I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately because I’ve been sick and we’ve also been dealing with a case of the Thrilling (??!!) Threes here and it’s been Super! Fun! (It’s times like this when I really wish there was a sarcastic font.) (Also, I don’t believe in the Terrible Twos. Someone recently told me that whoever coined the phrase “Terrible Twos” hadn’t yet gone through the Threes with her child yet. Ha!)
While I don’t want to go into detail and share about my kiddo’s less than desirable actions and behaviors, I will say it’s been rather challenging and we are trying different ways to help our Lil’ Cowboy (and ourselves!) through this phase. I hope to able to share some success and some techniques on the flip side of this, but for right now, we’re trying are our best to work with Lil’ CB and his gigantic desire for autonomy.
While I think most of this is “normal” three-year old behavior, at the back of my mind, there is a little lingering thought…Is this just 3 year-old behavior, or is this adoption related?
Even though it’s been over 2 years since Lil’ CB was placed in our arms, not a day goes by when I don’t think about and am grateful for Lil’ CB’s birth family and his journey into our family. Lil’ CB will journey through his life as an adoptee and though I can’t predict exactly how this will affect him as he grows up, I know that it is a huge part of who he is. I also know that even though Lil’ CB has lived with us for longer than he hasn’t, there are still 15 months of his life that I don’t know a whole lot about. Not to mention the 9 months he spent in his birth momma’s tummy.
And as much as I read and research and try to understand what it might be like, there’s really no way I can really understand how that impacts Lil’ CB’s life right now. I have no reason to believe that the care Lil’ CB received from his foster family was anything less than stellar. I know this from the way he loved them and attached to them and the way they continue to love him from afar (we are so blessed to have a relationship with them!). I also believe that even though Lil’ CB’s birth momma made the difficult decision to place him for adoption, she tried to give him good prenatal care.
However, I still don’t know every single detail or even any real non-hugely-significant details, really, about Lil’ CB’s life before he came into ours. And therefore, as I mentioned above, I honestly don’t know how this affects him. Nevermind the fact that even though he is pretty darn verbal (read: he never stops talking), he’s still only 3 and can’t express how this might be affecting him even if he wanted to share.
So, I don’t know how much adoption comes into play with any or all phases he goes through. I don’t know how much to go by suggestions for dealing with such behaviors in non-adopted children. I don’t know exactly how his behavior and our response to it affects our attachment, or if it does at all.
But I do know that Lil’ CB was separated from his first momma and then placed into a loving family. And then he was separated from them, too, and we are really Lil’ CB’s third family. And I know that is considered trauma. So I know I can’t dismiss that lingering question, no matter how long we’ve been together.
The other day, I ran across this video from Empowered to Connect, an adoption resource organization that addressed this very question. In short, Dr. Karyn Purvis’ response to the question, “Is this normal behavior or is it adoption related?” is “Yes.” It is a great reminder that there is no easy answer (and I’d so love an easy answer!!!), but that it is a valid question that we cannot forget.