DD plays a bit to 'friendly' with camp councilors and other young men - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is almost 8.  She plays with certain very nice young men almost flirtatiously, in my eye.  It makes them slightly uncomfortable.  For instance, she gets very close and tries to get something from around their neck, and has no cualms about touching their upper legs and stuff.  At the pediatricians last year, who was tickling my kids, she played back and was almost touching privates.  I did not know what to do.

 

So what do I do, and say, without making her embarrased?  Any others have this delemma? 

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#2 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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My DD is almost 8.  She plays with certain very nice young men almost flirtatiously, in my eye.  It makes them slightly uncomfortable.  For instance, she gets very close and tries to get something from around their neck, and has no cualms about touching their upper legs and stuff.  At the pediatricians last year, who was tickling my kids, she played back and was almost touching privates.  I did not know what to do.

 

So what do I do, and say, without making her embarrased?  Any others have this delemma? 


What did the dr say to you/her at this moment? I don't know whether what she's doing is inappropriate (I can't imagine an 8 year old flirting dizzy.gif) but if she was almost touching the pediatricians private parts and the pediatrician said nothing to stop it, I would explore that first. My son has been to quite a few doctors. None have ever tickled him.

 


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#3 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 01:19 PM
 
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Are you for real? You have over 200 posts, so I am going to assume you are for real.

I think the first thing you need to do is check your own reactions. An eight-year-old isn't "flirting" or behaving sexually (which is what flirting is, right?) So you need to stop assigning that sort of motivation to her actions. Unless, of course, you think she is behaving sexually, in which case you need to explore where she would have picked that up.

The doctor tickling thing is kind of creepy to me.

Some kids are just touchy feely. I have a 7-year-old that way. If they are being touchy in a way that is outside of social norms (touching privates would be a big one. My kid likes to pick at people's moles. rolleyes.gif) then you need to help them learn where the boundaries are. Sometimes I take my child aside and remind them that we don't touch people without permission. Sometimes I ask if he needs to hold my hand to help him stay in control. My little guy seems to have a lot of need for sensory stimulation, so we try to meet that in other ways-- lots of hugs and cuddle time, a weighted blanket, lots of large motor activity.

But I think the number one thing you need to do is put aside your own discomfort and look dispassionately at what's really going on.

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#4 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The doctor is a personal friend, so not creepy.  At the moment he was notably uncomfortable and said, 'hey, whats going on now, whats going on now?'

 

I think she picks it up at school.  Recalling myself at that age, it is the kind of play that gets kids into trouble with the wrong people.  That is what alarms me, because it almost did get me into trouble at age 13.  But I was strong enough to thwart it.

 

I saw it happening with a camp councilor today, with lots of little girls doing the same, vying for attention, trying to get his necklace. 

 

Anyone else see the same in this age?

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#5 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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Maybe this is a good time to talk about/reinforce personal space issues.  My DD1 is only just 5, but she tends to get up in people's space unintentionally.  Talking about how other people appreciate a little space has been helpful for her.


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#6 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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I have seen 8 year olds "flirt" but it is not a sexual flirt. It IS NOT the same flirting as with 16 year olds.  It is attention and NON-SEXUAL. Even if they are "crushing" on the person it is not the same sexual type of flirt.  

 

With the doctor, I would say situational.  I have seen doctors play with kids to sneak in a check up, look at stitches, odd eczma spots, and infections with kids that are less than cooperative and maybe over protective of sore.  My dd surgeon could have kids melting in his hands to get them go with him to wear the pig nose (mask).  It was almost scary to watch how easy it could be.  :-/

 

Really, your daughter needs to learn appropriate boundries not that she is being bad.  

 

I do think it is the age.  There is a learning curve for her and the camp councilor.  I watch younger kids (boys and girls) flirt with the younger of our male swim coach.  He luckily had mentors that taught him how to manage the kids, especially the girls.  Plus, he has parents that will coach the kids not to attack the coaches.  

