How is it possible that my kids do not have any attachment to each other. Our first thoughts when we decided to adopt was to keep a sibling group together. My kids do not actually care if they are together, they don't really have any attachment to each other. In fact, they are almost resentful of each other. We were naively thinking a group this large would be less likely to have attachment issues than a single child. Boy, were we wrong.
They are healing, I see it in our every day life. When they first came they didn't know how to play with each other, they sort of copied Emma but really just moved the car back and forth not down winding roads or even pretending someone was in the car. Just moved the wheels and crashed them. They tortured the baby dolls, took their heads off, stabbed them, hid the parts around the yard and house (it looked like Halloween in our bushes that summer, we always had a baby's head somewhere out there), nothing had clothes on it, every doll was molested and scarred where their privates should have been, and they had no idea how to play house. Now we have strict rules on baby time, they have to treat it like a real baby or they get a consequence. No hitting or torturing the babies, real kids can not be a baby, and babies must have clothes on at all times. I had to teach them how to play house.
When a child got hurt, the others would disappear. I had to teach them to respond and we are still working on this. They no longer run away but just stare at the person screaming in pain. On a rare occasion someone will come get me but never tend to the injured person. I annoy my children with a constant string of chatter explaining how I expect them to react or behave and what is appropriate for each situation. For example, we are in the van on the way to the park. As we park, I start in on the rules. No talking to strangers, no hitting, no sitting on anyone's lap, no hiding, Cyr' s not to help or play with other's people's kids, no touching privates, no hanging out where I can't see you, if you need to use the restroom tell me (otherwise I swear , they just pee themselves), do not ask for food or drinks from anyone, do not tell anyone your phone number (a few of them know the number and give it to EVERYONE), and so on. They will even tell me some rules that we should have or I have forgotten to mention. Then when they break the rules (they do every time) I just call their name and point to the empty seat next to me. They come right over and proceed to throw a fit scaring the other families. I never say a word unless it gets too bad and we have to leave.
We have had the police called 3 times while in public and the manager or security too many times to count. It has gotten so much better, that first summer was a true nightmare. I felt very alone. My DH tried to help but since he worked I was left to do all the major stuff. Even now he tries to help but the therapy is with me not him. He comes home about dinner time and misses all the good times with homework, snack, chores, therapies, and gets here in time to sit down to eat. I think he doesn't know how to help most of the time. I hate to order him around too but he has no short term memory from a couple of traumatic head injuries in 97 and 99. He is learning our schedule and does his best. He gets too frustrated with the little stuff, like noise. As long as they aren't fighting I will let them get a little loud but most days you wouldn't know we had more than 2 kids in the house. He hates the tantrums, he loses it himself. He just can't understand why they are trashing their room and slamming the door. I don't respond and he can't help himself. He is 6'5" and about 270#, he scares the crap out of them but he is the most gentle person I know. He will holler if they do and that is what scares them. They are sure he will hit them. I can see they are starting to trust my response will be the same and that they are safe with me. It's funny b/c I am the person that takes them to the ground when they have to go, I am the one that does all of the restraints, he is afraid to hurt them and I was the one that has the training.
It became obvious last night how unattached to each other they really are. They don't have real feelings for each other, duh they have RAD. Somehow, I still thought they loved each other. They hadn't really ever lived together before here so how could they have that connection. Even the twins aren't as attached as one would think they should be. I have had to teach them what their response should be. The best thing about my kids is they want to learn. They want to fit in. I predict in the next year we will be able to drop the RAD label and just have attachment issues with 3 of the 5 currently with that dx. They are doing all this work themselves, they are so great. I just hope they figure that out someday, I sure tell them enough.
Last night, we had our monthly romantic dinner. It means Mom and Dad get to eat dinner next to each other alone on the sofa while the kids eat in the kitchen. It is a few feet away but we can still see them. We are down to the last dishes and food so we decided on cereal for dinner. While it isn't romantic for most, it is a few minutes I get my DH to myself. The kids always giggle and listen the entire time, hoping to over hear something.