"" Writer's Wanderings: Adoption--Bonding 11

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Adoption--Bonding 11

It took a major sibling brouhaha to wake me up to the fact that I was treating Don and Cheryl differently than my other children. I don't remember what it was about but I stepped in to squash the commotion. I was about to punish the older guys and gloss over what Cheryl and Don had done when I realized what I was doing. I was treating them as though they were guests in our home--not our children.

I meted out the punishments equally, sending everyone to their rooms. After I thought about it for a while, it was probably the biggest step I'd taken in those first few weeks to integrate our two new children into the family. All five were suddenly on an equal footing with Mom. It changed their relationship with each other. No longer were the boys walking on eggs around Cheryl and respecting her space. She was an equal. She could be the target of sibling tricks or be just as guilty as the next one in breaking the rules. They still tended to protect Don, but I think that had more to do with his disabilities and his age as well as male bonding.

There was still one area of bonding however that truly bothered me.

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