When we were on our way home, I posted our Game Plan. I explained in this post how we were going to spend the first 4-6 weeks as a family transitioning.
Niya is transitioning beautifully. I couldn't ask for anything better. She is affectionate. She expresses her needs (and wants!). She complains when she has owees or discomforts. She sleeps through the night. Her eating is coming along (is sausage and oatmeal for every meal really that bad?)
As part of our game plan we decided to stay close to home for many weeks primarily so that Niya would recognize me as "mommy" and #1 caregiver. It has been 9 weeks so far and we have only left her for about 1 hour with someone else (her brothers were with her). I have left her more than that, but Daddy has been in charge.
Ya know, it is hard to say whether or not it was our 9 weeks of staying close to home that has caused Niya to transition so well (which by the way, I wouldn't say our transition is complete until about 1 year). I contribute a lot of that to her past care. I believe, despite her many moves, her care was good. Her caretakers were loving and kind to her, I think.
Perhaps Niya would have been fine if we went straight to life as normal as soon as she came home. However, my kids are from hard places (all adopted kids are) so we feel we need to offer the best possible set-up for success. I'm not trying to say that I assume the worse with my kids, but I do know that their losses will run deep into their psyches and souls, and the more I can offer compassion and love and time, the better for all of us.
Perhaps some would say that we are overly cautious with our kids or that we are overly compassionate (tell that to Jesus), or that we are even coddling and spoiling them. But I would respond that the stakes are high, and we will do our best to help them believe they are precious and forever ours.
It takes a lot of time to show them they are precious. (we know this well as many of us still have trouble believing that God thinks we are precious). As I had the time to wait for them to come home, I will also have the time to wait for them to realize what home means.