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Old 01-26-2013, 01:13 AM   #1
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I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

we are guardians of two children due to a family death. Although we are only guardians, nobody will ever come knocking on our door to take these children from us, so I consider it more of an adoption, we just can't afford the legal process to fight their non exsistant father, but courts say we must get his permission. Anyways, I'm going to try to keep this short, but really its soo long and I don't have anyone to talk to, I don't know who to turn to, I'm at the point of wondering if I can see a family therapist or something...

I have three kids of my own, 9 girl, 7 boy, and 4 girl. The other two kids are 6 boy and 4 girl. They have been living with us for two years now. I thought things would be better. I don't want it to seem like I only have bad things to say, I have good things to say too, I'm just trying to keep this short, but the biggest issue is I do not know how to bond to these children. From day 1 I've said they were MY kids, we call all the kids brothers and sisters, etc they call me mommy, etc, but the bond just isn't there. I know they came from a bad situation. Neither child has ever asked or showed one bit of interest in where they real mother went. They came to stay with us when she went into the hospital and by the next day were already calling us mommy and daddy, but the bond isn't there. I honestly don't think either one of them care if we are here or not. They have the same attatchment to strangers as they do to us. I've found the girl sitting on strangers laps at birthday parties and both kids have tried to leave with other people like its no big deal at all! They have odd manerisms (if thats a word) They are so different then any child I've ever dealt with, I will not give them up, but I don't know what to do about the bonding. Both kids have some behavior issues, food hoarding, and things I just dont understand, but how do you bond with a child that isn't yours? I feel like they DESERVE to be loved. I fake it, I hug and kiss them, I say I love you, I try to keep things as equal and even as possible, is there a book? a specialist? Would a family therapist be able to help? I just feel so alone. None of my friends have over 3 kids so they don't even understand the stresses of 5 kids, let alone 2 of them being someone elses and having a host of their own issues....I just don't know where to turn anymore. I have a positive attitude about it, I don't let anyone else know I'm really struggling with this, Im a good faker, but Im tired of faking it. Sorry this got so long...and I'm still leaving out so much

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:03 AM   #2
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

Yes, I would look into therapy - one that specializes in adoption issues and attachment disorders? An adoption agency in your area might have a name for you. These issues you are dealing with sound very common to adopting older children from what I've read when we went through an adoption homestudy with classes and suggested reading. One book I liked was 'holding time'.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:23 AM   #3
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

That sounds like the kids have Reactive Attachment Disorder amd is something that you need professional help with. In short, it means the kids never bonded properly as infants and are unable tl form appropriate attachments now. It can manifest with strange behavior like you are describing. Unfirtunately very common in neglect situations (sounds like that might be what they were coming from?). So sorry, mama. It is a long, difficult road you are on
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:30 AM   #4
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

I really have no advice here but did not want to read it with out offering lots and lots of

It is a wonderful thing you are doing, I truely hope things get better soon.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:30 AM   #5
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

There are specialty therapists who deal just with this and are even special attachment programs around the country. I'd start doing some googling and see what you can come up with.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melinda29
That sounds like the kids have Reactive Attachment Disorder amd is something that you need professional help with. In short, it means the kids never bonded properly as infants and are unable tl form appropriate attachments now. It can manifest with strange behavior like you are describing. Unfirtunately very common in neglect situations (sounds like that might be what they were coming from?). So sorry, mama. It is a long, difficult road you are on
My son has it too, and is a lot like you described. You will need to get a psychologist involved. There is hope, but the sooner you get help the better.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

(((HUGS))) Definitely a specialist.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:13 PM   #8
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

Hugs. It must be hard. I know it was when my dad left our family then died as stepmom never really seemed to care about me. That would be one thing for me.

I wouldn't say yes to kids if I couldn't genuinely take care as my own & love them & all as my own. Have you tried to talk to the kids on things if there are things that bother them or what not. Sometimes it takes a while too as I have had many deaths in my family & everything changes....
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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mama. I think the PPs who suggested therapy asap are right on the money. Also, i know you were probably being intentionally vague, but as much as you know/can find out about their pre adoptive life the better. It will only make things clearer for the therapist.
My brother and I are both adopted - me from a good situation, him from a very bad one. He sounds exactly like what you described and my parents left things too late. He wound up with very low self-esteem and it has caused nothing but heartache for everyone.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:20 PM   #10
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

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Originally Posted by abunchoflemons View Post
Hugs. It must be hard. I know it was when my dad left our family then died as stepmom never really seemed to care about me. That would be one thing for me.

I wouldn't say yes to kids if I couldn't genuinely take care as my own & love them & all as my own. Have you tried to talk to the kids on things if there are things that bother them or what not. Sometimes it takes a while too as I have had many deaths in my family & everything changes....
My intention was always to love them as my own, but our plans as parents rarely work out the way WE want them to. If it was my choice, these children would be less robot like, they are just always so.....whatever...no real emotion. Its not like I had a previous relationship with these children, I didn't know what I was getting into. At the time we felt these kids should remain with family and we are all they have, but we are going to stick it out. The four year old does not remember her mother, I've tried talking to the boy that turns 6 in March, but he is completely emotionless about all of it, he doesn't seem to care one bit.
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