Goodbye’s and Hello’s

March 21, 2008 at 11:19 am 13 comments


Kids are great and each and every one of them are unique and special. One of the reasons that I’ve always been open to adopting is that each year I teach I always have a few students that make me think, “If that child needed a home, I would love to have the chance to raise him/her.” Well this year is an exceptional year because, if circumstances warranted, I would take each and everyone of my fabulous students home to raise as my own. (Well, maybe not all 75+ at the same time, but you know what I mean.) I cannot say enough about the quality of character packed into this group of seventh graders. They are wonderful and I will miss them very much as I start my leave for the remainder of school year!

Of course, I don’t know how much they’ll miss my constant nagging and being so picky. One student put this habit into perspective last week (as I was chastising another) when she said, “Hey, you sounded just like a mom when you said that.” Yes, kids, I sound “just like a mom” because all of those, “Where’s your homework?” “Eat politely at the cafeteria table.” “Write neatly and watch your spelling.” “Settle down.” “Act like a young lady/gentleman.” “Pick up after yourself.” (I could go on and on, couldn’t I?) were said so to help you to grow into polite, well mannered, young adults AND were always said with love…just like a mom would say.

However, I did much more than nag these students because, after all, they are pretty good kids. I had a lot of fun with this class! We built a garden, watched “hokey movies”, investigated more science topics than we realized, and learned a lot about…I have to say it…PHYTOPLANKTON! (The phytoplankton comment is too long to explain, right York students?) I laughed a lot and truly enjoyed these kids! I’ll miss this group of goofy, upbeat students!

On a quick side note: If any teachers or parents out there fear looping in schools, I’m here to put that fear to rest. One of the reasons I’ll miss my students so much (besides their stellar personalities and “down right” good attitudes) is that I spent almost two years with them. We all got to know each other very well (academically and as people) so that I feel like I’m not leaving a class for the remainder of the school year, but a family.

Along with missing my students, I will miss the staff and administration at my school; all who have been incredibly supportive throughout this adoption process. The inquiries on our progress, hugs, encouraging words, and helpful parenting tips have been the daily support that has helped me to be withstand the ups and downs of becoming an adoptive parent.

My teaching team (immediate and extended) have especially been an incredible support: listening when I needed to complain or rant about another glitch in the process, switching our schedule around so I could make adoption appointments, and just being there to talk whenever something else came up. Thank you all for your help over the past three years that Doug and I have been trying to become parents. Your daily smiles, sarcasm and support will be truly missed. As I said, it is a family that I won’t be seeing everyday, not just a place in which I work.

Of course, this is sounding as though I’ll never see anyone at school again. As soon as I return from Kazakhstan, I’ll be in to visit! I’m also looking forward to that Range Pond field trip in June. Never having left my job during the school year, this is all seeming so bizarre. But, as everyone has told me, I’m sure I’ll get used to it and will have my hands full with a new baby!

dsc00459.jpgMy send off was certainly a surprise and the kids were great at keeping it a secret! In fact, the way they were saying goodbyes during the day, I didn’t suspect a thing. (Well, there was a slip up from one of the teachers the day before that made me a little suspicious, but it was covered up with a wonderful decoy gift.)

I was called into the room beside mine after lunch. As I walked through the door a booming, “Surprise!” from my students and fellow teachers brought me to tears. The energy, excitement, and support was so overwhelming and incredibly appreciated! I am going to miss everyone so much!


As soon as the roar died down the kids promptly directed me to the cake; and what a cake it was! Last year, for our Seeds of Culture expedition, maps were created for countries that each student was studying. Little did M.H. realize that when he made his Kazakhstan map it would be the country that I wouldimg_0063.jpg end up adopting a child from AND that his drawing would be the perfect decoration for an adoption cake. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL: The most perfect cake I’ve ever been presented with.

Of course, before we ate cake there were presents. Many thanks to my overly generous team members who have started Doug and I off with our first baby outfits, board books, adorable baby Crocs, and a fantastically green umbrella stroller (which just happens to be the same color as our baby’s room). Wow! What a treat! And many thanks my students who “Oooed” and “Ahhed” through every package opening and display.


34079.jpgAs much as I love all of the wonderful gifts given to me by my team, my favorite presents of all were the hand made cards (as seen in the seat of the stroller) from my students that came complete with well wishes, travel advice, and tips on how to raise our child. A few cards even included acrostic poems using the first letters of the levels of organism classification! (I love it when they use their science!) S.T., your card with your picture was hilarious! As you suggested, I AM going to look at that card when I am sad!

My husband and I, together, read through each and every card and were both amazed at the creative talent that went into these greetings. The York 7 students are truly gifted and I’ll definitely be saving these to share with our child.

Here are the suggestions as written by my students. The numbers in the parenthesis are the number of students that gave the same advice. Enjoy!

Travel Tips

  1. Go to good restaurants.
  2. Go to a lot of tourist attractions.
  3. Don’t drink the water. (Very good advice.)
  4. Don’t trust the locals. (Hmmm…In fact, it will be up to the “locals” to help us make our adoption a success.)
  5. Try “Besh barmk”, the popular meat and noodle dish.
  6. If somebody asks you something you don’t understand, nod and laugh.

