Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


Urgent Advice Needed

From those of you who read blogs during the workday! (Shame on you!)

On the mornings that Ariam attends daycare we have to drive right past the dream daycare on the way to her average daycare. Each day I attempt to avert my eyes but the pull of the Chinese lanterns hanging in the giant front windows of the toddler room force me to slow down and drool a bit.

This place is located in a perfect position for the winter sun which cascades down over the little outdoor playground and twinkles off the windows.

I see happy parents entering with clean shiny little ones and exiting with giant gourmet coffee cups from the coffee station next to the front door.

We slow, I drool, I sigh, and we drive 5 blocks further to the windowless brick church where I haul my little one in and leave her crying.

This morning returned to a message from the dream daycare. They have an opening two days/week and want to invite Ariam off of the waitlist!!!
I am not too proud to admit that I did call them (and possibly sent an email or two) begging them to let her in. I may have also played the adoption card a bit calling all other daycares in our neighborhood "tiny orphanages."

So they want her. And us. And this is huge because originally they told us the waitlist didn't have an opening until March.

But I need some advice.
Friday will mark two weeks at the average daycare. She's just started to settle in and sleep for two full hours there during naptime. She obviously likes Miss Maria. She definitely cries when I drop her off, but I sense that it doesn't last long. Yesterday when I picked her up she was walking in from the playground like a little duck in her row of 3 other classmates.

Is another change too much?
The new daycare costs more. Am I paying for fluff or is it worth the money to fulfill a good gut instinct?
I certainly don't think the average daycare is hurting her, but I would like to see how her day is going by checking the video camera online sometimes...

I feel like a bad mom these days. I'm hauling my kid around to have other people take care of her. I'm moving her whole little world over to a new house this weekend. When I do have her I'm packing and cleaning and not giving her enough attention. She's such a resilient little trooper full of kisses and goodwill. But how far can you push a toddler until you ruin her??


  1. With God, a child can never be ruined.

  2. Follow your gut. It's usually right!

  3. i agree with both comments above...pray about it and trust God's answer. God is bigger than any mistakes we make...praise God, because i make many! love you guys! will pray for wisdom and discernment for you!

  4. Oooh, this is a tough one, Mama.

    If you take her out and put her in the new day care you'll have her in a place you really like. You may feel more confident and at peace when you drop her off and that may translate to her feeling better about the transition.

    BUT, then there is that ugly reality that you are taking her from one place she is beginning to feel comfortable and asking her to trust new people and get used to another new environment. A tough thing to do to an adopted child.

    I have no idea what to do. Maybe if I had my baby girl home I'd be able to speak from experience. But, instead I'll be checking your blog to see what you decide.

    Something I have gleaned from reading your blog but having never met you-- you two have really good instincts. You have trusted them so far and Ari has thrived under your wisdom. Keep trusting those instincts and you won't go wrong in this choice either.

  5. as a mom of 3, I agree with Meliski. I don't have my adopted child home yet so I can't speak as to the affect of daycare on attachment.

    But years ago, as a mom to only one, I went through 4 daycares in less than a year. And he did fine transitioning between each. One yelled, one left him filthy and watching TV all day, one OVER-DOSED him, and one had a cat which he was acting allergic to. Good Heavens! The sad part was that I researched each of them with tours and talking to other parents... I thought they were o.k -- and they were affordable.

    As a working mom, I tell others - you can't go to work if you aren't comfortable with where your children are. Since that fiasco, I have HAPPILY shelled out mega bucks in the last 10 years for my children to be well taken care of and happy. With a happy mommy. I've also played the waiting list game and I can tell you, this baby is already on the waiting list at my current daycare and she wont even be here until next summer! If waiting lists are that long, it's because it is worth it to other parents also.

  6. Go for the new one, and make a pact with yourself that barring extreme circumstances you are sticking with this one for 6 months before you reassess.
    A will be just as fine, if not better, and you will definitely be better knowing she is there. Your comfort level is just as important as hers! (And this is speaking as an adoptive parent). If this is a place she could potentially be for a few years then much better to have one more transition on this end so that she has a long attached relationship on the far end.

  7. If she is going to be attending a day care place for awhile, then go ahead and move her. Two weeks is not that long. Yes, you and she will start over. But in a few weeks you'll be where you want to be.

  8. Can you take some time off and stay with her in the beginning? Or J? Transition it like a playgroup into daycare. And question: Do you see her at her current set-up for a year? Two years? Because you are talking about the long term, right? If not, would it be easier to make this transition right now rather than a year from now or 6 months from now? I would think a huge part of her success in this housing/care kurfluffle will be your ability to hold her hand and ease her into the water. Small amounts of time as possible. That sort of thing. You are in my thoughts. Her too.

  9. First up - you are not going to ruin that child :)

    Second up - I know nuthin' about daycare, so you can ignore my opinion that follows.

    Third up - go with your gut. If you didn't think it was the right move... you wouldn't be thinking about making it.

    Fourth up - I'm sending you a hug, because transition times are tough for everyone, and you are going through a big one too.

