Not sure what to do.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bountiful life, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. bountiful life

    bountiful life New Member

    Hello, I just came upon this support forum for parents of children with behavioural problems.

    I am a married mother of 2 girls, both were adopted at fairly young ages. My oldest does not give me a difficult time where I cannot handle her; my youngest on the other hand....there is always conflict in our home. She is defiant and I almost think she intentionally tries to cause problems. I don't know how to handle her little meltdowns.

    She tells me all the time "I can do what I want" if something doesn't go her way she runs to her bedroom and slams the door. She either hides under her blankets or sits in the corner of her bed. I have tried talking to her and holding her, but after 5 minutes she just goes back to her fit.

    She is a very smart little girl in school and is a beautiful little girl, I love her and her sister so much...but truth be told she is just driving a wedge between my husband, older daughter and I. Some days I want to just burst into tears when she behaves like this. She told me the other day that "I was not her mother, the lady that carried her in her tummy is her real mother". That hurt so bad, I nearly lost it...I have come to realize that she is a troubled little girl that needs help.

    I have an appointment for a child psychiatrist for her, but I have another month to go...does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can help this child understand that she is and always has been wanted and loved very much?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the site!

    I recommend reading up on Attachment issues with adoptions and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). There are many adoptive parents on the site that can help with these attachment issues.

    Also, I have often seen recommended to adoptive parents to read The Primal Wound - I think that is it. From what I gather it is a true look into the pain that a child feels when adopted - even if they never knew their biological parents.
  3. bountiful life

    bountiful life New Member

    Thank you for your suggestions, I will definetly look into all of those options!:D
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I have four adopted kids. I was wondering how old yours were when they were adopted (yes, it matters) and if they were exposed to substances, including alcohol, while the birthmother was pregnant. Also, were they abused either in bio. family or foster home? If from another country, did they spend time in an orphanage? Any birthfamily history?

    When we adopted L. at age two, he was very different and we had many assessments of him and also put him into interventions at age three. He has done really well, but he is on the autism spectrum (high end). He's sixteen now and I shudder to think of how things would have been without the interventions.

    in my opinion adopted kids are harder to diagnose. I favor NeuroPsychs for our children. They are psychologists with extra training in the brain and they do a whole range of testing, from 6-10 hours (if they are good). They can give you a good idea of your child's deficits and problems and then you can figure out what you want to do about them.

    I agree that they also may have attachment issues. Two year old didn't (but he lived only with one stable family before us). My six year old from Hong Kong had serious attachment issues and we also adopted an eleven year old out of foster care. He was so disturbed and dangerous and had a diagnosis of "Severe Reactive Attachment Disorder." We had to let him go.

    There are degrees of attachment problems, and this requires special therapy. However, I'd have the neuropsychologist evaluation first and see if he thinks his behavior is strictly due to attachment. The usual is that many things are going on. If his birthmother drank, he could be on the fetal alcohol spectrum, even if he doesn't have the whole syndrome, and you wouldn't be able to see it.

    I wish you luck, whatever you decide to do. Just remember, an adopted child at an older age is NOT the same as a problem child who has always lived with his biological family and, thus, has not been passed around and whose genetic history is known. It IS harder and takes more time to find answers. ALL adopted kids think about their birthparents, especially thier birthmothers. All my adopted kids have said "you're not my real mom" at different times. It's not personal. They have to wrestle with identity issues that bio. kids don't have. Everyone wants to know about who gave birth to her/him and why he/she was given up. I'd call that pretty typical. And...

    My thirteen year old was adopted at birth. We watched her being born. She is positive we love her to death. Just ask her ;) However, she DID feel rejected and unwanted at one time. Why? Because her birthmother and birthfather "gave me up." There is nothing we adoptive parents can do to stop THAT hurt. It is almost always there in adopted kids, particularly girls, but boys as well. It often requires therapy. You can't love away the fact that she was abandoned. I'm in touch with an awesome adoption psychologist. He just sees adopted kids. Any time an adoption issue comes up, he sees our kids and has a rare and beautiful understanding of their unique issues. Even adopted kids who keep it inside think about birthmother. It can often start interfering with their lives, especially in the teen years.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  5. bountiful life

    bountiful life New Member

    Hello Midwest Mom,

    Thanks for all of your input.

    DDH was 1 1/2 years old when we adopted her and DDL (older) was 2 1/2. They were both in the foster home together and they had been there since birth. I do not believe there was any abuse in the household, however there were 8 children the home. The family had 4 children of their own and 2 sets of foster sisters.
    The biological mother was a alcoholic/addict, DHL did not have any chemical showing the mother abused while she was pregnant. DDH did however have narcotics show in her testing. Both children have been seen by areas of expertise in these areas and I have been assured that both children show no signs of risidual effects of the mother's mistakes.

    I sat down and had a real good talk with DDH last night and it was a much smoother evening and morning...thank god! The talk ended with lots of hugs and kisses with reassurance that there is no mistaking she and her sister are my daughters no matter who carried them in their tummy and that my husband and I Love them more than anything in the world. She seemed eased and I gave her some "important jobs" to help me with and she complied. DDH will see the Doctor in December and until then, I will just reinforce my love and sit and talk to her privately everynight and see if she needs to let anything out...I am determined that we will get through this.

    I thank you so much for your help:D