Most of our children have transitioned into our home very smoothly. We brought them home and the next day life went on as usual. Granted we added a few more doctors and therapist to the mix when kids came home but we have never had to disrupt our normal schedule.
As a family we have had to make some big adjustments this time around. Each child is so different and their response to change is as different as they are. I have always said that this blog is a place where I want to be open about the joys and struggles of a adoptive family. So here we go . . .
Our family first saw a picture of our newest daughter almost three years ago. As we were waiting for our court date back in 2009 we found out that due to circumstances beyond our control we would not be able to adopt Elshaday. It has been a rollercoaster ride since that day. We received a email in March 2010 asking if we would still consider adopting Elshaday. Again, lots of ups and downs but finally brought her home a few weeks ago. All of this to say that our family, especially our children, have been anticipating her arrival for a few years.
Elshaday is a very strong willed little girl and I am getting the idea that she may not have been told "NO" very often. However, she is perfectly fine with telling me "NO". If she wants to play with something she just takes it. If she doesn't like something you are doing she will just kick or hit you. She would gently hit another child just to see what my response would be. As long as she is getting her way life is good and she is a happy little girl.
The kids have really had to work through their feelings about Elshaday's behaviors. They were disappointed to fine out the little girl they had waited for and anticipated playing with was, in their words "MEAN". Our other child, which we adopted as a older child, asked if she acted like that when she came home. I assured her she did not.
My husband often refers to parenting like training a dog. Although I typically do not like this analogy I think it fits here. In a pack of dogs their is a heirachy, same in a family. A dog will fight his way up as far as he can in the pack. When training a dog it is important to make sure the dog knows who is at the top of the heirachy. If you don't your dog will never comply with your commands. Our daughter is just trying to find her place in the family. She is learning the heirachy of our family and where she fits in it.
We basically decided to hide out at home for a few weeks. We tried to keep a regular schedule and not have many disruptions. We wanted to be consistant when dealing with undesireable behaviors. I have been waiting to write this post because I wanted to be able to share progress not just struggles. I am so happy to report that we have gone from her telling me "NO", to her first saying, "NO" and when I stand my ground she will say "okay, okay" and comply with my request. ALL of the unwanted behaviors towards the other kids are gone. I am sure that the "testing phase" is not over but we are in a good place right now.
There is so much more to say but the kids are pestering me and I am having a hard time concentrating on what I am writing. Hope to write more later.