Introducing our budding family. We hope you will enjoy watching us grow... and everything else under the sun. ;)

A Learning Curve

A picture from July 15, 2011
On the ride home from the orphanage today, I had a lot of thoughts going through my head. I'm sure everyone knew I was stressing about the visit we had just had. Deeana "performed" better than her previous car visit, much thanks to favorite care taker. But Deeana didn't really want to leave her side - not even for a second. In the car, Andrey our driver, was kind enough to translate some questions we had about Deeana. And the care taker had no problem answering them.

Because the trip took up most of our visit, we only had 15 minutes of alone time with Deeana today (a little glitch about how many photos were actually needed, required us to turn back around and do some retakes). Once we got back... Deeana was again, very hesitant to play with Me or Michael. Though we brought her a new doll and a banana (it was too late for snack at this point)... she didn't want us to play with her with it. She clung onto it with the toughest grip.

Eventually Andrey came in and saved the day... and well... that was hard for me. To see him being able to communicate so easily, her speaking to him (barely though). And telling him that she needed to go potty. They quickly took care of business and she seemed to perk up a bit - but she wasn't the Deeana we had been seeing in the weeks past.

Once we said our goodbyes... we hopped into the car, and I held back my tears. Andrey eventually received a phone call from our in-country coordinator and I later found out they were talking about Deeana and us. Apparently, her behavior towards us is normal. She saw us as cool people who brought her new toys all the time, and played with her. But then we kept coming and coming. She became anxious.

They call her smart in Russia - we would call her mature in the States. She needs to be aware of her surroundings and what is happening. Because she is being adopted at an older age they say is partly the reason. We all think she knows change is happening, and is nervous. I guess if I were in her shoes, I would be nervous about 2 people trying to play with me all the time who I don't understand, and don't understand me.

So after chatting with Andrey, we arrived back at the apartment and I hopped out of his van. He, like the gentleman his always is, let out his hand to help me down. But this time he held on and told me not to worry.

Once inside, I pulled up all my Russian adoption resources online and made a list. A list of translations to help us better communicate with Deeana when our time comes to bring her to Moscow. "Are you hungry?" Are you tired?" Do you need to go to the bathroom?", etc... one page long... so far.

I know this will be hard, but we are prepared. No one ever said learning was easy.

Monday, we go and receive our court decision. It will be a busy day.



Kimberley said...

Hi. Oh, I could just feel your sadness--I felt the same way when our older two kids would so clearly prefer their caregivers or the translator's attention over ours.
One thing we did that I would like to recommend when adopting an older child, if possible is to have the translator (or someone else close to the child) tutor her in English for the time in between your trips. Our translator met with our 7 and 5 y/o to teach them very simple English phrases, like "potty", "hungry", "sick", "tired" etc. She also spoke with them (and this may be even more valuable) about what it would be like to leave the orphanage, what a plane ride would be like, the hotel we would stay in, the importance of staying close to me and being safe, etc. This really lessened their anxiety about what was happening, and they were ready to go when the time came. They were older than your child, but since she is so very aware that something big is happening, it may help to have extra "lessons". Just a thought. I wish you the best.
~Kim in NY. Mom to 3 bio sibs from Kaz.