Guest Post: The Stefanich Family Cocooning Plan

We're back with another awesome guest post. This post was originally posted on my dear friend MacKenzie's blog, but I begged her to let me share it here! MacKenzie has been a friend since back in the Great Paperchase of spring 2010, when we were racing to finish our dossiers together. We got on the waitlist 2 weeks apart from each other, and she received a referral of the most perfect twin boys you've ever seen last summer. Her cuties came home forever in December! I basically can't imagine our adoption journey without this friend- she has been an amazing support system for me through the wait and now as we are home! Love you friend! Check out her blog here for more on her adorable family!

Well, lets be honest about something right off the bat.  I'm a little bit crazy in every aspect of my life.

Exhibit A: The Dishwasher.
I love that David takes care of his dishes and loads the dishwasher, but I almost always take the dishes out and redo it… the "right way".   You don't have to tell me how ridiculous this is.

Exhibit B: The Car Seat.
If you are not me, and you strap my boys into the car seat, I'll double check it.  Not because I don't trust you, but because I'm a little bit crazy and just need to make sure.  Most of the time I even find a way that David did it wrong.  "This needs to be tighter here.  You didn't put the bar up so he can see his toys.  Make sure this is on his chest.  This is twisted."

Exhibit C: Holding my Children.
I won't let you.

Actually, I'm serious about this one, and people usually think I'm not.  I've been known to snatch my child out of the hands of an unsuspecting friend who innocently picked up one of my boys to say hello.  And when people say, "Can I hold him?" clearly expecting me to hand a baby over, I say, "No, sorry."

And even people who understand (or act like they understand) our cocooning process make comments like, "Really?  Still?  For how long?" or "I think they know by now."

So I'd like to share a little insight as to why I am the way I am.  And why I will protect my boys and their needs no matter how uncomfortable it makes me or you.

In their short year of life, my boys have lived in four different places, two different countries, and had MULTIPLE care givers.  I don't know too much about the first months of their lives, but I know they spent seven months with others, and four of those months were in two different orphanages before coming home with us.  They were held by many different woman who cared for them, and were happy with all of them.  They didn't fuss when somebody new held them.  Even David and I for the first time.  They didn't have stranger anxiety because a new person picking them up was the story of their lives.

Friends, this is not a healthy life for an infant.  Babies need families.  They need to know there will always be somebody (mom and dad) there to provide for them.  It gives them a sense of security and a bond with their family.  Thank goodness there are orphanages for children who are in need of a home.  But it is not ideal.  Not at all.  And it doesn't promote healthy family attachment.

When we first came home, we spent the first three months in the house with little journeys out and few guests.  Just close friends and family.  And David and I were the only ones to hold, feed, change and provide basic needs for our boys.

We feel so lucky to have these boys as our own.  We have come a long way in the last few months and they clearly know who mom and dad are.  It melts my heart when one of my boys reaches his arms out to me with a little squeal.

Seriously.  It's the best thing ever.

But that doesn't mean we close the door to cocooning.  Attachment is a process.  And it's a long one.   It's a road we'll be walking as a family the rest of our lives.

Friends and family, I know that this may hurt you.  But I don't want my child to be completely comfortable in your arms.  I want them to find that comfort in MY arms.  And David's.  And for most biological children, this comes natural.  With adoption, children need to learn that mom and dad are the ones who comfort.  It's not just anyone (like it had been in their past).

We're at the point now where our family members are holding the boys.  And while I think it is healthy, I still struggle with it a bit.  The attachment and bonding process has been beaten into our heads so strongly, and it is such an important process.  I'm constantly watching their every move for anxiety, or discomfort so I can swoop in and take them back.  And at the same time, trying to fight that urge to do so.

So bear with me. 

You might not get to hold my boys when you think it is the appropriate time.  Or you might think I'm too over bearing.  But if I think it is what is best for my boys, I'm going to do it.  And I really, really appreciate your support.

And if you think I'm a little crazytown (which you very well might), then strap yourself in, because I'm only in the beginning of my parenting journey.  And chances are, there is a whole lot more crazy coming down the line. 


  1. I love this! Especially letting everyone know that there will be a "whole lot more crazy coming down the line." Good for her drawing lines and sticking to it!

  2. One of my favorite posts!!! Loved it when MacKenzie first posted it and love it now! So proud of both of you for working hard to do what is best for your boys even when so many people disagree and give you a hard time! God made you their mamas for a reason and He will give you the wisdom to raise them and provide them with the best environment possible to attach and bond. Love both of you!!!!!


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