As adoptive parents bring home their children, they often find that the children place unexpected values on objects or activities. Items that may hold little significance to a child raised in a family, can be extremely important to one raised in an institution.
The same can be said for sights, sounds and activities that are commonplace to children raised in the U.S. These experiences are sometimes overwhelming to our adoptive children when they first arrive in their new environment.
The flight to Bulgaria to bring Susie home was fraught with problems. We were to take 4 flights from Detroit to Sophia, and when the first flight was delayed, it started a domino affect for the rest of the 18 hours. As my sister-in-law and I raced through the NewYork airport, I had a real bad feeling that while we would make the plane, our luggage would not. And I was right. Nothing made it.Luckily, I had packed a carry-on and had a set of clothes for Susie, just in case this happened. But I only had one pair of sandals for her, and I did not know if they would fit.
They were too big. But that is OK, I reasoned. Our luggage would be at the hotel when we returned from the orphanage and I would put the smaller size on her. Um, WRONG! Those sandals were not coming off. No way, no how! Not at bedtime, not when they got wet walking in puddles, never! Susie wore those sandals for 4 weeks straight, all day and all through the night. The only time they came off was in the bath and in the pool. But, the second she was out of water, they were back on her feet.
Given the sandals were starting to smell pretty bad, I finally had an idea. I bought her new shoes that flashed! WOW! Look at these!!!!! It took a few moments to agree to take off her first pair and try them on, but she did. We spent the next week going back and forth between the two before I could finally “lose” the shoes in the trash can. But I finally did succeed.
My advice to all those going to pick up their children – make sure you really like the shoes you first put on
them, and try to get one that will not smell after being worn for several weeks straight!