30 April 2009

4-5-6, please

It should not surprise any of you that I chose the age range of d2b with great care, thought and research. Research helped me set the top end (though I'm sorely tempted to increase it). Thought and care set the younger parameter.

As I've mentioned many times over the last three-plus years, I have requested a little girl or sisters aged 4-6 years. I do not want to adopt a baby and then hand her over to someone else. That's not how I want to parent.

If I could be a SAH mom, then I'd happily bring home a younger child. But that is not an option for me either now or in the foreseeable future. I do not want to put my newly-adopted child in a Russian kindergarten (daycare). I can only imagine how confusing it would be to take a child out of one Russian institution and then enroll her in another. I do not want to hire a Russian nanny. I don't want her to be surrounded with a worldview that is at odds with mine. I don't want to be the only person in her life who doesn't speak Russian. Can you imagine how confusing that would be? Can you imagine the added attachment issues that would bring?

Even if I was in the US, and the daycare providers and/or nanny spoke English, I would not want to do this. I can not imagine adopting a baby and then handing her to someone else. It's just not kateish. I can't. I won't.

When d2b comes home, we're going to stay home for every single FMLA day that I have. By adopting a child aged 4-6 years, when that time is over, she can come to school with me. She will be in the classroom next door if she's in kindergarten and the one upstairs if she's ready for first grade. I can still be the one who kisses her scraped knees, gives her lunch and reassures her. She can pop in at recess and see that I'm still there. She will be learning English and surrounded by other children who are learning English. It's an international, multi-cultural community. And, it's small enough and flexible enough to allow for what is best for my child. It will let me parent AND teach.

And that's why I'm teaching. I'm teaching because I want to be with my child. Teaching doesn't give me the most money. It won't buy us vacations in Greece. But it will give us the most time together.

So, that's a little bit of how I came to the conclusion that d2b is 4-6 years old. I'm not adopting a baby. Because sweet as two-year-olds are (and I love those "terrible" two's), adopting a baby won't let me be the parent that I want my daughter to have.

18 comments:

annmarie said...

Right on, Kate. I agree. I feel the same regarding Alexander and preschool. He'll be staying home until Pre-K...I can't understand why I'd take my child from one institution and to put him immediately in another. It's working for us. You do what's best for you. End of story.

Jojo, Julz, Jules said...

I get it!! I won't push!
I luckily have my mother stay home with my girls, so I am lucky!
AND, how funny that you will now live in the same building as your boss...Is that weird? Or is it big enough that you won't see him when you take out the trash!

Matt and Carla Morgan said...

I love how much thought and research has gone into this decision for you. The attachment 'stuff' is SO important! d2b is going to benefit so much from a mama who is already thinking things through for her. I love the idea of her being right there at school with you!

cm

beckyww said...

Smart girl. We didn't want a baby either. We requested one or two girls, aged 3 - 8. We met Julia one week after her 6th birthday and brought her home three months later.

It always cracks me up - and then makes me mad - when people imply we "settled" for her. They're nuts. We were BLESSED by her!

I will also say our three bio DD were in daycare and it didn't kill 'em.

You gotta do what you gotta do. Everybody and every situation is different. Here's a blog on it: http://woodworthfamily.blogdrive.com/archive/cm-04_cy-2009_m-05_d-29_y-2007_o-0.html xoxo Becky

kristin said...

I agree! Everyone thought we were nuts for adopting a 26 month old when you could get a 6 month old at the time! All I can say is we got what was the very best for our family and that is what you have to stick too! She is the light of my life and let me tell you, I"m sure your dd will be too! She is out there! Stick to what you think is best!
Kristin

AdoptaMama said...

Kudos to you Kate!

Our girls were older (2.5 & 4.5) than we "requested" but they are a perfect fit. We really wanted younger kids at time time, but nothing could have worked out more perfectly than it did. I was going to stay home, so daycare was never an issue. Alena went to preschool 2 mornings a week four months after coming home and loved it. She completely understood it was "school" and not another baby house. Katrina was signed up to go one morning for 2.5 hours, but just couldn't do it. She was ok initially, but the longer she was there away from me, she hated it. All the little chairs and tables and cubbies, and structure had to have reminded her of her life without me and that was difficult for her.