  10. I'm with everyone else. Sincere as you may have been, I actually laughed out loud at your concern of ruining her---it takes a LOT more than switching daycares to scar a child and "ruin" her. :~D

    I also think you should go with the "dream daycare," but keep your expectations a bit lower. She will probably still cry when you leave. And you WILL find things that you don't love about the place. But it seems like you already know that you want to move her to the new place. And the cameras WILL give you peace of mind. By the time you get home from dropping her off, you will be able to check in and see that her sobs of departure are long gone.

    This is all said from the perspective of someone who knows nothing about how adoption changes attachment. But for a child who doesn't have the additional attachment challenges, I would say go with the one you like the most!

    And I also agree with the others who say that how you feel about it matters, too. Even in our church nursery, I pay better/worse attention to the service depending on how comfortable I am with the nursery workers that week.

    Good luck with the decision! Either way, I think Ariam will be just fine!


  11. This is a tough one...but since your asking for advice I would say go with what will be best for her and your piece of mind for the long haul...which sounds like the new daycare. I amazed by our daughter's resilience, who came home from ET in March, and I don't think your daughter will be phased by the change for long at all. If I were you I would go with the day care that you know is the best one.

  12. I'll chime in on this one: there is no price too big for peace of mind. I agree with Morgan and rebekah--if she will be there for the "long haul", I'd move her!

  13. As a mother of 4 soon to be 5. As a mother of a 17 year old, I can say we are not perfect! We will mess up1 That is why our children need a Savior, because we are not. So give yourself a break. :) You have to do what you think is best for her.
    What is the child to teacher ratio?
    What do you think the HEART of the daycare providers are?
    Where do you think Ariam will receive the most unconditional love?
    ABC's will come, language will come, LOVE is most important!

  14. I would switch her! We faced this with my daughter when at about 3 months after arriving home we put her in daycare. After 2 months in the daycare we really could not stand it any longer. I felt horrible about giving her another transition so soon after being home, but we (I) needed to feel comfortable where she was and more importantly I felt that she deserved better care! And you know what, she did fine. And it was definitely worth it because she is still in that same daycare 3 years later and will stay until kindergarten feeling safe and secure.

  15. Not to keep clogging your comment box, but the thought I keep having is that your real question isn't 'yes' or 'no' ... but 'how.' Does that make sense?

  16. Morgan/Ian - yes, I think you are right. Because in my heart it is a big YES. But in reality the how feels confusing. How to ensure this isn't a big loss for Ariam? How to make this work financially? How to move from 3 days/week to 2 days/week for MORE money? I guess the how can't really be answered by anyone but ourselves though. Sometimes I wish other people would just make these important life decisions and handle the details for me....

  17. decisions.....decisions.....they are all so intense. Trust the gut.
    Sounds like you want to move her. She'll be fine! And somehow so will you! :)

  18. Go to the one you love/lust after. You will be happy to pay more money in the long run.

  19. Tough one. Sounds like the consensus is to move her. Remember, some of those moves are just temporary. Not forever, just for right now.

    Hmm, wonder what I'd see if I installed a camera here. Probably my Dad feeding Ady cookies and letting her watch oodles of TV and Possum being very naughty...sigh

    unrelated, totally copied the Live Traffic Feed. Cool.

  20. We did a couple weeks at one that I 'thought' would be ok... i was NOT real happy with it. Neither was he. When we finally got to the new place. I KNEW KNEW KNEW it was the place for him even before he had tried it out. You'll know. Listen to the gut.

  21. Move her...if you can make it work. It might be an adjustment but will probably be worth it in the long run. You are an amazing mommy!! :)


  22. Have u made a decision yet? If you did all what you did for the dream daycare, go for it. But as someone said, don't have big expectations...and don't obsessed about the camera. She will adapt and be fine. Maybe it will take a bit but she will be fine. Ana

  23. I would say to go with it as well. I do believe that your happiness with the arrangement will help hers. : )
    I have also learned the hard way that you should pay attention to your gut instincts. I did not and I thought that I too was ruining my daughter for the long term.....no worries...instead of ruin she is thriving..ha!
    Best Wishes!

  24. 1 - I wouldn't say follow your gut. I say this because I followed my gut once and moved to a new preschool that I ended up hating. The heart is deceitful beyond all things.

    2 - Pray. Follow your God, not your gut.

    3 - I've had my kids in 4 preschools, which kills me. But there were just reasons to move each time. Every time I stressed about the change, and every time my kids did fine. They were not adopted, no. But typically kids are very resilient, adopted or not.

    I would say go spend a lunch hour at each school. Stay longer if you can. Get a feel for it. Then decide.

    Based on my massive experience in half the preschools in town, I will tell you I have found that teacher retention is one of the best signs of quality. If the teachers stick around, that speaks volumes. If they all leave after 6 months - yikes. If the teachers teaching preK are certified, that shows the school takes early childhood education seriously. That and being NAEYC qualified.


About Me

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J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.