Baby Tips

  1. Be the best mother you can be!
  2. Name the baby how he/she is.
  3. Be on your guard; babies get into everything.
  4. Change diapers frequently.
  5. Be patient.
  6. Spoil it.
  7. Be prepared for long nights.
  8. Feed it.
  9. Need diapers.
  10. Change the baby’s diaper so they don’t get a rash.
  11. When the baby’s hungry make sure you don’t feed it lima beans. (There has got to be a story behind this.)
  12. Make sure the baby naps everyday so they don’t get grumpy.
  13. Buy him/her lots of toys.
  14. Have toys for bath time. Early on it will be much less painful.
  15. Find ways to make changing fun! Turn it into a game.
  16. Give them room to make their own choices.
  17. Buy ear plugs…lots of ear plugs.
  18. Be yourself and believe.
  19. Always let him or her visit. (?)
  20. Don’t drop your baby and watch out when you don’t have the “thing” next to the baby.
  21. When he/she gets older, don’t give a lot of chores. (This seemed to be a popular one.) (7)
  22. When the baby becomes a teenager, make sure it has freedom. (Spoken like a true teenager!)
  23. Don’t teach them about phytoplankton.
  24. Kids like candy. (3)
  25. Do not throw him or her up in the air.
  26. Home school him or her.
  27. Never let them see candy because they are going to want it again and again.
  28. Don’t make them eat broccoli. Face it. It’s gross!
  29. Don’t go through their stuff when they get older.
  30. Don’t make them do dishes.
  31. What ever music they like, let them listen to it.
  32. Get him/her a cell phone. (5)
  33. Kids like cell phones, money, and loving parents.
  34. Try not to drop the baby and be nice to it.
  35. Don’t kick the baby out of the house.
  36. Make sure they make good decisions in life.
  37. You should try not to let the baby climb on glass tables.
  38. We like candy (4), money (3) and pets (3), but don’t like chores (2 and see above).
  39. Don’t drop your child on its head. (2)
  40. Don’t spill boiling hot liquid on them.
  41. When they get older, make sure to not do anything to make them hate you.
  42. You must always care and love the child, even when they are acting up.
  43. Baby food only!
  44. Supervised at all times.
  45. Babies like peek-a-boo!
  46. Try not to be over protective.
  47. Change diapers often/daily. (3)
  48. When crying, give milk bottle.
  49. When your child is older, try not to get him/her too fat because he/she might get made fun of.
  50. Kids like to have fun!
  51. If your baby is crying, feed your baby a bottle or give your baby a toy to play with.
  52. Make sure the dog is well fed.
  53. Play classical music when it sleeps. It increases brain power.
  54. Don’t feed them strawberries or peanut butter until they are close to 1 year old. It can give them allergies.
  55. If the kid won’t brush it’s teeth show them Ren and Stimpy, the tooth beaver episode. Trust me, they will always brush their teeth after that.
  56. When it gets older NEVER wait outside of your car after a school dance. Trust me, when your mom does it’s super embarrassing. Do you want to be THAT mom?
  57. Teach your baby how to play an instrument.
  58. Eat well and bring it on walks.
  59. Let it let you sleep.
  60. Teach them right from wrong but let them have the freedom to make mistakes.
  61. Use tangle-free spray on their hair so they don’t cry.
  62. Always put your baby in a car seat when you go for a drive in your white van.
  63. Remember to be patient.
  64. A baby goes through, like, six diapers a day so stock up!
  65. Feed it lots!
  66. Give it LOVE!
  67. If you want your child to do chores just give him/her some money, like $1 or $1.
  68. Don’t leave him/her in the car or bathtub alone.
  69. You will feel exhausted, but it is worth it!
  70. Babies cry a lot so get ready for it.
  71. Be sure to give your baby some crying time. If you don’t they’ll never go to sleep alone.
Remember to laugh, smile, and dance!
Excellent advice from some very thoughtful students! As I close this very long post, I just want to reiterate that the support from my co-workers and my students have been key in making my adoption journey a more positive experience. Thank you for your questions, suggestions, and kind words. I can’t say enough about all that you have done.
“Thank you, I miss you, and love you all!”
Goodbye King Middle for the rest of this school year…

Entry filed under: Everyday Life, Kazakhstan Adoption. Tags: , .

We Are Going to Kostanay! Hurry Up and Wait!

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. victoria  |  March 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    i miss u

  • 2. Susan  |  March 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    What a great group of, that was so impressive! They obviously love you very much. 🙂

  • 3. Suzanne  |  March 21, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    What a great post – what great kids you have there. Love their tips. When do you leave? We’re going to Ust and perhaps leaving next week.

  • 4. Lily Bruenjes  |  March 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Goodbye I hope you have fun!!!

  • 5. Abby Cook  |  March 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I hope you have a blast!

  • 6. steven:)  |  March 24, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    hi mrs.fitz i hope you gave fun in with your baby and i hope you loved my card byee.

  • 7. steven:)  |  March 24, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    umm i meant have fun with your baby sorry

  • 8. Becca R.  |  March 24, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I miss you so much Ms. Fitz! I can’t wait til you come back and visit. I hoped you liked my card and good luck with your new baby!

  • 9. Anna F  |  March 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Good luck with your new baby!
    Anna 😛

  • 10. sam.c  |  March 25, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Hello Ms.Fitz I’m just here to say GOOD LUCK WITH TOUR BABY! oh yea and p.s. Name your son Dain oh and p.s.s. Dont forget to give me kazakhstan air please!

  • 11. bychance  |  March 25, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Hi to all of my wonderful students and thanks for your greetings! I LOVE hearing from you and I loved your cards!!! I look forward to hearing more from all of you. We haven’t left yet but are very busy getting ready. We thought we’d be gone by now, but things don’t always work out the way you expect. I’ll keep you posted!

    Ms. Fitz

  • 12. Meghan  |  March 26, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Good luck with your baby and traveling in Kazakhstan

  • 13. Regina  |  March 30, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    What a wonderful surprise! You must be a fantastic teacher. I can’t wait until you go to meet your baby!


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