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We are thrilled to come home with Ezra today! (I say “today” although we won’t technically be home until tomorrow.) But before we arrive in the Nashville airport, we feel like we should say a couple of things about our expectations for the next several months.

Ezra has been amazing. Apart from a few totally normal tantrums, he has been super easy and fun. He hugs us and smiles frequently (unless he’s getting his picture taken with another Congolese). We couldn’t ask for a better week! But we know this is just the beginning of a big transition for him and we want to be intentional about integrating him into our home.

We are about to take the snow globe that is Ezra’s world, turn it upside-down and shake it like crazy. I feel confident that the pieces will eventually float down into a beautiful design, but in the meantime we need a little space.

So, here’s what we’re asking:

Please don’t drop by unannounced. Text one of us first to get the all-clear. If he’s having a rough day, we want to protect him and allow him to work through whatever may be going on in his mind.

It will probably be a while until we go to church. Ezra has no idea what kind of fan club awaits him there! We will have to ease him into that much love.

When you do see him, please refrain from lifting him or touching him. Talk to him and talk to Brent and me (you can even lift Brent if you’re up to it), just give Ezra a bit of distance. For a few months, Brent and I need to be the ones to bathe him, give him his food, put him to bed, and soothe him when he’s sad. We need to establish that we are his parents even though he hasn’t lived with us for five years. That is a pretty tall order and would be even more difficult if he has a bunch of adults providing the same assistance. This isn’t forever. We will gradually let in our amazing village, without whom we wouldn’t have made it this far.

If you feel like we are over-doing this “cocooning” time or if you feel like we’re not sequestering him enough, please don’t let me know. Parenting is hard no matter how your kids come to you. We will do as we have done with our other three kids and we’ll tailor our parenting to this specific, God-given, miracle of a kid.

We can’t possibly thank you all enough for all your prayers and encouraging words throughout this long journey (and it’s not over yet!). I am constantly amazed by the sheer volume of prayers that have been lifted on our behalf. I think God must’ve had to hire some extra angels to work the prayer call center for us during the last few years. “Grateful” doesn’t begin to cover how we feel about ya’ll!

Nalingi yo!

–Brent and Abby




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