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Old 01-26-2013, 06:24 PM   #11
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

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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.
I was mostly just trying to keep things short, I don't want to turn people off by a huge long drawn out story. These kids are my sisters, but I had only met them once in Dec 2010, and she was in a coma two months later. My sister spent her life on drugs, and was a hardcore alcoholic when she passed. This was why I never invited her into my life. I don't want my kids around that. The meeting in Dec was a supposed to be a one time event. I know these kids went without food more then once, I know they were neglected and left alone, but to what extent, I will never really know.

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Old 01-26-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

When you guys talk about therapists, do you mean for me, or the kids? Im not sure what to ask for, or who Im looking for services for...I've been thinking this is the route I will need to take, just unsure how to get there.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:57 PM   #13
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

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When you guys talk about therapists, do you mean for me, or the kids? Im not sure what to ask for, or who Im looking for services for...I've been thinking this is the route I will need to take, just unsure how to get there.
You need individual therapy, the children need therapy, and you will likely need family therapy. They need a specialist who really understands attachment issues. You can start with your pediatrician for a referral for the children, and your own PCP for a referral for you.

Things CAN get better, maybe never 100%, but much better than now. Many hugs, you're doing an amazing thing.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:30 PM   #14
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These poor LOs can't be compared to kids with a normal upbringing. Its not that they don't care its just all mixed up inside. Definitely look for a kids therapist specializing in attachment disorder. For some reading material check out parenting the hurt child. There are other good ones if you search this forum I can't think of any others. Google reactive attachment disorder. Everything will look very familiar. there are exercises and techniques for handling kids who have been affected.this way by trauma in their lives. Maybe even exposure to drugs or alcohol in utero has affected the way their brains process things.

But for sure you aren't failing as a mom because of this. You can't develop a relationship with someone who doesn't know how to do that. Its really hard to understand for someone who had developed normally but its good that you recognized that you need help. Its not a lost cause. You did an amazing thing by taking these kids in and its not easy I'm sure but if you find help it could turn out great.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:05 AM   #15
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

I will be calling around and looking into things this week. I never knew what I was lookig for, I thought it would be more behavior specialist. The whole time we've had them I've been trying to tell people that something is wrong, but nobody listens. Everyone says, "give them time" and "Don't push doctors to label them" On one of the boys doctors visits I expressed some of what I'd observed and he turned to him and said "Do you love your mommy?" and he said "yes" and he said "looks like everything is fine to me" I did change doctors, but I never went into depth with the next doctor because I was afraid he would say the same thing, and he had other health things that needed to be taken care of before I up and left another doctor. I did talk to the doctor about feeling like something was connected differently in his head. He still cannot consistantly answer certain types of questions and it seems like things get jumbled in his head and confused, but academically, he does awesome. He does great with things that only have one answer, like the word "said" is always said and 5 plus 4 is always nine, but if you ask him Why he stood on the tv stand and jumped on his sister, he says "Don't jump on my sister" His current doctor believes my sister used drugs/alcohol while pregnant. His sister, doesn't have all of the same issues her brother has, but is detatched, and never cared about her sudden missing mother.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:41 AM   #16
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

It sounds like they have RAD. I would look into getting them diagnosed and in therapy for it. They may have other issues from the drug and alcohol use too and it sounds like the boy may have something else too from what you described in your last post. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to get them tested.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:52 AM   #17
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When you guys talk about therapists, do you mean for me, or the kids? Im not sure what to ask for, or who Im looking for services for...I've been thinking this is the route I will need to take, just unsure how to get there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:38 PM   #18
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Omg I hate it when doctors treat you like an idiot. It doesn't surprise me though, attachment issues are so misunderstood. Good for you for advocating for your kids.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:34 AM   #19
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

Go to empoweredtoconnect.org. I totally agree that you are looking at an attachment disorder like RAD. You do need to get into an attachment based therapy. But on the website done by author Karyn Purvis there is a wealth of info. It was designed to help foster parents and adoptive parents who are dealing with attachment issues. Everything you described is normal for children whose early life began like your nieces and nephews. There is hope and you are definitely not alone in your struggles. Praying for you!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:49 AM   #20
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Re: I need help, bonding with children that are no babies

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My sister spent her life on drugs, and was a hardcore alcoholic when she passed. I know these kids went without food more then once, I know they were neglected and left alone, but to what extent, I will never really know.
OMG this was my brother to a T. I understand your wanting to simplify the story a bit!
Basically my brother was born to a drug addicted mother who was quite clearly malnourished during pregnancy (and probably using). He spent his first several years in a horrible neglectful orphanage setting. He was nutritionally and emotionally starved, basically.
Because of some funny business with his age (int'l adoption) my parents had a battery of tests run when he was 3-4. One of them was some kind of brain scan (they were trying to determine how old he really was) and it basically showed whole areas of the brain that literally are. not. there. Like they never got the nutrition or stimulation they needed to grow and develop. Some of these were emotional centers so he struggles with the same attachment issues your kids are facing, too. I know it must be so hard but please, please, please get everyone some counseling asap. And perhaps start looking at the physical/medical side of things too - no magic bullets but at least it might "explain" where some issues are coming from kwim?
Also, I beg you, involve your (bio) kids in the therapy, and perhaps have some sessions with just you/dh and them. It's not their "fault" they are well adjusted - and I'm not saying that you are playing that - but they are ME 25 years ago and I know from experience it's so easy to feel left out and "hey, I am normal so I don't count, gee thanks mom." I know you are trying to do the best for these kids but please don't lose sight of everyone.
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