Coming Home: Re-entry

September 17, 2015 first weeks home, first year home, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home 0 Comments

Launching a spacecraft into space is one thing. Bringing it back is another. Spacecraft re-entry is tricky business for several reasons. When an object enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it experiences a few forces, including gravity and drag. Gravity will naturally pull an object back to earth. But gravity alone would cause the object to fall dangerously fast.

Luckily, the Earth’s atmosphere contains particles of air. As the object falls, it hits and rubs against these particles, creating friction. This friction causes the object to experience drag, or air resistance, which slows the object down to a safer entry speed. (from How Stuff Works)

earthimage by NASA

“Launching a spacecraft into space is one thing. Bringing it back is another.”

Oddly enough, the same could be said for the adoption process.

Months and months are spent on paper work, more paper work, learning, connecting, preparing and planning.

“Launching” into the adoption process, the planning and the preparation is (as a space launch) one thing but coming home…

that is another!

Yes, you hear the stories (the good, the bad and the ugly) as it is all a part of the preparation.

You hear about the jet lag, the melt downs, the sleep issues, the neediness, the jealousy, the attachment difficulties – theirs and your own.

Yes, you hear all of this, but…

hearing it, learning it and processing it are very different than living it out. 

Re- entry is hard.

The fight for a new normal begins and the longing for the old normal creeps in as you struggle with the yearning to fast forward  a few months or even years in order to skip the whole “re-entry” business.

Problem is, just as gravity threatens to pull a space craft back to earth dangerously fast…

trying to recreate the old normal or even push the new normal too quickly can cause problems.


The process of attachment and bonding is slow and takes time and just as friction caused by air particles slows a space craft to a safer re-entry speed, the “friction” caused from the melt downs, the sleep issues, the neediness, the jealousy and the attachment issues, actually provides a safer re-entry speed for a newly created family who just needs time.

Crazy… I know!

Understanding this deep within yourself will make those days of re-entry less about the search for normal (old or new) and more about the beauty of God’s redeeming grace and healing.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3

This is the time, this time of re-entry, to sit back and watch as the Lord binds wounds…

your newest little one’s wounds as well as your own.

Cause, honestly, most of us have wounds and I have found that He works through each one of my kiddos to help bind mine.

Allowing the Lord to work through the craziness of the first few weeks home, allows you to pour into this new, precious child…

even at 3:00 a.m.

The Lord equips those He calls…

even at 3:00 a.m.

Know that you will need to slow down for a while, accept help when you can and give yourself a break.

Meeting extended family will come, school will come, non-urgent doctor appointments will come, play dates will come, the love will come…

the new normal will come…

but not before the expectations fall away…

the expectations of this world that tell us what “normal” is…

the expectations of a fallen world that presumes that a child who has known great loss and many times, great suffering, will walk effortlessly into the role of brother or sister or son or daughter…

the expectations of a world that presumes the hard part is over (should be over) when that plane lands and you can get back to life as usual.


It is in these early weeks that families can begin to feel discouraged, tired, scared and isolated.

The “what have we done” thought is so much more common than you think.

Trust me!

What you have done is step out in faith and love like Jesus does, loving through all the hard, all the discouragement, all the tired, all the scared and all the isolation, but it is a season and some families seasons will be longer than others. This is just another unknown, another question that is not answerable…

until you are living it…

and the enemy will use this season to plant fear and doubt. He just does not like it when these children come home.

Going back to our spaceship analogy, remember it this way:


Stay home.

Take time to get to know each other.

Ask for and accept offers of help – meal trains are awesome!

Don’t feel guilty.

Don’t allow your feelings to condemn you.

Reach out to your agency and other, supportive, adoptive families.

Prepare to be unprepared and surprised.

Pray and trust that the Lord will equip you for the beautiful journey ahead…

Cause it is beautiful y’all.

The blessings that flow from the “hard” are those heavenly glimpses that often times go unrecognized in a world that values having good stuff over doing good works.


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. – Matthew 6:19-20

Finally, the one way that our spaceship analogy differs is that when a spacecraft returns to earth, it’s journey is done.  The mission is complete.

In adoption, re-entry is just the beginning and while the mission is never really done…

the journey is an amazing one.

– guest post by Annie

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