Saturday, December 15, 2012

Total Vindication

Blossom is totally vindicated! She did not put toothpaste in the toilet either. It was all Sissy. I had repeatedly asked Sissy about it and she denied doing it until I knew without a doubt, last night, that Blossom did not do it. I have asked Blossom many times if she's ready for me to put toothpaste back in the bathroom and she's always been adamant that I not do it, that she's scared when she see's it. Now I know why. Sissy would flush the toothpaste, Blossom would accept blame and punishment.

I also got more out of Sissy of what she said to Blossom to coerce her. She said that because they were sisters, Blossom had to obey Sissy, that I was a very bad girl, that I would not believe anything Blossom said, also that she would hit Blossom. I'm sure she said other terrible things to convince Blossom to take the blame for all of Sissy's crimes.

We have seen an adoption attachment specialist and will continue to meet with her. She said that I have no worries about Jie Jie, I'm doing well with Blossom and that Blossom is going to be fine, but that Sissy has full-blown RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and I have been given things to do to help her, all of which are taking what I'm already doing, as my natural parenting style, to the next level.

The attachment specialist said that punishment is well and good, but that Sissy must also make restitution for the duration that she committed the offenses against her sister. Sissy now has to make Blossom's bed and fold her laundry for 2.5 months. I must point out to her all the emotions she should have and connect them to events for her. For example, when Jie Jie gets Pediasure, look at Sissy and say, "You are probably jealous that Jie Jie gets this drink and you do not and feeling jealous makes you feel angry. You are growing just fine and do not need this drink, but Jie Jie does, so you should not feel angry or jealous. I feel happy that I can buy this special drink for Jie Jie to help her grow and be healthy."

Rewards for initiative and good questions, both of which demonstrate thought occurring, should also be rewarded with one tiny chocolate chip or equivalent. The younger girls will also get the same treat for the same thing to prevent jealousy and misunderstanding (since the "naughty" sister is apparently being rewarded) and also to set an example. Both little girls are good thinkers. Yesterday, Blossom said, "Oranges have a lot of water and apples have a little water." Sissy was blown away that Blossom would know something like this and asked how she knew it. Blossom said she learned it in China, but I also knew she could observe it on the counter since we've been eating a lot of oranges off our tree this week. I pointed out to Sissy that she can easily observe it, too, if only she'd look and think.

I don't know if Sissy can be healed. The important thing for all of us to remember is that this condition is not the fault of our children, but of the system that they were brought up in. It's a common condition for children who are raised in an institution to have and the one condiditon that will prevent them from having normal and productive lives as adults. But, it can be cured with intense work. Essentially, I am now teaching Sissy all about emotions, her feelings. Some she has, others she doesn't have and must learn, like sorrow, empathy, motivation. I also must teach her appropriate ways to express her emotions, which means teaching her to identify the feelings and give it the right name. She is in critical condition, but it could be worse. She has not run away, started a fire, or physically harmed anyone.

There have seen signs that I did not realize were indicative of the severity of the problem include the fact that Sissy lays perfectly still when I kiss her good night. She doesn't reciprocate or participate at all, which is now different. Not only do parents have to "fake it 'til you make it," but we can ask our kids to do it, too. So now, Sissy hugs and kisses me good night. The attachment specialists also encouraged me to continue to bath both girls myself. Other signs are of serious RAD include a lack of curiosity, lack of motivation or initiative to do anything, difficulty learning, lack of desire to learn anything other than skills to help themselve be independent of anyone, lack of empathy, self stimulating behaviors. There are things not listed in the adoption books, or things to read between the lines of in the adoption books. Oh, like control. Right now she eats VERY slowly. This is a passive way to control the family. So is repeating questions she knows the answers to over and over, like 2 or 4 year-olds do. The proper response from me in this instances should be to announce at the beginning of the meal how long they have to eat and then clear the table at the specified time even if the she is still eating. As for the questions, say, "I've already told you the answer and I will not tell you again," then completely ignore it if she asks again.

I am being open and honest because anyone considering adoption needs to know these things. I love my daughters and I am willing to do the work needed, fully aware that it might not be successful with my daughter. However, she does have a good chance of recovery and I absolutely have to give her that chance.


Amy said...

Hugs to you. You are a great mommy to your 3 girls. I have learned so much from reading your blog. Thanks for sharing

Sherri said...

Oh Kimi...I am so sorry. I KNOW we are given strength for every hard thing that comes in our lives but I also know there must be moments when you grieve over Sissy's diagnosis. I'm so thankful you are getting help now. I don't have time to comment on here much but I always read...thank you for sharing.

Anne said...

Thank you so much for being so open in sharing your parenting wisdom. How do you do all of this teaching about emotions and feelings when there must definitely still be a language barrier? Can Sissy understand these conversations?

Almond Tea said...

K, it's so interesting that Sissy's "laziness" isn't really laziness but more of a symptom of RAD. I'm so glad you went to the attachment therapist. I don't know if I would have ever connected the dots.

I'm so sorry about Sissy. But at least you know. And knowing is half the battle. Please keep us updated on her progress (or lack thereof.)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read all about Blossom. I think she is really going to start to soar now, K!

I know you have your hands full with Sissy. But this is such good news and such a relief about Blossom.

We are so hopeful for her! She is going to be an amazing child.

Catherine said...

K, I love to read your blog and find myself cheering you on from afar. You are absolutely amazing and your daughters have received the most wonderful gift from God when He chose you to be thier Mama. Keep up all the great work!
When you grow weary please know there are many supporting you, praying for you and cheering you on!