 

The camp councilor may need to be coached that if he wants to show the necklace to take it off or how to guide the kids in better behavior.  A simple joking statement, "Hey a pack of 8 year olds can be dangerous. You should direct the kids sit down and take turns looking at your necklace." If he is trying to get a game of chase going give him ideas on safer ways....because I have seen kids hurt by mobbing an teasing adult.   

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#7 of 21 Old 06-10-2011, 08:42 PM
 
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I agree that it is flirting, but for attention, not sexually-motivated. I do remember being that way, especially with other friends around. We had ways of teasing the counselors/lifeguards like trying to steal their whistles, etc. And yeah, it was  more the cute boys than the female counselors, but still, it wasn't sexual. And I do remember the adults putting a stop to it when it seemed to be continuing beyond the initial playful interaction. Regardless, you do need to help her find less intimate ways of teasing and interacting with men, like using words instead of actions. Help her be friendly, but also help her to understand that competing for attention is inappropriate -- the counselor is there for ALL the kids, and trying to monopolize his attention detracts from the other kids' experience. Helping her see it that way (or similar, I'm a little distracted by DS so I hope I'm getting my point clear) shouldn't make her feel she's doing anything WRONG, per se, but that it's just good manners to not attack someone like that, whether they seem to like it or not. Okay, so two points: She's not the only kid there and shouldn't be trying to be treated as such (i.e., don't be selfish, share the counselor with everyone), and steer her away from appearing so desperate for attention that it may get her the kind of attention she doesn't understand/know what to do with (set her up to know what's appropriate behavior so her flirting DOESN'T get her in trouble in the future. I wish someone had taught me this.).

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#8 of 21 Old 06-11-2011, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the help ladies.  Much appreciated

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#9 of 21 Old 06-11-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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I disagree with other posters who are saying this is not sexual in nature.  I have worked professionally with kids who have been sexually abused, and who then behave in this way and it most certainly IS sexual.   However, I don't know your daughter or her history, so it is impossible for me to know if it is sexual or not.  My primary concern would be finding out if she has been sexually abused because her behavior is a huge red flag.  If I was reasonably sure that wasn't the case, I would start looking at it instead from a perspective of her needing to learn good boundaries (which she needs to learn regardless).  I'd have some blunt conversations with her about what is and is not appropriate with the camp counselors, pediatrician, and people in general.  Good luck. 

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#10 of 21 Old 06-11-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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I disagree with other posters who are saying this is not sexual in nature.  I have worked professionally with kids who have been sexually abused, and who then behave in this way and it most certainly IS sexual.   However, I don't know your daughter or her history, so it is impossible for me to know if it is sexual or not.  My primary concern would be finding out if she has been sexually abused because her behavior is a huge red flag.  If I was reasonably sure that wasn't the case, I would start looking at it instead from a perspective of her needing to learn good boundaries (which she needs to learn regardless).  I'd have some blunt conversations with her about what is and is not appropriate with the camp counselors, pediatrician, and people in general.  Good luck. 



I might get flamed, however I think were you work or have worked is making you see a natural behavior and taking a wrong leap.  

 

You work with kids that have abnormal behavior so you see the worse and extreme.  Yes, overly flirtatious kids could be abuse victims but that does not mean all kids are.  The OP could list two situation in 1 years time or so.  This does not concern me.  Some kids are more out going and more skillful at getting peoples attention. Heck, my 13 dd had a 5 year old "flirt" with her half the morning.  Why, he new giving those eyes, smiling, and game playing got him a lot more attention.  Yes, these behaviors in a 10, 15, on up age person would have been more sex.    

 

Kids that are sexually abuse can do a lot of behaviors that are with in the normal behaviors of childhood.  It is the total behavior, and the OP has not sad anything other than her child is flirtatious, which she saw the same behavior from other same age kids the next day.  

 

The only way, you can leap to it being sexual is that it, IMO, in some ways a part of learning sexual behaviors.  Reality OP 8 year old is going to grow up and become sexual.  But that does not mean this fliratious behavior means she is acting abnormally sexual.  Yes, it needs to be guided however it does not mean abuse.  

