that I don't care about her.
I know what you're thinking, right? You're thinking "awww! Poor adopted baby! She must be so confused right now."
You'd be thinking that, but you'd be wrong. (I sound evil, don't I?)
Example one: "Dixie, finish your turn on the computer and go to bed. Melody, your turn is after Dixie's, then you go to bed."
This seems reasonable, right? Dixie gets to go first, Melody is up three minutes longer simply because of logistics.
Dixie goes to her room, flops on her bed and cries out, "Why do you only care about my sister? Why do you never care about me?"
To which I respond, "I'll care about you in the morning. Now go to sleep."
(Yeah, I'm not looking so good at that one, either.)
Thing is, for the past two years I have been extremely frustrated because I cannot compliment Melody or Charlie without Dixie having a completely hysterical reaction. I can tell Melody, "Oh, nice picture! I like the way you colored _____" and Dixie runs to her room, slams the door and flops on her bed, screaming. I never even got the chance to look at Dixie's picture. Heck, she doesn't even have to HAVE a picture to consider this an egregious inequality.
So I try the tactic of always complimenting Dixie first. It diffuses her, Melody is generally clueless and Charlie is completely oblivious. This should work, right? But if I talk to Dixie first and Melody second, then she gets upset if my wording or level of compliment isn't identical.
I have tried (multiple times) to explain to Dixie that I love all of my children. All of them. And I will not feel hostage to her emotional fragility. I have spent two and a half years daily building her up with love, support and encouragement. We've read the book, "You Are All My Favorites" and talked about how mommy and daddy love everyone just as much as the others, even if we love them in different ways and for different reasons. I have gone on special excursions with just the two of us. I make sure to get in plenty of snuggle time with each one. I make sure the girls have lives independent of each other and are not treated as a unit.
Maybe she can't and won't see it now and maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe what matters is that we live it out each and every day until she gets old enough to see that she is loved beyond measure.