Out of Sorts

September 20, 2011

Reagan through the window in whales BLOG
Last week I mentioned how beautifully Sarah has adjusted to her new surroundings at the daycare. She is really enjoying all of the new activities and her new friends. I wish I could say the same about Reags. Poor baby girl is having a really tough time.

Whale Dress Fingers in Mouth BLOG
Dropping her off in the morning is the absolute worst.
She turns on the waterworks and really gets herself upset, which in turn gets me upset. I don't think I have ever seen her cry and carry on like this..... not even in China.

Smirk in the Whale Tunic BLOG
The teachers motion for me to drop her and just leave and not hang around, but it is easier said then done. I want to stay to console her, but the longer I stay, the more upset she seems to get and the harder it is for her teachers to calm her down.

They said she usually cries for the first 30-45 minutes and then she will stop. They can get her engaged in an activity for a while, but she will cry sporadically throughout the day.

This daycare facility actually has webcams and Pat and I can log in anytime we are in front of our computers and see what the girls are doing in their classrooms. That is something that I loved about this place when I was touring different facilities. Last week we were unable to use them because they did not have us set up in their system yet. The director said by this week we should be ready to roll. In the meantime, they have had to deal with phone calls from me every few hours. I can't keep myself from calling to check in. I am sure I have already been labeled as "That" Mother.

Back of the Whale Tunic BLOG
Unfortunately, all the stress of the situation at daycare had caused Reags to take a few steps backwards here at home. I think she is feeling very unsure and unsecure at the moment. She is trying to figure this all out.

Our little girl who has gone to bed effortlessly at 8pm and slept straight through the night until about 7am, since the moment we met her, is fighting bedtime tooth and nail. We also had a few completely sleepless nights as she woke every 2 to 3 hours screaming. This past weekend, I also noticed that she began to cry and get extrememly upset if I was not within her sight or if I had to leave the house to run an errand.

I know this is all pretty normal given the circumstances..... but it is not easy. It is going to take some time to adjust to this new routine and environment. I just hope that she understands that no matter what, when we take her to daycare in the morning, we are going to come back to get her at the end of the day. It would be so much easier if she could talk to us, but she can't. For now all we can do is try to reassure her and give her the extra love and support she needs to feel secure.

Trying to be a little optimistic here and crossing my fingers that we will get through this week with a few less tears......and sleepless nights. I talked to my Mom about this the other day and she gently reminded me of the experience we had with Nick when he first went to daycare. He was three when he started and he had major separation anxieties...... He cried, screamed, and did the death grip around my neck every single day for almost 9 months! It was complete torture for him and for me.
Let's just hope it doesn't take Reags quite that long:)


Kayce said...

Oh goodness Lisa...I'm sure this must be so hard for you right now just as much as it is for Reagan. I remember reading somewhere in some adoption book (I think "Parenting your Internationally Adopted Child) about transitioning into a daycare setting and it mentioned making laminated pictures of all of you (a family picture or a sheet of several photos of each family member) for your child to put in her cubby/pocket/lunch pail or where ever so that she can look at it for some comfort throughout the day.

I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers, especially Reagan. Hugs!

Debbie said...


Carole said...

Hello Lisa,

I had to contact a specialist when my daughter was having a hard time adjusting to daycare. She suggested to validate her feeling therefore, as a mother, you can put words in her mouth to make her realize that you understand how she feels. Of course, you can always add that none of the children are sleeping there and that you will always come to pick her up. I know these steps back are not easy, but the love, effort and time that we invest in order to reassure the litlle ones are worth it and it will pay in the end. I use the validation technique very often and it works well. It's like they feel relieved that you understand what they're going through.

Love Letters To China said...

Oh Lisa... I feel so bad for you and Reagan. I was so hoping she would be adjusting a little better now. I can totally relate to the sleep problems. We had those for quite a while when Liam cam home. It must be extremely hard on you both. When I would leave Liam at preschool, I would constantly repeat "Mommy will always come back and get you." until he was able to repeat it. He slowly felt comfortable with my leaving and now cannot wait until we arrive at school and he runs to his teachers. Reagan will slowly adjust I just known it. Sending you hugs and prayers.


Sandy said...

