There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ~Richard Buckminster Fuller



All seven of our adopted children were abandoned by their biological families and found to be taken to an orphanage. Even though this was a terrible place to end up, our children were allowed to live.

It brings to mind the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar, “By the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.” Once upon a time, a little child lay in his birth mother’s arms but as fate would have it, the child would leave that mother not knowing what would happen to them. A little caterpillar on its own taken to an orphanage where life would go stagnant.


I just read an article by Rainbow Kids giving…

{Commentary added to each step below is my own.}


5 Things You Should Know About Orphanage Life and Your Child

  1. Orphanages deprive them of a sense of permanency: Our children went from the arms of a mother into a bed 24/7 and a hot bottle propped up with no one to hold them. OR maybe they were 3 and actually realized what was happening, looking for their family constantly. People come and go, caregivers and children, with no connections to any of them. It is wonderful that my children were CHOSEN, but do you ever stop to think about the ones that were left? Excruciating thought! Children don’t know if they will be there tomorrow or not. There is no permanency… even at the young age of 14, they will put out on the street to find their way. THAT is too much to even thing about!!!
  2. Their free time tends to be well-managed: Every child does the same thing every day with no choices being made on their own. When potty training, children are even woken up in the night to use potty so they won’t soil their beds. There isn’t much stimulation with no toys and only a tv to watch hours after hours. At mealtime, it is a feat to keep all their food for themselves. I have a video of Holly watching another child take dumplings for himself. From a very young age, she had to fend off bullies. It is no wonder their lives are one big overstimulation after another when we bring them home to our over the top homes!
  3. They learn to depend on themselves: All of our children except one came to us ‘potty trained’ but if they were three or younger, we put them back in diapers or pull ups. I had many people WHY would you do that!?! I wanted to give them back a little of their infanthood; something that had been taken away from them long ago. It gave us a way to bond as well. Because there were so many children being cared for, they were made to take care of themselves, and came to us dressing themselves, feeding themselves, almost like little adults. If you had been in China when we adopted our four year old son, you would have witnessed him sitting in my lap with me feeding him his every bite. You would have seen us carrying this 35 pound boy everywhere. We took him back as far as would could giving him a gift of time. Children shouldn’t have to grow up so fast!
  4. The orphanage environment does not help build family skills: Once we were home, it took a very long time to create new ways of doing things. For the number of years in an orphanage, is at the very least how long we believe it takes a child to feel bonded into their new family. Nurture and comfort are so foreign, the children are overstimulated from it all. They go from a sterile, cold environment to one with all the comforts they could ever imagine. It takes a while for family to mean anything to them. How do they know this isn’t just like the orphanage where these adults will leave and another set will come along? They don’t know!!! It is our greatest responsibility to give our children a stable and predictable life so they can begin to feel safe and secure.
  5. Trauma will have been a part of your child’s life: I have talked about this over and over! Trauma as a child truly affects every facet of their life for years and years. I haven’t even parenting my first adopted child long enough to know, BUT I am aware, and that will make all the difference in the world!

What Does ALL This Mean?

My next post is really WHERE I am going with this whole series… Cocooning Our Children. It is what I’ve come to know is the MOST important part of bringing that little caterpillar out of their orphanage life trauma into their life as a family butterfly.