***Paging Butterflygrooves*** — The Bump
Special Needs

***Paging Butterflygrooves***

If you don't mind, I have an adoption-behavior question for you. I think we talked some about one of your little ones several months ago, and now I'm experiencing similar issues with J.  Are you around to "talk?"

Re: ***Paging Butterflygrooves***

  • Yes, I am here. You can PM me too if you would rather share privately.
  • Thank you!  I have a post over on the adoption board (Part 2).  I believe you dealt with one of your little ones lying, and was hoping you could tell me what worked for you.

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  • I'm going to be very honest here...

    Like fred said about her DD, Iz is a lying liar that lies. She has been with us for 21 months and the lying isn't going away no matter how many talks we have about it. She gives answers that she thinks we want to hear, makes up stories about her behavior at school, omits the truth, stays silent when she gets caught in a lie, etc. I have calmly told her that lying is not acceptable, yelled at her, given timeouts, grounded her, taken toys and other fun things away, all to no avail.

    Iz and I do not have a good relationship. As the SAHM, I am the disciplinarian in our house and DW is the fun parent, Iz gravitates toward and give ALL of her love to DW. DW believes that Iz is an angel because that's the way Iz behaves in front of her, it frustrates me to no end. I don't know when it started happening but each day when I wasn't around DW would ask Iz if she got in trouble with me, Iz would lie and make up things that I said or did to her, to the point where it put a major strain on our marriage because it was never brought to my attention. Because of these lies from Iz and my DW not communicating her concerns to me, DW began to protect Iz and wouldn't allow me to discipline her when she was around. In fact, she would keep Iz by her side if we ever went anywhere just so I couldn't say anything to her, I was devastated that I was the one who wasn't trusted. The looks of Yes.I.Just.Got.Away.With.That bothered me to no end but I had to choose between saving my marriage or disciplining Iz.

    Now Iz has begun to show the behaviors that I always see to DW and DW is starting to see that Iz is as I have portrayed her, a liar. DW has been getting fed up with Iz's lies and has taken a more firm stance on disciplining her, I'm hoping this helps to curb the lying. I
    ir perfect relationship up.
  • Ignore that last jumble of a sentence, TB always hides something I want to delete in a long post and keeps it where I can't edit it.
  • Oh, Butterfly, I'm sorry.  That must be extremely difficult to live through.  You may already know this, but just in case you don't, it may help to know that this kind of behavior (being angelic to one and only misbehaving to the primary care-giving parent) is so common in adoption of hurt children that they named it "triangulation."

    Even though the boys have always "targeted" me with their acting out, I have been very lucky in that we read a lot about these kinds of behaviors before we brought them home, and my husband has always taken my word for truth and been completely supportive of me.  This was particularly difficult with M, who has all sorts of mother issues he needs to work through.  While I would long for the relationship my husband had with him, I knew that it was actually a sign that M was going through what he needed to in order to form an attachment to me in time--and he did.

    So please take heart in knowing that Iz's behavior is normal, and part of her necessary process. As she feels close to you, she has to push you away.  Now that she's feeling closer to your wife, she's starting to do the same.  As long as you continue to be consistent with her and continue showing love in your actions, she will come around.

    If you haven't already, you may wish to check out Taming the Tiger While It's Still a Kitten (http://www.attachment-store.org/taming-the-tiger-while-its-still-a-kitten.html). It did wonders to console me and make me feel like we were on the right track.  Her way of discipline is more strict/authoritarian than I prefer, but it just made me feel better to hear all the stories and know what we were going through was the process we needed to travel for healing.

    Now, if only I could get a handle on the lying! 


  • Thank you for your kind words, I would never admit all that on the adoption board for fear of getting flamed.

    I always wonder if her behaviors are based on her foster past, she was removed as a baby and lived in 5 different foster homes before coming to us, or if they are mental health based, bio mom was bipolar and schizophrenic. Iz has ADD and I sometimes wonder if I see signs of something else, not sure what exactly but I feel like there might be more going on in her head than we know. I've reached a point with her where I don't bend the rules and consequences are always doled out in a timely and unemotional manner. I love her and would love to have a good relationship with her but know that right now I can only be the person that provides for all her needs but doesn't get anything in return and sadly, I'm okay with that. It's been a long road to get to where I am but I had to give up hoping for things to get better and just be her mom and know that if and when she is ready, it will happen.
  • My heart breaks for you reading your post!  PLEASE don't think you are alone in this.  It is not uncommon in cases where children haven't been able to form an attachment in the past.  Honestly, I urge you to check out that CD I posted; it speaks directly to this.  I know you have a busy life, and I found the audio format most helpful in getting information quickly.

    The "companion" book for older kids is When Love Is Not Enough: A Guide to Parenting Children with RAD.

    With M, who has attachment issues but not RAD, my go-to book was Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow.

    And I read Wounded Children, Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families after (in fact, right when we were picking up J), and it was amazing and truthful, and I felt like I had written some of the chapters because it described our life so closely.

    While you would not get flamed on the Adoption board, there aren't a lot of posters who can relate.  Most of them adopt infants, and the ones that adopt internationally often go away after bringing their kids home (I suspect because they don't want to post any of their struggles and feel like they don't have much positive to add to the board anymore).  I, however, have remained and continue to tell all sides of my story.  They have been incredibly receptive, and some of the foster mommies have been able to help me out along the way.

    Please consider coming back.  First, no one should go through these things alone. Second, I think it's important to spread the word of the difficulties that can come with adoption, not to deter prospective adoptive parents, but to prepare them.

    Oh, and my heart breaks for Iz, too.  6 placements (7? did she live with her birthparents, too?) is too many for a lifetime, yet alone such a young girl.  No wonder she is afraid to get attached to anyone!  Trust your instincts, Butterfly.  We knew something wasn't "right" with M, and uncovered not only his learning disabilities but the underlying FASD cause.

    ETA:  And if you want an idea of what we went through, please search my posts.  I've always tried to tell the whole story because I think it does a disservice to only tell parts and I needed a place to vent where I would get support and not judgement (as in real life). 


  • The thing is, she doesn't have attachment issues, at least not with anyone but me.

    I think she hasn't fallen for me because I am consistent with rules and consequences while everyone else, DW and my IL's, let her get away with murder. She has told me specifically that she doesn't like me because she wants to have fun and I make her do things that aren't fun so she stays away from me. I get that chores and rules aren't fun but to dislike me so much over them?
  • This is typical. It's common for everyone else who knows the child to think they are perfect angelsgrandparents, the secondary parent, teachers, everyonebecause they only resist the person they view as the primary care giver.

    I know I don't know your daughter, but everything you say is like a textbook example of a child who is resisting attachment.

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