That’s what everyone is asking. To be more specific, Karen’s teachers are amazed at the difference in her since last year. She has become more polite, less aggressive, and is actively working to repair relationships which she damaged in the past by her behavior. This according to Karen’s primary teacher. She and one other teacher attribute the changes to our work with a psychologist, who we began seeing September of this year. Before that, we were working with our adoption social worker, but by midsummer, it became obvious that Karen needed more professional intervention.

I also think that we, as parents, have made a difference. We work really hard to give positive feedback, and to be consistent with rules. It’s hard, and we make a lot of mistakes, but we do our best. Karen is such a joy to be with when she’s not being oppositional. She’s so warm and loving. She adores us, and Matan even more. Sure, they fight, and she can be pretty awful to him, but she loves him, and woe unto anyone who hurts him!

We’ve always had ups and downs with Karen. There have been other times when we’ve hoped her behavior issues are behind us. But all in all, some of what we see as bad think her bad behavior is behind us. Her teacher told us that although Karen has changed, people still see her as the “old” Karen, and it will take time for parents and some of the children to realize that she just isn’t the same child anymore.

She does still act out, but I’ve found that she is most likely to be difficult right after I pick her up from kindergarten. I think she works really hard to behave there, and once she’s with me, she needs to relax and let go of the pressure to self discipline so strongly. Maybe it’s a good thing that she feels able to regress with me. She usually snaps out of it once she’s had some time to relax, or engage in another activity like her gymnastics class.