 

Flirting can occur between two people of the same sex.  I would not be surprised if the OP stepped back there is "flirting" between her dd and other girls that she is intrested in having relationships with.  Flirting being defined as giving compliments, giggling, flattering telling girls she likes there bows or shirt, friendly teasing, imitating, preening (doing other girls hair), sitting close, she might also be starting to dress up to get her "friend" attention also. It is only when it is done to/with the opposite sex do people get nervous and worried.  

 

Two girls spend time laughing and doing each other hair is no big deal.  Make one of them a boy then somehow it becomes sexual --- I would not be surprise if the OP stepped back she will see simular behaviors tried if a new councilor but female counclor was presented.  Her dd would use the behaviors that she has found most effective in the past then try new ones. 

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#11 of 21 Old 06-11-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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I might get flamed, however I think were you work or have worked is making you see a natural behavior and taking a wrong leap.  

 

You work with kids that have abnormal behavior so you see the worse and extreme.  Yes, overly flirtatious kids could be abuse victims but that does not mean all kids are.  The OP could list two situation in 1 years time or so.  This does not concern me.  Some kids are more out going and more skillful at getting peoples attention. Heck, my 13 dd had a 5 year old "flirt" with her half the morning.  Why, he new giving those eyes, smiling, and game playing got him a lot more attention.  Yes, these behaviors in a 10, 15, on up age person would have been more sex.    

 

Kids that are sexually abuse can do a lot of behaviors that are with in the normal behaviors of childhood.  It is the total behavior, and the OP has not sad anything other than her child is flirtatious, which she saw the same behavior from other same age kids the next day.  

 

The only way, you can leap to it being sexual is that it, IMO, in some ways a part of learning sexual behaviors.  Reality OP 8 year old is going to grow up and become sexual.  But that does not mean this fliratious behavior means she is acting abnormally sexual.  Yes, it needs to be guided however it does not mean abuse.  

 

Flirting can occur between two people of the same sex.  I would not be surprised if the OP stepped back there is "flirting" between her dd and other girls that she is intrested in having relationships with.  Flirting being defined as giving compliments, giggling, flattering telling girls she likes there bows or shirt, friendly teasing, imitating, preening (doing other girls hair), sitting close, she might also be starting to dress up to get her "friend" attention also. It is only when it is done to/with the opposite sex do people get nervous and worried.  

 

Two girls spend time laughing and doing each other hair is no big deal.  Make one of them a boy then somehow it becomes sexual --- I would not be surprise if the OP stepped back she will see simular behaviors tried if a new councilor but female counclor was presented.  Her dd would use the behaviors that she has found most effective in the past then try new ones. 


Well, unfortunately, sexual abuse is all too common.  Am I jaded from my work?  Yes.  For sure.  But do I probably also realize more than you do just how common sexual abuse actually is?  Also, yes.   I said her behavior was a red flag, which it is.  I didn't say that it undoubtedly meant she had been sexually abused.  It is something that SHOULD be looked in to.  To fail to consider that possibility is to potentially leave a little girl in danger.  This sort of thing frequently comes up in these sorts of threads and it always shocks and horrifies me that people are so completely opposed to looking at abuse as a possibility.  There is no harm in making sure a child is safe. 

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#12 of 21 Old 06-11-2011, 09:38 PM
 
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my dd is three and she flirts with ds's friends (only the ones she likes), like smiling cutely or calling them in a fancy way...if she knows they are coming she runs to me and starts nagging for her clothes to be changes to pink skirt...lol.gif....i think she is cute, never thought wrong of it. girls have to feel free and cute about themselves IMO and well....know how to flirt....eyesroll.gif


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#13 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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So wait--- is flirting now the new word for a girl of any age showing any sort of friendliness to a member of the opposite sex? If my girl twin smiles and ducks her head into my shirt when she sees her Daddy or brother or one her brother's friends, she's flirting? If she does the same when she sees her sister, she's not? And what about my boy twin? Does he get judged by the same ruler? I am really kind of dumbfounded (and a little skeeved out, to be honest) to see overtures of friendship by little girls dubbed "flirting".

