"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17
A little lesson about caterpillars and butterflies. A small, vulnerable caterpillar eats and eats and eats to become a round, plump caterpillar. Based on instinct, the caterpillar builds a cocoon around itself...tight and snug, protected from the elements, safe and secure, high on a branch. The little home is warm, safe, unchanging. Inside the security of the cocoon, something miraculous begins to take place. Metamorphosis. At the appointed time, the once vulnerable caterpillar begins to slowly nibble away at the cocoon and begins to emerge into the world. The caterpillar is changed...almost unrecognizable from what it once was. It is now a gorgeous butterfly. Still, the butterfly is not yet ready to take flight. She must rest, fanning her wings, allowing them time to dry before she explodes out into the world as God intended her to be.
Cocooning in adoption is so much a reflection of what God's intention was for caterpillars and butterflies. Our goal right now is to make Hannah's world small, secure and snug around her. We want to tightly enclose her in what is going to be the most meaningful for her in the years to come; her immediate family. Within the security of this tight cocoon she can allow herself to be fully vulnerable and undergo the most significant of changes. Her metamorphosis can begin. As she begins to find a stronger sense of trust, a knowledge that I am Mama and Chris is Daddy, that the big kids are her siblings and that we are the most significant people in her life, her world can begin to expand. We and she can slowly begin to nibble away at the outer layers of her cocoon and welcome tiny bits of the world in, little by little. What does this look like in real life? It means we spend a lot of time at home, just us, doing the same old routine, day in and day out. There is security here. It is safe and warm and snug, protected from the elements and the harsh parts of the world. When the appointed time arrives and it is time to nibble away at the outer layers of the cocoon we will begin by bringing bits of the world to us, here, in our world, stretching her. We will bring grandparents in and aunts and uncles. We will spend time playing together on the floor. We will still limit physical interaction and enforce rules that all food and gifts need to come from our hands, but she will begin to see there are others in our lives that we know intimately and trust, that she can also know and trust. Here in her safe cocoon we will expand her circle and learn that love and security can come from family members beyond our immediate family here. As there is security and safety found here, it will eventually be time to emerge from the cocoon, transformed, yet still delicate and fragile. She will need to fan her wings and allow them to dry for a time. She remains close to the cocoon, but outside the protective shell and barrier of its walls. We will begin to venture out and fan her wings, finding safety and security in the world beyond the cocoon. Eventually she will find the day that her change is complete, her wings are dry, and she is ready to fly. We will rejoice in that day. She may still have moments and hiccups in her path though, requiring us to at times, draw back in, re-enter the cocoon, and re-establish safety. That is okay. The day will come when that will be less frequent or necessary. How long does it take or how long do we have to do this? We are allowing Hannah to lead and also following strong suggestions from our agency and those who are much more educated on this topic. Our agency suggested at minimum of six weeks of tight cocooning, but in an ideal world, their preference is more on the lines of 12 weeks. We are just shy of our fifth week home and our fifth week of intentional cocooning. We see the benefits from this already.
We thank you so much for your respect and understanding of the cocooning process thus far. You are allowing us to lay important pieces of foundation that we could not do otherwise. Thank you for allowing us to keep her close and build those bonds and attachments that will last her a lifetime. Doing the hard work now, pays dividends for her in the future.
I will tell you this, God is at work and her metamorphosis is well underway. She is changing. She is growing. She is becoming something truly remarkable. She is evidence of His powerful and beautiful creation. We cannot wait to share our gorgeous butterfly with you one day soon!