Praying for peace for sweet Reagan.
This is one of the toughest things of parenting, especially when your child is unable to express their feelings verbally.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

I am not american but have loved your photos and black and white friday.

What I feel is strange is that that there is no "warming up" or "training" period in american daycares. Here - in Europe - we always spend two or three weeks getting our kids used to going to daycare and in the beginning you spend time at the daycare with your child.

Best of luck!


redmaryjanes said...

I am so sorry to hear about this step back. Both of my little ones are really affected by change. I am hoping that Reagan will do better every day and that soon she will be back in her groove.

Formerly known as Frau said...

I know your heart is aching but it will get easier....((hugs))

Shari said...

Amelia ALWAYS had a tough time adjusting to a new care setting. She loved her daycare when we switched from in-home, but the transition was still difficult. Hanging on, night terrors starting, and it would always take time, but we got there.
She was in her last center for 3 years, but even the move from room to room was hard. When our girls had such a traumatic transition into life in our family, it is understandable how hard the transition to a new caregiver can be.
ALL you can do is love her, be consistent in a routine (as much as possible), and offer lots of reassurance. The transitions got easier and this year we only had 1 bad day.
We'll say some prayers for all of you...I know how hard it is to leave when your baby is crying - oh how I know.

Amy said...

Oh Lisa! I'm so sorry this change has become such a stumbling block! I completely agree with Kayce's suggestion- when we took our dd to her private sitter (from 12 weeks to 3 years old), we sent the baby album with her every day. And she looked at it & carried it around with her every single day for nearly a year. We opted not to do the same with Milo when he began daycare, mostly because the kids are so busy with activities he wouldn't have time to look at it. But also because Milo just never "got into" looking at pictures (doesn't he know his mama's passion?!).

It will get easier with time. I know you know that. But it's always good to hear again. :) My thoughts are with you & Reagan!! Good luck!!

The Gang's Momma! said...

I'm so sorry that Raegan is struggling to adjust... I remember it well, as my Li'l Empress had a ridiculously long adjustment (from my perspective) to her 2x a week pre-school last year. There were so many other factors that contributed, but in the end, the pain (hers and mine) were the same.

I agree with the book/flash card thing - we did that for Li'l E and she really used it. We also had a duplicate of her "lovey" that she used for nap/bed time and put that in the backpack for comfort.

The teacher had to be "prepped" on attachment issues, and I actually gave her (the teacher) things to "echo" what I would always say to Li'l E. I was lucky that the teacher was so willing to learn, having never had an adopted kid in her class with attachment things to consider....

Just keep lovin' on her, reinforcing your "permanence" and your consistency. She will "get it" eventually. In the meantime, I will pray for your momma's heart - that by far is the hardest part of it all. We almost always ache and hurt far longer than their tears last when they settle in for the day, don't we? :)

Jodee said...

Bless her little heart. Hoping and praying each day gets easier for her. Change is so hard! Hang in there!

If we lived closer, we could have an overnight party! Scaredy Cat Carson is still up during the night here! UGH!

Sharon said...

Oh this just breaks my heart. It's so hard to see our children upset. Trust me, the night before Kindergarten Linhsey was at the bottom of the steps on the floor sobbing while holding her folder for school. All I could think is, whelp, she's not going to Kindergarten! I'll keep her home! lol. And it's always hard for me to compare Linhsey and Gene because even if Gene did do something similar when he was little, I always feel it's just not the same. Linhsey has underlying issues that Gene never did. My heart goes out to you Lisa. It hurts us to the core to see our children upset, scared, crying etc... I hope she settles in soon. Hang in there, you always do your best!

LaLa said...

{{{HUGS}}} It is so hard! I remember going through this with Annslee..she was totally non verbal, cried and cried, and would sit in the rocking chair crying for over an hour after we left. I will say that when told to "drop and run" I never did it and insisted on having all the time I needed (she needed) It sounds like that won't really help though with your sweet girl.
As others have said I would say to her "Mommy ALWAYS comes back for you" The funny things was when she started K last year and I was teary eyed she took my hands in hers and said "Mommy, you know I ALWAYS come home to you!" : )
It will get better but it stinks right now! She is loved, she knows it and I pray this transition goes quickly : )

Marla said...