ETA: And I'm sure some people will say I'm just arguing semantics and maybe I am, but I think a kid should be free to be friendly without having it labeled flirting, because (in my world anyway) flirting is about showing a sexual or at least romantic interest.
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#14 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I will try to remove my own post. I mearly wrote it to get advice, and do not want it to turn into an argument.  In closing I want to gently say, my intuition says she was never sexually abused.  It is what SWD12422 said, not sexually motivated, but play.  To me it is a coming of age experience, that I needed guidance on, so she knows how to handle herself. 

 

Also gently, If Marcupial mom wants to define 'flirt' for the context of this thread, in a way that puts it into a perspective for me, then that is helpful, no matter what Wikipedia calls it.

 

I am also contacting the pediatrician, to ask the question about this behaivior, because he does give this kind of advice, and the head of the camp program to make sure the councilors are guided correctly.  Thanks for that suggestion Marcupial mom

 

Our pediatrician is a very gentle human being, whome I can not bear to see questions raised on, or for any other to see (thus remove post).  He is really the sweetest man, who is loved in our community by kids, and parents, present at our sons birth.

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#15 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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my dd is three and she flirts with ds's friends (only the ones she likes), like smiling cutely or calling them in a fancy way...if she knows they are coming she runs to me and starts nagging for her clothes to be changes to pink skirt...lol.gif....i think she is cute, never thought wrong of it. girls have to feel free and cute about themselves IMO and well....know how to flirt....eyesroll.gif


That is totally different from what OP described.
 

 

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#16 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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"Our pediatrician is a very gentle human being, whome I can not bear to see questions raised on, or for any other to see (thus remove post).  He is really the sweetest man, who is loved in our community by kids, and parents, present at our sons birth."

That doesn't mean that he can't be sexually abusing kids. It is a false sense of security to say that he's safe because he's popular in the community. Far more children are abused by someone they know and their parents trust than by strangers.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#17 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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I think the first person you *could* talk to is your DD. A little chat about appropriate and inappropriate touching, and that the same touch is fine in one context but not in another. Grown ups, for example, hug their good friends, but the shake hands with business associates. There's nothing wrong with hugging, but we don't hug everybody. Likewise, with her behavior with the counselors, I'm wondering if this is behavior that would be fine with her daddy, but is inappropriate with someone she isn't so close to.

 

However, reaching towards someone's private parts is NEVER appropriate. You need to tell her this. This really needs to come from you. If you can't tell her when she is out of line, don't expect teenagers to. This really needs to come from you.

 

I'd also talk to her about being sensitive to how other people respond to different kinds of touches. Some friends like to hold hands, some don't. People are different, and that's OK, but we can all strive to be sensitive to the way others feels, and to pick up on those cues. Part of the problem here is that she isn't picking up on social cues, but she can learn to. May be just making her more aware of it is all that is needed.

 

Then I'd have the exact some conversation with the doctor. It isn't appropriate for a doctor to tickle his patients. It's just not. It doesn't matter if he is a friend outside, while he is her doctor, he needs to act like it. His behavior her setting her up to be EASY PREY for a predator. He's teaching her to not have boundaries. I would put a stop to it pronto.

 

Predators look for easy targets, and your DD would be a very, very, very easy target right now.

 

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#18 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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Steph...I'm not sure if you remember it, but we had a pediatrician when we were a child, who was one of mom's really good friends.  Sweetest man, everyone loved him, blah blah blah.  We were promptly removed from his practice when it was discovered that he was sexually abusing patients and the patients' mothers.  

 

That being said, we have a pediatrician we love and adore...he is great with kids and always knows how to make them laugh.  But he's never once did anything that would even raise an eyebrow to any of our children.
 

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"Our pediatrician is a very gentle human being, whome I can not bear to see questions raised on, or for any other to see (thus remove post).  He is really the sweetest man, who is loved in our community by kids, and parents, present at our sons birth."

That doesn't mean that he can't be sexually abusing kids. It is a false sense of security to say that he's safe because he's popular in the community. Far more children are abused by someone they know and their parents trust than by strangers.


