Ups & Downs


The past few days have been extremely hard with Malachi.  It’s like he’s letting out 2 years worth of frustration, sadness, maybe anger, throughout the day.  He grits his teeth, screams, and let’s out these awful sounds of frustration.  His frustrated face looks a little like this:

It’s so hard to watch, and honestly, we don’t know how to handle it.  Our patience is wearing thin.  Sometimes I feel like letting out the same sounds back at him.

Megan and I are at a loss.  It’s totally overwhelming.  Is this how 2 year olds are?  Is this orphanage/adoption behavior?  Why is it coming out now?  How can we help him?  If anyone has thoughts, we would welcome them.  Also, please pray for us.



  1. Please be patient .. He has just had lots of changes in his life .Also with the holidays, that is way different for him. Congrat’s on the new baby!! That also is new for him, he was getting all the attention and now he has to share with the new baby. Yes, this is orphanage behaviors !! It will take lots of time and love..If you need a break , ask someone close to you to take him for awhile. You may just need a break and your son as well may need a break from all the new things going on.
    Can you put Malachi in his room to play , when he gets this way. He may just need some down time. LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE AND ATTENTION !! Also some breaks from each other will help…If you need to talk you can e-mail me @@ jngcampbell9@msn.com


  2. Sounds rough! All I can say is don’t mimic him. It is so tempting and I have done it with Tevah but our job is to model the correct behavior, and love him. It will pass, it will just take time. Does it get him extra attention? This may be reinforcing it but it is tough to say because attention is also what you are supposed to give him. I would say that you should show him love and attention but don’t make a big deal about it either, so he doesn’t do it even more. Lots of love and prayer from us!

  3. Three months is the “magic window” when a lot of stuff starts coming out. It’s a sign that he’s getting COMFORTABLE in his environment. He TRUSTS you enough that he can feel safe expressing his dislike for things. He knows you LOVE him enough to meet his needs. Yes, some of this is normal 2 year old behavior in a child who has no words, and A LOT of it is orphanage behavior coming out. In addition, like Jody said, he had *just* gotten used to his world and it has now changed again with the new baby added. That is a lot of for this little guy. Patience, consistency, and if you need it, consult someone who is familiar with working with kids who’ve come out of institutional settings. Contact your homestudy agency and see if they have any recources for you about dealing with the orphanage behavior stuff.

  4. I don’t know much about orphanage behavior, and I’m sure that is playing a part in all of this. But it’s also very normal behavior for someone who just got a sibling. Having little Z now will cause some jealousy, and 2 year-olds can’t express it with words so they end up doing it like you mentioned above…that’s what we’ve seen in M. Just keep giving him attention when Z is content so he starts realizing he’s still just as loved. You guys are doing an AMAZING job! Even though you feel very frustrated, this is a phase that will be over at some point. Good to know how to pray for you guys! Love you much!!

  5. I have never dealt with orphanage behavior or adoption, so I can’t really comment on that part. But, I have reared three boys and remember quite clearly the mixed feelings they expressed when a new baby brother came home from the hospital–one minute was full of hugs and kisses, while the next might be anger and jealous behavior.

    Malachi has experienced an amazing number of changes these past few weeks–the birth of a sibling, Meghan’s absence while at the hospital, a long car trip & all the commotion and emotions he encountered surrounding the death of your nephew, plus the excitement of Christmas! That is quite a chunk for him and for you.

    I’m sure you are both running on little and/or interrupted sleep and Meghan is dealing with hormone adjustments and fatigue. It is hard enough to deal with these behaviors when well rested, but you must both be a little or a lot overwhelmed with lack of sleep, concern about a number of things, and your desire to be the “perfect” parents!

    You will be in my prayers as you move through this phase with Malachi and your parenting. Hang in there! Give me a call, if you want to talk.

    Blessings and Prayers~
    Mike Bonenberger

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