Q. Do they have you just where you want them or do you have them just where H and Y want you to be?
A. Good one! Well said! It IS a matter of all of us learning each other's idiosyncrasies, and adapting. Hopefully, we've influenced them at least as much as they have us. But, yeah, there is a bit of them training US.
Q: Were you surprised at the behavioral issues you're dealing with with older children, or did your training prepare you for it adequately?
A: Our training prepared us as much as it possibly could. Since every child is completely different, there were so many unknowns... would they bond? would they have all or any of the behaviors we'd studied? So, I'd say we weren't "surprised", anymore than we would have been getting to know any other children. It's an interesting thing, making a family this way. Lots of give and take. Imagine asking 2 strangers into your house to live, and more than that... to make a family out of 2 sets of people with very different ideas about how things work.
Lee's Addendum: We had studied and were prepared for some 'behavioral regression' which happens when a child skips a critical stage and then feels the need to experience it later. Such as drinking from a bottle or walking around with a blanket. I was not prepared for H's tantrums. We knew that it was something we needed help with, so we asked for it and two days later it was not an issue. As obvious as that sounds, it can be difficult as an adoptive parent to ask for help. Fortunately, that was also in the training. :-)