Saturday, December 1, 2012

Decisions Were Made

SHOOH!!!  The feedback I received from yesterday's post was overwhelming.  I'm amazed at the dear friends I have who care so deeply about my family.  Thank you!  My brain was in overdrive all day, thinking about everyone's comments, thoughts, and opinions, not to mention my own.  I ended up coming to a conclusion on how I felt I should handle the situation at hand, but wanted to see if I was way off base or right on track, so I emailed the therapist to get her advice on what I was considering. I was amazed that her response was in agreeance with everything I had to say.  It just goes to show that a mother's instinct/gut feeling, really can go along ways.  I wanted to mention real quick too, something I left out the other day when I was writing about my meeting with the therapist.  She informed me that just as a mother who gave birth will go through postpartum depression, so will a mother who has adopted, and typically adoption postpartum is more severe.

At the end of the day, we made two very big decisions.  The first one being that we will be taking Landon out of school and waiting until the next school year.  He will still get one year of preschool before kindergarten.  He is a very smart boy, but I will continue working with him at home.  Starting preschool, after staying at home for 3 years, can be very hard and shocking to a child, especially a school that goes 5 days a week.  Now throw in starting preschool, and a new older sibling, at the same exact time, and it can just be too much change for such a little person to handle.  The stress of preschool, a new sibling who is older, the stress in the house from the adoption, a little sister who gets to stay at home with mommy every day, etc.,...of course his little 3 year old brain and heart can't absorb all of that in a healthy manner.

Our second decision was to move Robert into Aubrey's room, and move Aubrey into the boys room.  Now our 2 year old and almost 4 year old are sharing a room, and our 9 year old has his own room.  When adopting Robert, we just automatically assumed you put the boys in a room, and the girl in a room.  No one warned us or advised us as to why this would not be a good idea.  We turned it into a very positive, exciting adjustment.  I simply asked Robert, "What do you think about having your own room?  Would you like that?"  His face lit up with excitement and he said yes.  We made him feel that this move was all about him and for him.  He said it's like getting an early Christmas present.  All of the kids slept soundly and peacefully last night.  Robert said it was the bests night sleep he's had in a long time, and that he didn't even get up to go to the bathroom.  Aubrey only woke once, a little freaked out because she wasn't sure where she was.  So now Robert has this big room that hardly has anything it, but enough for him to love it.  The decor will have to come later, as we can't afford to redecorate right now with anything we don't already have.  We tried splitting the little kids room down the middle, making one side for a girl and one side for a boy as best we could.  Everyone seems very happy with all of the change today.
Robert in his new room, playing with his Lego's

Here is the email and response between myself and the therapist:
From me to the therapist:

Landon, my almost 4 year old, is really struggling and I'm extremely concerned.  He broke down on me last night when I was putting him to bed.  I have never seen him so sad and cry this way before.  He's pooping his pants every day, wants to stay home with me instead of going to preschool, doesn't want to sleep in his room.  These are all very out of the norm for him.  He has been potty trained for over a year now.  He used to love school.  And he has always slept by himself and never been afraid of the dark, but he said Robert told him there are monsters in the dark.  Robert is afraid of the dark, so I'm assuming he wanted Landon to be afraid too.  I'm wondering if starting preschool and Robert coming to live with us, was just all too much for a 3 year old to handle at one time.  I'm considering pulling him out of school and waiting until next year for preschool.  I'm also considering moving him and Robert from sharing a room, to him and Aubrey sharing a room, and Robert having his own room.  I would really like to know what you think and your opinion on all of this.

From the therapist to me:
You are correct in that something is going on with Landon and he is expressing this with his regression and behaviors. Was he able to express any feelings in his breakdown last night? I don’t think it would be a bad idea to pull Landon from school for a little bit to meet his needs right now.  The addition of Robert caused changed in all of your lives and it affects each of you differently at different times.  I wonder if Robert is talking to Landon about his fears and insecurities and Landon being 3 is not able to process them.
You may want to see about switching the room situation and see if you see changes with that.  I am concerned how Robert would handle that change though.
Try to use play with Landon to see if something comes out through his play of what he is struggling with.

Aubrey's side
Landon's Side

Shared Space

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