Changes are Tough…For Grown-Ups

October 8, 2008 at 1:43 am 2 comments

Wednesday, October 8, 2008: Day 35 in Kostanai

I’m about to have my third cup of instant coffee in a cup that is only half the size of my regular cup at home so, in my mind, I’m on coffee number two. With the arrival of a Kostanai warm spell, sleeping soundly has become a thing of recent past. While open windows welcome fresh air into our centrally heated, stuffy little apartment, we suffer the auditory trade-off of city traffic, all night courtyard revelers, scrapping dogs, and screeching cats; all who never seem to rest. Our first experience of parental trauma also has had a hand in depriving us (or at least me) of much needed sleep.

Our visitation on Monday began with the head teacher in the baby room telling us that she had been directed to move our son-to-be to the toddler room. What seemed very confusing and unnecessary to us is typical in the baby house if there are fewer children in the toddler room and a child in the baby room reaches the ripe old age of eight months. To our surprise, our little guy was the oldest in his group so despite the fact that he is smaller and less mobile than other children in his room, he was the one to go.

Miming the act of putting sugar in coffee, we understood from the head teacher how sweet she thinks our little one is and from her further attempts to help us to understand the situation, how much she loves him, too. It seemed as though we weren’t the only one feeling unsettled by this sudden change.

Still not really grasping the entire situation, we readied ourselves to go outside (oolitsu) and watched the head teacher bring our guy’s clothes downstairs to a room that we weren’t sure how to get to but would be entering at the end of our visitation. (Luckily, this is the group that Natascha visits everyday so that we had some guidance from her.) Upon returning from our hour outdoors, with a child that has known nothing but the comforts and faces of the baby room, we entered a foreign place with very large children (compared to him) and unknown caretakers. Our guy seemed wide-eyed, unsure, and confused. Sitting in this new room and watching our child’s reaction, we were traumatized. I began to cry.

This change of rooms happens and most kids go through it but it happened with him in our care with no introduction to the caretakers, no explanation of procedures, and our blind faith that he would not be crushed by one of the bigger kids when we left him in the care of new people. At 2:30 p.m., after saying our goodbyes and not being able to control my emotions any longer, we returned upstairs to the baby room to retrieve my jacket and purse. When seeing me, the head teacher hugged me and also broke into tears. Now feeling even worse because I made her cry, too, we left for home.

After assurances from our coordinator that he would be fine and more encouraging words from Natascha, we felt a little better as the evening progressed. (Just a little.) Other than looking a bit weary when we saw him the next day, our little guy had made it throughout the night without any issues. His previous caregivers checked on him in the morning when they arrived, giving me a greater sense of comfort, and the new caregivers said that he was doing well. With the change in his daily schedule and getting used to a new atmosphere, it would be expected that he would be a little tired.

The reality of the whole situation is that we, the parents, were more disturbed by this move than the child. (Kind of reminds me of new 6th graders; it is tougher on the parents than the kids.) Kids are resilient and this was our first of many experiences in which we will be reminded of that fact. The Delphin House is an excellent orphanage and takes exceptional care of the children. All of the caregivers, no matter what room a child may be in, are wonderful and do an amazing job. Already, our little one seems to be taken with one of his new caregivers and she with him.

[Another important aspect of this change is the realization that Doug and I have become used to seeing, basically, the same two caregivers for the entire time we have been here where the children are used to many different caregivers that come at different times of the day, different days of the week, and rotate through vacations. Again, another reason why this probably had a bigger impact on us than him.]

Although we miss the caregivers and children in the baby room, we now get a slightly longer visit because of the change in nap times. This is good! Another positive is that our guy will hopefully start learning some skills from the older children who are incredibly mobile. We’ll look to these positives as we get used to our new home at the Delphin House.

Change is so difficult for us grown-ups.


Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption.

Paying Rent The Animals of Kostanai

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Susan  |  October 10, 2008 at 11:44 am

    awww change is hard!! we’ve discussed this in person, but Leeza moved into that group a week or two before we arrived .
    They told us she cried for 2 days. I know you love your caregivers, but you will also love Almagoul and Asiiil…I loved them so much as they are very loving and do a great job.

    your lil guy will be just fine and will probably pick up several new skills from “the big kids”……….they learn so fast!

    Maybe by the time you spring him, he’ll even sit on the potty like Leeza does. LOL

    Kids are tougher than we give them credit for…ESPECIALLY these baby house kids….

    and your kid is super cool cuz his mommy knits him his own hats….


  • 2. Mcmary  |  October 15, 2008 at 2:52 am

    Thanks for the story that give some insight into the live at the baby homes. It’s not easy but it is reassuring that you describe all the caregivers as good and loving. I hope you can all make through the transitions easily.


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