We have been so very blessed to have such supportive family members. Our parents have all been excited with us about our adoption, have helped out where possible, and understand that this isn't going to be just like bringing home a newborn from the hospital.
Unfortunately, we will be Little N's 4th home. Yes, in 8 short months he's lived in 3 other places. So far, all of his caregivers have come and gone... and the one he knew the best--his mom, never came back.
Regardless of the reason a child is placed in an orphanage (and most times, there is no other option!) a child can't understand what is going on. Babies and toddlers especially don't know why they're in an orphanage or that this new mommy and daddy they've never seen before are here to stay. (And while older children may understand that this is what everybody says---they don't necessarily believe it.)
N isn't going to meet us and think "Oh cool, I get to go home with two strange white people!" ;)
Because of his previous losses, and because he's got no real idea that we're his mom and dad and we'll always take care of him, our parenting is going to have to be different this time around.
While friends and family may want to hold him, we are not going to be allowing that right away. And when he is ready for others to be holding him, it will have to start very slowly--grandmas first, then other family, then other close friends, etc. And not for long periods of time.
We will be the ones to feed N. He needs to learn that we will provide for his needs, and that we're his primary caregivers--his mom and dad.
We'll be spending a lot of time holding him, rocking him, giving him bottles, etc.
While this may seem a little strange or a bit of overkill to others, I can assure you it's only being done for N's well-being. And our social worker has given us permission to blame her if others don't understand why they can't hold him right away. :) (For real, she did!)
I am so thankful for our friends and family who've supported us so much thus far. And I ask that you be patient with us for a while longer as we learn to be parents to N, and as he learns to love and trust us.
A good (and short) article that can give some more ideas on "Do's and Don'ts" for family and friends is here.
Another thing to remember is that we are completely fine with answering questions and explaining things for those who are genuinely interested. If you're confused about what we're doing and why, feel free to ask. And if you want to know more about adoption, it's one of our favorite subjects, so feel free to ask about that, too!