GLA’s infant/child care ministry is divided into two facilities. The Main House which contains the NICU/Nursery and the Toddler House. Each is set up for specific age and development levels. Depending on an infant/toddlers advancement, abilities, and personality, as well as which facility has more room and available staff we periodically move children up to the Toddler House who are aging out of the nursery. These kids spend 1-2 weeks having day long play dates up at the Toddler House, getting to know their new nannies, forming friendships with the other kids, and becoming familiar with the facility. On the final transition day they stay for dinner, bath time, and get tucked in for their first night in a new little colorful cottage. We always transition kids from the nursery in small groups so they have one another to pull comfort and security from, as well as so they can keep their closest friends who often times have become already, or will become in the future more like siblings than friends.
Last week five brave little souls made the transition and moved up to Toddler House. They did amazingly well and we are so proud of them! They were not without fear, and you could see it in their faces, as well as feel their little hearts beat faster as new routines, new kids twice their height, and new big spaces become their environment. And just in case we didn’t know, they from time to time also reminded us in very loud announcements that they were being forced to move but weren’t going to be forced to be only happy about itJ. As empathetic as I am to their anger and uncertainty I am relieved to see their individual reactions and resistance to change and the unknown, it is healthy. We as a staff at Toddler House are delighted to have these new little people join our family, and the older kids have already claimed up who they will protect and take care of. They have all done so well, courageous little toddlers, managing new levels of endless stairs, eating in the big dining hall, daring to go down the slide all on their own, joining a new school and following along to the new lessons, in every aspect though cautiously hesitant at first, they have embraced the newness and joined in the adventures. When asked what they seemed to like the most… for each it is different. But ALL of them have loved the large open areas to RUN! Which Miss M and Mr J do often! And secondly the awareness and observation of the older children whom they seem to enjoy imitating:). Miss Y hasn’t lost a beat dancing with her new house sisters, and doing dolly’s hair. And Miss M is in every waking moment exploring with excitement what she will climb next! As they become more comfortable their needs switch from less comforting and reassuring to more corralling and correcting (2 yr olds will be 2 yr olds) please continue to pray for their adjustments, the other kids’ dealing with feeling displaced at the youngest or babies of the house, and the ladies to have plenty of wisdom, patience, and energy to meet everyone’s emotional needs.