Poor sweet girl, I have no doubt she'll adjust, but I hate how hard this is on both of y'all right now. Kayce's idea of a pic is a great one, maybe that would comfort her a bit. Sure wish I lived close so she could hang with Auntie Marla all day, it would be nice to have a partner for my Target trips again. :)

Hang in there Momma, and give Reags a kiss from me. Love y'all!

jade said...

Dear Lisa,
Big hug to you and Reagan! I was also surprised about the lack of "warming up" to the new daycare that Anita mentioned (I'm from Belgium), but it is how it is right? I think you have received all advice you can get from fellow moms already, I haven't got anything useful to add. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that you'll both get through this very soon. Does she get to drop off Sarah with you first? Does she know she is really close by? Just curious to know how the "morning routine" goes. Also hope they fixed the webcam for the two of you! Again, big hug to you all...

frogglet said...

Take Care I know this must be really hard but it just takes time to learn Mom and Dad are always coming back. Especially with language delay. I Know if I could understand what Chloe was saying sometimes it would make it so much easier. I am so thankful I have my Mom for Chloe but I still have a hard time leaving every morning. One thing about where Chloe is she has her group of older boys that adore her. I think placing her in a setting where all the kids were the same age would be a mistake for her. Sending Reagan some extra love in our thoughts, hope she learns what fun daycare is soon.
Oh and you are not alone in the night time struggles, even the slightest change in Chloe's routine leads to sleepless nights and what I am sure are nightmares.

Alice said...

I'm a retired teacher with a degree in early childhood. Reagan may not be ready for full time daycare. She's only 2 and she has separation issues. Possibly your parents can watch her for part of the day. Crying at night and crying during the weekend make me think her fear is intense . You and your husband are amazing parents and I pray you'll all have peace of mind soon. This period is tough on all of you! So glad it was a great transition for Sarah !

Pix-Ology said...

My heart breaks for you Lisa, as I remeber clearly how my oldest reacted! It alst 4 months for her, cried every single day! My middle daughter had an experience much like Sarah's, turned around and waved goodbye to me! And now my baby is having the same issues as the first! Cried every morning and has to be peeled off of me. I am comforted by the fact that I know she is ion good hands though! It is so very tough! i hope each day gets a little better for your little Reagan, and I hope sleepy nights are in your near future. hugs!

Gail said...

I'm incredibly sorry this is hard for your girl. Lisa, you continue on being 'That Mother' and check on her as much as you want.
You and Pat are doing a fantastic job.

I know this might be an odd comment but this is showing that's she's attached to you well. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers, that slowly and surely it gets better!

big hugs...

Paige said...

I'm so sorry for both of you!! So very hard, will be praying for you all!! It will get better, just hard getting through it!

Nicole said...

We just started a mothers day out program two weeks ago. Ava has been home with me for three years ,never apart ...ever. Pei has been home 1 year. I managed to get the girls in the same class but nothing about this is easy. The centers are used to dealing with the usual situation. So they want us to walk away fast. But I have to say for the adopted child that has suffered much loss in their little lives this is hard.
We have a statement that is repeated over and over in our house." Mama always comes back . always" The teacher said that a little girl in the classroom was crying for her mom and Ava and Pei told her Mommas always come back. The teacher said it was so sweet. But for these girls these simple words bring much needed assurance and security. I get down in these girls faces daily ,make them look at me in the eye and repeat these words . Try this with sweet Reagan.
I hope your weeks to come are blessed with much peace for your sweet baby :)

fellow member of the "that" mom club:)

Unknown said...

So sorry to hear this I know how heartbreaking it is. Praying for you guys.

Krista said...

Oh poor Reagan. I hope this week is smoother.

I've seen a couple people mention it but I like the idea of the photo book. Maybe send her to daycare with the baby kind. The soft, chewable one with the handle called "Who loves baby" filled with pics of all of you and her house or bedroom.

Mia also has a blankie she sleeps with. One of those animal head mini blankie things actually. I only give it to her at bedtime. I bought a second one and leave it at the sitter's. Oh..and I slept with it for a couple weeks before we started daycare. I thought maybe the whole scent thing might comfort her, too.

Good luck. The daycare thing is hard. I'll be thinking of you both.

Virginia said...

