In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Before 8:00

Before 8:00, Elijah managed to get his diaper changed, find his keys and scale several objects in the house. Here, he was contemplating what to do with the light-bulb in the lamp.

Here, he turned around and smiled when he saw the camera; before that, he was making a few alterations to the settings on the printer.

Thankfully, he really doesn't scale the computer desk too often, the kitchen table is his regular domain. Here he is after putting on his boots to head out and do chores with the boys. As long as he has his boots, he isn't concerned about clothes.

On an even more exhausting note, I would love ANY input from adoptive Moms about my sweet Julia. Julia is the little girl they wrote about in the poem that says, "when she is good, she is very, very good - but when she's bad, she's horrid." (Something like that, anyway) Julia is a complete, loving sweet-heart, but she is so, so demanding! She whines and demands to be held several hours a day. I have thought for the last few years that she would out-grow it, but now I'm concerned that there is something actually wrong. When we hold her, it's not enough - she demands that certain people not sit by her, she hangs on our necks, she digs in our hair, etc. The attention she receives seldom seems to be enough and her demands are often so unreasonable that she isn't satisfied.

While I've tried "meeting" these demands, I've also tried not. When I insist that she sit by me during school (instead of on me, in my hair) she will scream. I have sat her on her bed before and she can scream for over an hour no problem. I've given up on naps, because they were commonly a two hour scream-a-thon that didn't result in any sleep at all. I can not just sit her in time-out when she is going, because her volume is piercing and she kicks at the furniture, etc.

While I don't think she exhibits common attachment disorder signs, I do think there is some connection to her early days of switching from a family, to an orphanage, then to our home. On another note, she never performs these sessions for JD; all he has to do is tell her to stop crying and she immidiately stops - but not so for me or my teens! There are days that seem to be an endless cycle of demands and other days flow smoothly, with little hold-me demands.

Any wisdom? Any ideas of where I should go to even know if there is something that I need to treat? Thanks!


  1. I am a foster/adoptive mom and we have been having some trouble with our 3 year old. Have you ever thought of getting her evaluated for grief, anxiety, attachment issues etc? The screaming for hours sounds to familiar and it sounds as if she is trying her best to control her world. Just a thought. I admire your family and love following your blog. God Bless you with wisdom and patience in large quantities!

  2. Hello dear friend,
    We, well I, struggle with issues with our older adopted one too. She will be six next month and has been with us for four years. She is extremely sensitive and responds very differently to Steve than she does to me.With me, she is very clingly at times and more time demanding and whiny than our other adopted one. Sometimes I wonder though, how much of it is her trying to control things, since she had no control of anything in her life before us. I think (globally speaking) that all adoptive children will need some type of therapy at some point in their lives for something. I mean, let's face it, even those of us blessed enough, to grow up in "great" homes, probably have some "issues"! :) One thing that I try really hard to enforce (gosh, that sounds like a harsh word) is to not deal with them when they are in the throws of a screaming fit. So if they want my attention, they have to calm down enough that they can talk to me and tell me what they would like in a nice way. I remember when Joshua was little and he struggled with anger control, they only way I could get him to calm down was to put him in the bath tub with warm water and pour it over his back. When he eventually stopped screaming he could articulate exactly why he was upset.
    love, Shi

  3. http://www.storinguptreasures.com/2010/03/dear-moms-like-me.html

    This is a blog I follow... She had a guest poster.. I know it does not anwser your question but it seemed to fit your situation a little bit.

    On a seperate note. My brother has Aspergers Autism. With one parent he was great... With the other... he had tempertantrums as a 15 year old boy... It is hard... But have you thought about a therapist? I know they have ones specific to behavioral... I will had you to my prayers... From one Mom to another... YOUR AMAZING!!!!

  4. Jenny,

    We've had similar issues with some of our girls. In the beginning, we try to love on them and give them what they need/want. Later, I do see patterns of it being a control issue. I can see where counseling would be a benefit. One thing to think about is why she is so different with your husband.

    I could tell you what we did...but I know from experience that families really have to find their own way of handling things. I will pray that God will give you and your husband the wisdom to do so.


  5. Sounds like J-man . It really could be attachment realted. Especially since she doesn't do it with your husband. E-mail me - let's chat. I am not have answers, but I sure can relate!

  6. Pick up the books Adopting the Hurt Child and Parenting the Hurt Child. The authors talk about these types of issues. We have two older adopted special needs children and I found these books very helpful.