Confidence and Trust

Vera will start Preschool in a couple of weeks. We have one more trip planned next week before we buckle down for the fall and take joy in the local fun here in the bay area. I LOVE the fall. It is a beautiful time and well, it is our Family/Gotcha Day, Vera’s Bday, my niece Nyah’s Bday, Halloween, my sisters Bday, Thanksgiving, my Bday and of course Xmas. So we have lots to celebrate as the year comes to an end 🙂 Did I mention I love this time of year??

I know I have mentioned before how well Vera has done on attachment with me. She wants nothing to do with strangers (i.e. people who say Hi randomly to her or show her attention at the park or store). It wasn’t until recently that she finally let my sister in and showed her real affection. She is good with my close friends but isn’t one to follow them and leave me. She needs to know I am there at all times. She trusts me more than I could have ever hoped for.

Vera started gymnastics last week. It is a sort of Mom n Me class and the parents follow instructions and take their children thru the exercises. Last week it was Vera and I and two other kiddos and their moms. Vera did great and I was very proud with how far she has come. She is a fantastic listener and follows directions well. She is SO strong in her legs now. People always comment on her “dancer” legs. Yesterday, it was just Vera and I in the class so Coach Torr*y was able to give Vera one on one time. Vera was very anxious about this as she walked off with what is essentially a stranger to her. I stayed very close as Vera was watching for me and I could see the fear in her eyes. Coach was great in relating to her though and I could see Vera slowly relaxing and that made me happy.

The above brings me to a few worries with starting preschool with regards to Vera.  As I mentioned, Vera will NOT respond to strangers.  If someone she doesn’t know asks her her name, she will sit and stare blankly at them or run to me.  I am a little nervous how she will be with her teacher.  Preschool is Mon/Wed/Fri from 9-12.  We have a “meet your teacher” day the Wednesday before she starts so hopefully that will help make her teach not a total stranger in her mind.  Did anyone else have an issue with their child basically shutting down with regards to unfamiliar people?  Also, I know this was a discussion we just had on a mom board regarding telling or not telling the teacher about the adoption.  I am going to visit with the teacher one on one prior to the start of class to give her some insight on Vera and her adoption as I think it will help her understand Vera’s fears a bit more.

The second issue is Vera is very insecure. If she can’t do something right the first time, the tears start and frustration and anger set in. I have learned that with her I need to go to her, ask her to calm down and try again. Normally she doesn’t want to try again, but I am insistant she does. When we do it together, and she completes whatever it was, she is so happy and we hug and then we do it again and again. Normally we leave it after a few successful tries and then we do it again an hour or so later and BAM now she knows the skill and all is well and we climbed that hurdle.  This can be anything from cutting out a shape or jumping.  I worry that in class, she may be asked to do something and the water works will start if she psychs herself out that she can’t do it.

My final worry is Vera not being able to handle being told “no”.  Coach Torr*y asked her last week to come off the floor since class was over (Vera had wandered there while I was filling out paperwork).  The tears immediately began flowing and she ran to me.  It is like her feelings were hurt.  This happens whenever a person other than myself tells her no.  I explain to her the persons reasoning when this happens but I don’t know what else I can do.  I also wonder if this is only the case because I am there.  For example, when she is at preschool, will any of this happen since I am not there?

So, any and all advice would be appreciated 🙂

In the meantime, here is a little video of my sweet girl.  We are coming up on ONE YEAR together.  MAN that went fast…. Better start working on the then and now post!  Have a great day!

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8 thoughts on “Confidence and Trust

  1. Ooooh my what a loving family. Our son (first adopted) is almost 9. We adopted him at seven months. I STILL send an email to his new coach (this season soccer) to let him know about Hunter’s history and the likelihood he will “shut down” if pushed too hard. Our difficulty is our son looks like the star kid; handsome, smart, athletic….then he turn into a two year old if he gets stressed. Listen to your heart, over prepare your teachers, and do the best by your little Vera

  2. Prepare for some rough days 😦 sorry! If you are consistent with attending classes and talking about expectations (“other kids will ____”, “sometimes you’ll want to play but the teacher will want you to come do something else”, “sometimes we have to do things over and over”, etc.) she’ll make the adjustment. My son was a crier for weeks at preschool – it broke my heart to leave him but the teachers assured me (with photos and videos) he did calm down and participate, as soon as 3 minutes after I was gone. Change is difficult for all, I’m assuming that Vera has more reason to understand how difficult is, know that getting her through these transitions now will benefit you both in the years to come! Good luck and don’t forget to listen to that mommy gut — if you need to sit at the classroom door for 30 minutes – do it!

  3. Hi 🙂 I’ve been following your blog for a little while. I have a little girl born May 2010 and my fiance and I are planning a Russian adoption, but haven’t yet got started. So you can take my advice with a grain of salt 😉 …
    When my little one Mila started daycare 3 days a week when she was 19 months old, we took it pretty slowly. We spent about 6 weeks visiting the daycare before I left her there for a whole day. The first few days I stayed with her the whole time for a couple of hours or so. The next few days I left her for 1/2 – 1 hour at a time, after I’d spent some time playing with her at the centre. After that I’d try leaving for 1-2 hours at a time. Mila’s daycare also has a system where every child has a key caregiver, and a secondary caregiver. The key/primary caregiver looks after your child and the secondary one also forms a bond with your child in case the key caregiver is unavailable for any reason.
    My advice would be to slow the process down as much as you can, take time with visits so she can bond with the staff so that they are no longer strangers to her. I would also read through the daycare’s policy guidelines as well as asking lots of questions (and giving them lots of info about Vera) when you meet the staff.

  4. I have this book – your two year old, which I follow religiously, it’s the whole series, and was written by a PhD from Yale – http://www.amazon.com/Your-Two-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506387/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345711950&sr=1-1&keywords=your+two+year+old
    This being said, I’d say that “No” thing is probably more of a Russian thing than adoption related ’cause my brother has exact same issue with his 2 y.o. son. The easiest way is to go around “no” – saying “do something else” instead of “don’t do this.” For mysterious reasons, many our kids take “no” tragically. Also, in Russian, prohibitive “no” is not “Net” but “Nel’zya” – may be she’ll take it better?
    My mom gave us “presents” from chidcare teachers for like a year before sending us there, just to build a goodwill. Then, first days, we only went there for a short walk, and then couple of months later, it was half a day – they’ll pick us up right before lunch. My nephew starts pre-school in September (he is turning 2.5 on 9/6), and my sister-in-law is planning on taking the same approach.

  5. Amazing! That’s a single of the very greatest weblogs I’ve anytime appear throughout on this subject. Just Wonderful

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