Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A bit of Psychology: {the siblings}


One of my bloggy friends asked me how the rest of our children have dealt with some of the issues that Lilah has caused in our home.

First of all, my kids are true siblings. The love, they play, they fight, they yell, they like to be together and they need time a part.

Seven kids will always cause chaos in any home.

My bio children love adoption. They love the little ones as much as they love all of their siblings. But I would say that they have even more compassion for the little ones, out of some understanding of where they have come from and what they have been through. My older kids read my blog, they listen to our conversations regarding the issues we have and we try to keep them in the loop, so that they can understand why the littles sometimes behave the way they do and why they are sometimes treated differently.

Lilah's behaviours have affected our kids. Anytime there is any sort of stress in a home, it affects the kids. Our reactions to some of Lilah's behaviours may not have always been great, we haven't always dealt with her the right way, but we are learning and trying. We also try to keep the older kids out of the discipline part of things. This doesn't always happen. Abby is 17, almost an adult and she deals with things the way that we deal with things. She sees things in a more mature way.

The process of older child adoption, is a learning one. Every child is different and deals differently with what they have experienced in life. Personality plays a large part in this. I feel Tim and I dealt with things the best we could, we tried to take our time, to be understanding, we tried to deal with one issue at a time. Honestly, when a child causes this much stress, it is really hard to attach to them. I do find our therapy very helpful with attachment on my part as well. I have attached very differently to each adopted child.

Overtime, the other kids have learned to ignore Lilah's constant crying and drama. They are sick of it, just like Tim and I are sick of it. I don't think this is a bad thing. If they ran to comfort her every time, that would cause more problems. If they were the comforters, while Tim and I were the disciplinarians, that would cause more issues.

One thing we have to watch every time we adopt is that the littles will often try to go to the older siblings for comfort when they are disciplined. They are mad at Tim and I, so they try to go to the fun ones who don't discipline. We often have to tell the older kids to back off and even at times, to back off completely. Meaning they take a break from picking them up, carrying them around, cuddling them on their laps. Lilah tended to do this the most, she would hold a grudge for hours and hours.

The little ones don't seem to be overly affected by Lilah's behaviours. They seem to be fairly oblivious and maybe somewhat too self absorbed to notice.

The one time it can affect the whole family is when we have to WAIT for Lilah. This happens often. She will do things on her own time. Taking forever to eat, taking forever to get dressed, taking forever to just do those daily, common sense things that I have already talked about. This can be tricky to deal with, unless Tim and I are willing to divide and conquer... meaning one of us will stay back with her and she misses out on that activity, which means that one of us, also miss out on that activity. Very frustrating. I was at the school today as the kids were getting ready to leave for the day and noticed that this happens at school as well. The teacher had to constantly tell her to hurry up and get ready.


I guess my answer to this is that even though there is stress and chaos in our home often, the kids are learning to deal with it, as we are as parents. They have compassion. They see adoption as a blessing. They are proud of their siblings. They have never shown any regrets about us adopting three times (except for Micah when he was five and told me to take Lilah back to China!). And I think as they see us working towards healing the hurts that have come with our littles, they learn as well, how to deal with stress, how to ask for help and more than anything, they see that the BLESSINGS far outweigh the hard times.

Adoption is so worth it and our kids have learned and grown in ways that other children will never experience.


Danae said...

I know I sound like a broken record but thank you....thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question.


Denise said...

Very well written, Paige. I know Kylar tends to forget that the girls are adopted - they are just his sisters. I'm sure that's true for your kids as well. They are just siblings and in any family (adopted or not) there will be the kids that make life just a little bit more "interesting". I love that first photo by the way!

the meaklims said...

You are so right, all children react different to circumstances and personalities definitely play a huge part in the whole process.

Life is so much about trial and error and sometimes things don't work as you expect and sometimes they do. You just have to keep working through it all. I guess in some ways it is good to see that things are not JUST happening in the home, as you experienced the same in school.

So much patience to be learned, I must admit, sometimes I'm not the most patient person! I commend you for everything you've been through, and you haven't pulled your hair out yet, in fact, you went ahead with two more adoptions... you have courage and FAITH... and that makes you an amazing woman and mother.


PS - Pictures are FABULOUS!! And snow? Yikes!! We got a few flakes yesterday and I cringed! ;)

Marie said...

It certainly is a learning process. We too have responded, and continue on occassion to respond in ways that we are not proud of. These moments have a way of keeping Martin and I humble, helping us learn and most importantly, lean on God.

I do think our kids are growing in ways not possible without the experience of adoption...it is such a blessing to see the hearts/compassion grow in our kids.

Sara said...

Thanks again for another honest,open blog post. You may not realize it but you are helping many of us who are not as far along the journey as you are.

Praying for your dear little, Lilah. God is able to heal her little heart and all of its emotional bruises.


Monica said...

Very well said, Paige. I know my older kids are different people than they would have been due to our adoption experiences, too.

The Hull Munchkins said...

Paige, thanks so much for sharing this very personal part of adoption. We are 3 weeks home with our newest little and it's been hard. The sibling dynamic has really been affected and I'm exhausted at the end of our days! Our 3 year old would probably be glad if we sent Jack Nathan back...

I suppose time will heal and help.