift to her and to our family.  We are grateful.  But, again, she needs to bond with us first and foremost before having confusing messages about whom she should show affection to.  We don’t know what was required of her before, and we want to erase the need to show affection to all adults (I’m sure you can imagine why).  Now, if you have children, and our little Sveta decides to hold their hands and hug on them…that’s a different story.  Don’t prevent your children from doing so, but also don’t force them to try and hug her.  J

4.     Don’t assume that now that we are home (almost) that everything is PERFECT. Yes, the journey to bring Sveta home is complete (soon)…but this redemption story isn’t over.  God still has a lot to accomplish with this story, and it’s not going to just be easy.  I guarantee your life isn’t just easy either.  That doesn’t mean we want to return to a different life, or that we’d change it for anything.  We are following Jesus, and most times, that path isn’t paved or comfortable.

5.     Don’t forget we exist.  We know that this process has been great to watch…but it isn’t over.  We still need you!

“…we hope you see that we serve a faithful God who heals and actually sets the lonely in families, just like He said He would. And even through the tears and tantrums (ours), we look at our children and marvel that God counted us worthy to raise them. We are humbled. We’ve been gifted with a very holy task, and when you help us rise to the occasion, you have an inheritance in their story; your name will be counted in their legacy.

Thank you for being the village. You are so important.”   - Jen Hatmaker (she said it better than we could have!)


  1. Does Sveta need any clothes and if so, what size?
    Kathy Roth