One of the questions I often get when I try to explain cocooning to people is “What about your other kids?” and whenever I hear that question, it threatens to expose some of my own heart’s concerns and fears. Is it fair to isolate my other children during this process? Will they be resentful – even harmed in some way by cocooning with us?
While our lifestyle lends itself to cocooning being a relatively easy transition, I have tried to be proactive in this particularly in regards to Kylar. I have assured him that he can still go visit his friends. That he can go for sleepovers if he wants to, and we will try to do the best we can to ensure he still has a life outside of these walls. I worried that he would feel resentful as we haven’t registered him for any activities for the fall, and we aren’t sure that we will.
I guess maybe I should have asked him if he wanted a life outside of ours, and not just assumed he did.
Recently as I was tucking him in for the night, he said “Hey mom? You know how you said I can still go see my friends when we are cocooning? Well, maybe I don’t want to. I think that for at least one and a half months, I want to just be home with you guys because I don’t want Giselle to think that I am just always leaving the family.”
So often parents wonder what adoption will do to their at home children. And they should. There are safeguards that need to be put up. Preparations to be done, information to be gleaned. There is a need to be very conscious of what the other children might be going through – especially if the transition ends up being difficult. But what surprises me over and over is how they want and need to be part of the process. Kylar is learning to see things through his sister’s eyes. How she might perceive his coming and going. He understands cocooning. It just makes sense to him. While I appreciate his heart, I will still encourage him to go visit friends during those weeks. If he feels he really needs to stay home I want him to stay because he wants to, not because he might feel guilty if he goes. But I dare say that 6-8 weeks growing with his family is probably not the worst thing he could experience in his life.
He also told me that it just feels so wrong to always know that part of our family is missing. To know she is so far away and we can’t care for her. How he is so ready for us just to be done adopting for a little while so we can have a life where we aren’t always missing someone.
He spoke the words of my heart completely. I love doing this journey with Kylar. I love how he surprises me with his knowledge and understanding. His heart and passion for a sister he barely knows, and who mostly rejected him when he did get to meet her.
Then tonight Amara prayed this: ”God, thank you for my family. Because we love each other soooo much. Thank you for Sister (what she calls Giselle). God please, PLEASE bring Giselle home soon because we are SO tired of waiting for her to come home. I want to hug her and kiss her, and sing love songs to her and play with her. Please God, bring her home really really soon.” (if you know Amara at all, you know this was said with much inflection and enthusiasm. This little girl is dying for her little sister to come home…)
Yes, be prepared for what adoption might do to your other children. It might just ruin them for the better.