Oh Lisa, My heart aches for you and that sweet baby girl of yours. Kerry has had big time issues with separation anxiety. For the longest time we couldn't even leave her in Church nursury for an hour and a half. I'm fortunate enough to work part-time and have my Mom close enough to watch her...and to be able to put off any daycare type setting until this summer...but I know that sometimes that's just not an option for a lot of folks. You're a great Mama and I know this is really rough, but hopefully she'll start to adjust soon. My only advice would be to keep everything else in her daily life as routine and low key as possible until then. Also if there's anyway you can give her a sense of control over the situation...as small as, like, letting her pick out what snack to take and let her put it her bag (if she takes one), or letting her pick out what shoes to wear, or maybe giving her stickers or something to share with her classmates. That's all the advice I can think of, though you've probably thought of these things already. Oh and, by all means, be "that Mom". I am...and without apology. I think we kinda have to be, especially with our girls..with their backgrounds. Hugs.


Casey said...

Lisa- I am so sorry for you and Reegan. I can't imagine how hard all of this is on both of you. I don't have any advice, but I am praying for peace for both of you. Casey

Anonymous said...

Aww im so sorry shes having a rough time. I will keep you and her in my prayers.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

oh Lisa, this all must be so difficult. I am sure with time this will all pass.


PS. that little girl is one cute package!

Laurie said...

Oh Lisa, I am so sorry! Unfortunately I know exactly what you are going through. Ariana started Aug. 29th and I can tell you it is getting somewhat easier as she seems content now when we pick her up. Drop-off is an epic nightmare of course. A. only goes part-time so our adjustment may take some time.

Our staff suggested a blanket from home and she seems to take some comfort from that.

Will be thinking of you and Reagan in the morning. Be strong, she will figure it all out.

Hunan Mommy said...

I went through something similar with my Chenzhou girl. And it's doubly hard with our girls, because we don't know if it's related to being little or previous experiences. Hang in there. As always, beautiful pictures!

Sis said...

Im so sorry Lisa. I know that seeing her upset must break your heart. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to leave her. Its gonna be ok though...time and seeing that you always come back will soothe her. Keep up your courage.


Unknown said...

I jumped in and started a Black and White Wednesday hop and gave you credit for the inspiration.


Just thought I would give credit where credit is due.

I'm sorry little Reagan is having a hard time adjusting to daycare. Praying for her each week.

Merry Christmas!
Mrs. Claus

Kristi said...

Oh Lisa,
This post made my heart sink a bit as it takes me back in time....
Separation anxiety is heart wrenching for mom and child, but, dare I say that it is especially so for the mom and child who struggles to communicate.
Might I suggest a few things that helped Vivianna a bit?? I always talked often at nighttime reassuring her that Mama loved her so much, and I was so proud of her bravery, and that I had spoken with the teachers at her new school and that they are working to understand exactly how she communicates. Honestly, I have always been amazed at our girl's receptive abilities. She "got" this and it seemed, with a bit of time too, to give her a sense of peace. Hoping Reagan finds her peace and happiness at "big girl school" too!! (Brag on her, she will eat it up if she's anything like my girl!!:-)

Unknown said...

Hi Lisa,
You have a beautiful blog and I'm blown away by the clarity of your photos. I struggle to get such crisp images. May I ask what camera and lens you use? Thank u for sharing.

Mimi said...

Lisa, you've gotten all the advice, brilliant ideas.
Just want to say my heart goes out to you, I know how upset you must feel each morning seeing her cry.
You're a brilliant mother, and I think this shows that Reagan is attached to her you,and it's also very healthy that she's expressing her emotions, not clamming up.
Just hang it there.

Dita said...

How I adore this little beauty. I know that she will find her way just as Nick did and all of you will look back on these days with a sweet smile....another part of growing up...for her AND for you...it ain't easy being Mama!


Catherine said...

Poor sweetie!! Such a hard transition for her.

I know you're hearing a lot of advise but just wanted to share what helped my daughter a bit. Even though the last time she went through a rough patch she was over 2 she loved, loved, loved spending time in the Ergo each nigh. She was much heavier and longer than when we were in China but this is still her 'safe place' where she can be close to mommy.

I can't remember if you used a carrier with Reagan but if you did you might want to try some carrier time in the evenings.

Praying for you and your sweet, sweet baby girl.