 


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#19 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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I disagree with other posters who are saying this is not sexual in nature.  I have worked professionally with kids who have been sexually abused, and who then behave in this way and it most certainly IS sexual.   However, I don't know your daughter or her history, so it is impossible for me to know if it is sexual or not.  My primary concern would be finding out if she has been sexually abused because her behavior is a huge red flag.  If I was reasonably sure that wasn't the case, I would start looking at it instead from a perspective of her needing to learn good boundaries (which she needs to learn regardless).  I'd have some blunt conversations with her about what is and is not appropriate with the camp counselors, pediatrician, and people in general.  Good luck. 



I agree with this.  Maybe I am jaded as well, but to me this screams red flag.  It sounds like time for some really direct conversations about why she behaves as she does, what is and isn't appropriate, and what she hopes to get from behaving this way. 

 
 

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I think the first person you *could* talk to is your DD. A little chat about appropriate and inappropriate touching, and that the same touch is fine in one context but not in another. Grown ups, for example, hug their good friends, but the shake hands with business associates. There's nothing wrong with hugging, but we don't hug everybody. Likewise, with her behavior with the counselors, I'm wondering if this is behavior that would be fine with her daddy, but is inappropriate with someone she isn't so close to.

 

However, reaching towards someone's private parts is NEVER appropriate. You need to tell her this. This really needs to come from you. If you can't tell her when she is out of line, don't expect teenagers to. This really needs to come from you.

 

I'd also talk to her about being sensitive to how other people respond to different kinds of touches. Some friends like to hold hands, some don't. People are different, and that's OK, but we can all strive to be sensitive to the way others feels, and to pick up on those cues. Part of the problem here is that she isn't picking up on social cues, but she can learn to. May be just making her more aware of it is all that is needed.

 

Then I'd have the exact some conversation with the doctor. It isn't appropriate for a doctor to tickle his patients. It's just not. It doesn't matter if he is a friend outside, while he is her doctor, he needs to act like it. His behavior her setting her up to be EASY PREY for a predator. He's teaching her to not have boundaries. I would put a stop to it pronto.

 

Predators look for easy targets, and your DD would be a very, very, very easy target right now.

 


Because my daughter does have boundary and social cue challenges (she has Aspergers) I have had to realize that she is a very good target for a predator. We had to do a lot of work about what is and isn't ok.  

 

Also, there are a huge number of respectable and friendly people who begin to groom their victims very early on in very sly ways.  When I see a girl that age behaving as you describe, the first thing that comes to mind is that something like that is going on.  Not necessarily overt abuse, but early grooming by predators for some reason or another. 

 

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#20 of 21 Old 06-12-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Steph...I'm not sure if you remember it, but we had a pediatrician when we were a child, who was one of mom's really good friends.  Sweetest man, everyone loved him, blah blah blah.  We were promptly removed from his practice when it was discovered that he was sexually abusing patients and the patients' mothers.  

 

That being said, we have a pediatrician we love and adore...he is great with kids and always knows how to make them laugh.  But he's never once did anything that would even raise an eyebrow to any of our children.
 



 


Yup. Wasn't there also a dentist, well liked in the community, ect who turned out he was touching patients (including kids) inappropriately?

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#21 of 21 Old 06-13-2011, 05:42 AM
 
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YES, I forgot about him!!!  Both were in a very small town where everybody knows everybody, and doctors & dentists are very well known and loved.  
 

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Originally Posted by AllyRae View Post

Steph...I'm not sure if you remember it, but we had a pediatrician when we were a child, who was one of mom's really good friends.  Sweetest man, everyone loved him, blah blah blah.  We were promptly removed from his practice when it was discovered that he was sexually abusing patients and the patients' mothers.  

 

That being said, we have a pediatrician we love and adore...he is great with kids and always knows how to make them laugh.  But he's never once did anything that would even raise an eyebrow to any of our children.
 



 




Yup. Wasn't there also a dentist, well liked in the community, ect who turned out he was touching patients (including kids) inappropriately?


 


~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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