I can't imagine leaving a child at daycare after going through all we did to adopt them. I missed out on so many of their 'firsts' already. There was no way I was going to let anyone else see their 'second firsts' while I was away. I understand financially it's not always easy, but we learned to sacrifice and do without. And life has been so much better for it.

Debbie said...

You put lots of thought into this!

I love the age we got Nathan at so that makes the wait bearable (now)... he is understanding "school" too like the other poster stated and maybe wouldn't have at a younger age. We got our older child due to our long wait but it's just great now...

Andrea said...

I figured as much when I read your age range, actually :) It's pretty much my own thought process when it comes to age ranges; unless I am making enough money from writing to just leave the photo studio behind me and come home for good, I'd probably be looking at four-and-up as well (maybe a very close-to-four three for my baseline, at an extreme stretch)

I get it, and may I just say that I do love the way you use yourself as an adjective. It's so uniquely ... kateish, somehow <3

Kay B said...

You know what you want, that's half the battle. You've thought it out and made a plan - good job. Don't be swayed by your agency, or anyone else to change your paramaters. - Not that you shoudn't, jut be sure it's because it's what you feel led to do, not because anyone else might try to change your mind to suit their own purpose or liking.
We originally started out in the 4-6 age range, then changed (on our own)to 5-7, eventually 5-9. As time went by and I thought it through more and more, I wanted a child closer in age to my bio kids. As it does for most families I've met - it worked out just perfect for our family!

Rachael said...

It makes perfect sense to me! I wondered if you'd take her to school with you.

Just remember, though, seven is not so big.

Jenni said...

You've got a great plan Kate! And speaking as someone who adopted a 4.5 year old, I think it's a GREAT age!

Tammy said...

Hi Kate,

My mom's a teacher and we were in the same school from when I was in 2nd-8th grade. As a kid, I liked having my mom in the same school and I loved those little "moments" when we would see each other in the hall and catch each other's eye. I think you will both enjoy your special moments :-)

MMrussianadoption said...

good for you. i am lucky to be a sahm. my kids had me all to themselves for at least a year. now they go to the preschool disabilities school to get what they need and then they come right home to me. i am always a call away incase they get sick at school. it is not for everyone, but i had the same mindset as you, i didn't want to put them in daycare for someone else to bond with. to have someone other than their mother raise them. i know this is not for everyone, and not everyone is in my situation, but as I said i was lucky and it felt right for our family

Annie said...

Perfect thinking! Clever Kate!

I do encourage you to "up" the age if need be...particularly for sisters. Sergei was 9 when we adopted him and a better child, a better adoption "fit" I cannot imagine. Of course each child and mother are different, but in his case, he was the perfect little boy for me. Our bonding was precisely like that with my bio-son. Except (weirdly) with Aidan that tornado of mother-love whooshed into my heart when I first saw his photograph (he was in the neonatal intensive care ward) and with Sergei, he was beside me on the couch....and my husband had just told me "I think we should adopt him."

Yes! We should have! He was actually a much easier fit than Anastasia or Zhenya who were both in your "target" age....but that was because of his intelligence, and wonderful personality. Past 12 is much harder. Or so my experience tells me.

And my children are in the school where I work. I love it! Even though Sergei, now 8th grade, is in the speech class I teach....it is working!!!

Anonymous said...

Very cool that you can take her to school with you!

My parents watch my daughter which is such a blessing. If they couldn't have, I'd have started a day care center or done what you are doing.

Serena

Chris said...

I like your thinking - you've obviously thought about this deeply.

Best wishes!

Calico Sky said...

I think you are very very wise!!

Suzanne said...

And, as you know, 4-5-6 for an orphanage kid still has all the sweetness of the toddler years.