I feel like I've come across rather negative lately, but that is not my intention with this post; it's just to shed a light on attachment or trauma issues that most people do not understand. The reality is that adoption is born out of some level of trauma, especially for any child that was adopted older than new-born. Amazingly, Julia was my youngest adoptee, yet by far we have definitely struggled with difficult behaviors more with her than anyone. I actually think the reality of three homes (her African home, the orphanage and us) the first year was much more traumatic than it was for my other three that were a bit older when they suffered the transitions. My struggle to help Julia led me to utilize the public school for the first time at the end of last year, not because I wanted space from her, but because I realized that the more structure she had, the better she did.
She did fairly well this summer, until the last few weeks. I think her three weeks of summer school and our swim team routine helped her immensely. It has been the last few "free" weeks that have sent things back into a tough pattern.
I have to make sure you realize that this isn't her all the time, sometimes she is as pleasant as can be, but the power struggles are generally incredibly irrational. Today we did about an hour straight of screaming and crying because I wouldn't pay her a dollar to swim. We had a treat stop today at the store in honor of Julia going to her Sunday school class without crying, which is only an issue when JD doesn't go with us. I only paid for Julia and Elijah's treats, since that is what allowance is for. Later, after a few hours of whining, because Julia wanted to go swimming and no one else did, I told James that if he would swim with her, I would pay for his today treat. At that point, Julia wanted to be reimbursed a dollar for her treat (that she didn't even pay for) and started demanding a dollar to go swimming. When I refused to pay her to do what she wanted, we had a rough hour of screaming and crying. She refused to let me hold her or read to her or even go swimming; just cried and cried for that dollar.
I was actually inspired to write this post today by a comment that an online friend (that I hope doesn't mind being quoted) left me.
I was very judgmental and anti-government school until we adopted too. Part of it was all the government involvement and lack of privacy that goes along with adopting part of it is learning to appreciate what schools have and can offer that I can't. It is good to live in a country with access to education. I'm thankful to read how you are hoping to do what best for your special needs kids as I am figure out how to do what's best for mine.
My motivation is to help others understand that I (and many like me) have been pushed to consider options that I would not have considered with my first batch of biological children and to be compassionate if you know people like me :)