Day_Care logo.jpgRoman is starting day care transition tomorrow and I am feeling more then a little anxiety. I know all parents feel anxiety when making this transition and that it’s a normal part of the process but something deep down was keeping me up at night.

I realize now what a part of it is.  When a brother of a friend said to me that day care will be an easy transition for Roman because it’ll just feel like he’s back at the orphange and he’s used to that.  The words were like a dagger to my heart and put words to my fear.  I think it was in that moment that I got cold feet.  Could that be true?  Will Roman feel like he’s back to the life that he left.  A day care and an orphange have a lot in common.  It brought back the memories of when I had to leave him at the end of the day on my visits in Russia.  I knew he was in good hands but they weren’t my hands and I kept telling myself in those difficult moments that some day soon he would never be left by me again.  Yet, by putting him in day care I will pass on his care to care givers that are not his family.

Now I know rationally that it will be just for the day and at the end of every day I will come back and it will be me that tucks him in at night and who he wakes up to in the morning but there’s a big part of me that doesn’t want to share him yet.  When he looks up from whatever activity he is doing I want me, or my family, who is an extention of me, to be the face that he sees.  He spent the first thirteen months of his life without a family and for the past eleven months family and friends is who he has been surronded with. 

The day I had to leave him at the orphange to come back home for eight weeks to await my court date was a very difficult day.   I vowed that once I returned I would never ever leave him without his family again.  He has never had a babysitter, never been left without a family member and I am struggling to be ok leaving him with strangers.  I know logically that these strangers are capable, caring people who will become trusted friends but in my heart I am not ready to share him.

Tomorrow is our first day of transition.  We’ll spend just two hours at the day care and I will be there the whole time then as the week progressing I will start to leave him for short then longer bits of time until it becomes a day.  My sister will then step in and be there for as long as he needs her there and for that I am deeply grateful. 

It’s just that he’s been all ours twenty four hours a day since we came home and even a few hours, let alone a day seems like an eternity.

I’m so afriad that he’ll feel abandoned when he looks up and realizes that we are not there.  That inevitably he will want me and I won’t be there and what will he feel in that moment?  His whole world is his people and this means expanding his circle and returning him to an instiutional setting.

I know that I have to trust that he is secure enough now to know that I am coming back.  That my sister will be there until he is ready to let her leave and once we do he’ll be ok. That it will be tough for awhile as we adjust but then we will all by fine.   I know all of this is most likely going to be true for us but my heart aches at the thought of walking away.  My gut is telling me none of us are ready for this but have to make the decision out of circumstance as opposed to what is truly best for Roman.

Is it time to but on my big girl pants, suck it up and face the fear or is my gut trying to guide me in another direction? 

Mom’s how did you know your child was ready for full time daycare?  Adoptive Mom’s, is it any different for our children? 




  • Chelsey

    I can imagine how that would be overwhelming for you…. I had a hard time transitioning each of my kids to kindergarten.
    Can you give him a bracelet or a necklace that you make together that will remind him of you throughout the day. Maybe he could wear it all day long and you could wear it all evening long so it’s a shared bracelet/necklace?
    All the best!

  • Sara

    Totally thought provoking post Heather – I’ll be honest when I read your title I was like ‘huh’ and now I totally get what you’re saying. This is a totally different situation. I think it will eventually be a great stepping stone to his independence though – as much as you want to keep him for yourself…:) it will only be positive for all of you to loosen the strings a little. Roman is a great kid – smothered in love – he’ll know you’ll be back to get him and he’ll have a great time playing with the other kids and learning that there’s a whole world of people out there who can look after him too. And eventually you’ll love it to. A bit of advice – don’t stay too long or have Cat go too often if he’s upset – he’ll never transition over if he knows he can have you there (those smart kids). Most times you’ll find they cry and two minutes after you’re gone – they’re all good. Please write more on how the transition is going!

  • Kirstie Smallman

    Remember that you and your son have a very strong, energetic bond. He senses this and as long as your intention is always to return for him (which obviously it is!), he will understand. He might cry too, but that’s also how children express their disapproval for things at his age. Also, he will pick up on all your thoughts/emotions, so be aware that you are putting out positive, growth and love vibes when taking him to and picking him up from daycare. You want him to experience playtime with others and to grow through those interactions with other people, so keep that as your mental and emotional focus during those transition times.
    You can do it Honey! Just breath into it and let whatever needs to happen, happen.
    Love you!

  • silvana

    Heather, I wish I could say it will be an easy day for you, but it will be difficult. I might have a lot of people disagree with me, but I do think it is a bit different for us as adoptive moms, and for our children who lived in an orphanage. It was hard for my son and I (more for me), I really do think he thought I was leaving him there. The first day he couldn’t stop crying when I picked him up because he was so glad I came back. As with every new transition however, it took time, patience, consistency, and a few (a lot) of tears (mostly mine). Now, there is an upside….I think putting my child in daily preschool so early after his arrival home (3mos), completely strengthened his attachment to me. For the first time in his life, he had to trust someone. He had to trust that mommy would be there everyday to pick him up no matter what. Once his fear of my leaving him there subsided, he loved it…like Dale said in his comment , toys, spaghetti, juice, naps…what’s not to love. I wish you and your little cutie all the best, he will be fine and so will you….hang in there. He has grown so much. So adorable!!! Good luck! 🙂

  • Dale Percy

    As a man, I can’t speak from experience on the Mother’s side, but I can offer an example as someone who is his Mother’s favourite out of three boys (I’m the youngest one, too).
    I was 26, when I decided to just up and split to the west coast — leaving behind everything here in Ontario. I thought everything was dead to me here, and to some extent it was, but there was one thing that I never doubted — my Mom would miss me. Oh sure, lots of people would miss me but Mom would be the only one I know who would be hurting everyday. However, I knew there wasn’t one thing she would do: worry. Deep down she knew I’d be alright, I knew I had to go experience my own life, make my own mistakes, and grow wiser from them both. We both had been preparing for that day for a long, long time. Yeah, I got a few boo-boos, but so what? Mom and I had been dealing with that since the first day she let me go at Nursery School, and we’ve been dealing with them ever since.
    He’ll be fine, and so will you.
    … but hey, if you’re still feeling pensive about it, tell you what: I’ll take his place! Come on! A chance to play with toys, have spaghetti and apple juice for lunch, then go to sleep for most of the afternoon? I’d rather do that, than go to work, for sure! 🙂

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