Our children are learning what it means to be part of a family, to trust and obey their parents, and to build ties of attachment and bonding to their new Mae and Pai.
Considering those important goals, we want you to know that, for the kids´sake, we´re going to try to take it easy for a while. If we duck in and out of church without stopping to chat for very long, if we don´t show up at small group, if we don´t invite everyone to a big welcome-home bash, or if we bail out of some event quickly... please forgive us. All this will come in time. We have missed all of you so much, and we are looking forward to seeing you, but we´re going to have to do it in a metered way for a while, until the children get used to things and learn a little more English. We´ll probably start inviting a few people at a time over to the house to meet and greet, some time after the new year.
Here´s what you can do to keep things smooth when we see you:
- Give a hug and kiss to the kids, Brazilians are warm and friendly, and expect to be greeted warmly.
- Please understand if they should happen to refuse affection or greetings, that´s a defense mechanism against feeling overwhelmed don´t be offended, and please respect their need to warm up slowly.
- Remember that the kids´ job is to connect and bond with Mom and Dad, so please let us do all the care-taking (feeding, offering food, bandaging boo-boos, carrying around, and disciplining).
- Speak slowly and carefully using simple phrases to help them understand your English. They are English Language Learners and will be so for several more years, at least.
- Use the phrase "ask your Mom/Dad" if/when they ask you for stuff (especially food). This is a phrase they have learned in English and will help to facilitate their learning to look to their parents for necessities, help and permission.
- Back us up. If we direct one of the children to do/not do (or eat/not eat) something, please go along with us even if you would do things differently. When they see you respecting our words to them, they will learn from that example.
- Please do not allow the children to hang on you or cling to you. It is common for them to do this, but they must learn to cling first to Mae and Pai.
- Be equal. The kids always seem to be keeping score, so if you feel like giving a candy cane to Brayan just because he´s super-sweet, please make sure to have 3 more at hand.
- We know it´s Christmas, but speaking of giving things to the kids, if you have something to share with them, please give to us first so that we can hand it to them for you... or ask them to "ask your Mom/Dad" if you can give them something. It´s important that the permission always come from us.
We couldn´t ask for more loving, supportive and understanding friends and family members and we thank you for everything you have done up until now, and everything you´ll do to support us as a family. Praise God for the people He´s put in our life!