Healing Process

Looking Inward: My Personal Healing Process:

In this post I want to begin to talk about my healing process. Maybe you are at a place where things haven’t gone very well with your adopted child.
My last post was the culmination of our time with our adopted girls. One of our adopted daughters  had to be removed from our home because she was threatening to kill me and the other decided she wasn’t a family member anymore and moved on because she was of the legal age to do so.

How does a person decide they’re not a family member anymore? How does someone think they have a right to kill someone who loves them deeply because they want their birth mom instead? These questions spent much time rattling around my head, but the answer is beyond me. When it comes to RAD, the person who has this issue hasn’t bonded to anyone. Their decision to separate from others doesn’t affect them like it would you and I.

With both of our adopted daughters gone, my husband and I were devastated and wounded to the core. I cried to the point that no sound came out. Our weariness, disillusionment and shock were all wrapped into one. Almost all in one whack we had an “empty nest.” We didn’t understand what we did to deserve such horrible events in the overall span of our family timeline! RAD is such a devastating disorder to adoptive families!

This brings me to the name of my blog: “Abba Father and His Love.” I have believed in God ever since I was little because I grew up in a Christian home. My father was an elder of the churches we were in since I was three years old. But I have to be honest with you: Nothing I was taught in church prepared me for what we went through with our adopted girls!!

Yes, I was taught that “love concurs all.” Well, it didn’t happen that way for us. I spent a great amount of time talking to God about why my husband’s and my intense love wasn’t enough to get through to either of our girls. Why didn’t things work, even though we gave it all we had? We loved with all our hearts!! We also spent a huge amount of money for the best therapy we could buy for our girls, and it didn’t break through the wall of  their independence and self-protection. “NO ONE” in their minds were allowed close. This brought us so much disillusionment and confusion about how life is “supposed” to work. At this point, I felt like I didn’t know which end was up!

Confronting the Orphan in me:

BUT THEN I came into contact with a wonderful group of life coaches who walked me through what I call “The dark night of my soul.” I discovered that, even though I grew up in a very loving family and didn’t doubt that I was loved, that I had “orphan issues” too.

No one on this planet can say that their life is perfect and they were perfectly loved. Everyone, has one thing or another that caused them to feel rejected, abandoned, or not loved. We are all in this boat and need some soul healing.

I faced my disillusionment, pain, and rejection that represented my orphan issues and ran into the loving arms of my savior – Father God. It took me quite a long time to heal but I can say today that I am healed and whole and wouldn’t trade the experiences with my adopted daughters. I have gained the  “proverbial gold nuggets” through my healing process!!

I had to look very intently at what my true identity was, why I was on this planet and what I was created to do. I am happy to say that I went through all the “horrible stuff” so I can help the other families who are going through the very same “horrible stuff.” I want to travel along your with you on your journey of healing too. I also feel that someday I am going to be instrumental in ministering to the RAD heart.

Let me just take a minute and encourage those who are weary and discouraged about their RAD orphan. You can run to your Saviors (Jesus, Father God and Holy Spirit) to comfort your weary and maybe somewhat-orphaned soul. They want to help you heal and get back on your feet again. They know how to love you perfectly and it is just this kind of love that goes very deep and transforms – the way that only their love can.

If you relate or want to ask questions, please leave a comment below. Talk to you next time. Until then…

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Intense

Gut Level

I’d like to begin today’s post with a little “gut level” honesty: Talking about all this stuff is hard! Writing about our journey has made some of the things alive all over again. So, as we continue please know that my purpose in sharing our story is to reach out to you with empathy and compassion, should you find yourself in similar circumstances. I’m right here with you and want to help!!

 This process of getting therapy for our girls concluded with both of our adoptive daughters no longer living with us. It has been a heartbreaking process, but one that has brought me to a place of experience and understanding. That being said, I hope this  post and ultimately this blog will help and touch your heart.

 

How RAD children relate to the mother vs. the father:

For some reason or the other, there is a common theme that happens with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) kids.  They seem to want to punish the adoptive mother and think the adoptive father is a real life hero. In my heart – this was so unfair and hurtful. I struggled with this concept for a long time until I realized that there is no connection between the orphan child’s feelings of abandonment and the father.  At birth, the orphan only is connected to the birth mother. When the birth mom gives them up, the orphan child vows to not allow anyone close enough to hurt them like that again. This relates only to the adoptive mother, not the adoptive father.

So, adoptive Fathers, I want to speak to you specifically right now. If your wife is telling you that your adopted child is treating her differently when you are not home than when you are home, please give your wife “your ear.” Please look up the symptoms of RAD and take them seriously. I have talked about the symptoms of RAD and how it affected us in my previous posts. Please check it out.

 

Parents with adopted RAD children have a much higher rate of divorce. The RAD child loves to pit parent against parent and they are good at it! We were told from professionals that a family with a RAD child usually only lasts around seven years (from the beginning of the adoption) unless they get early professional help for the RAD child. My husband and I didn’t get early help for our adopted girls and I think it is a miracle that he and I are still married (for thirty one years this month). We lived through fourteen years with our adopted girls and a large portion of it was negative and intense.

 

So, adoptive fathers, listen to your wives!!! Now, I’m going to say a few things that my husband did that won’t put him in a very good light (with his permission). I did have the “savior mentality” that I could love my girls out of their issues and into a place of wholeness. But, when I began to see that they needed much more  help than I could give them, my husband wasn’t on board for YEARS. He held to the thinking that if he just ignored it, it would just go away. Then, when I was telling him the truth about the abuse I was receiving at the hands of our adopted daughters, he thought “I was deceived.”

 

My husband would tell you himself that he had to deal with his narcissistic tendencies. At first, he didn’t want to be bothered with the sacrifice it would take to get our girls help. Plus, he narcissistically needed to “win” over me by not listening to the truth about what the girls were really doing. When I asked him why his answer was – he always had to win even if he was wrong.

 

Now fathers, don’t hear me saying you’re narcissistic. I’m just encouraging the adoptive fathers to listen and research online for the sake of the mental and emotional health of your adopted children and the loving longevity of your marriage.

 Reaching out for help:

The first time we sought professional help, we tried counseling. In fact, we tried three different counselors in our area to no avail. Looking back, we now know that most counselors don’t have a clue about RAD or what to do with it. The girls just wouldn’t talk to the counselors and we wasted our money!!

Then we found help at a facility in our state that did intensive therapy specifically for RAD. This is where both of our adopted girls admitted to trying to get me out of the house, trying to kill me or trying to get us divorced. Our second daughter started to call people in our church and our neighbors to ask them to adopt her. Our first adopted daughter ramped up her lying about my husband and I at her school. Then she would go for days without saying a word to anyone in our house.

 Therapy went on for months and my husband and I sadly had to remove our second adopted daughter from our home because she was  threatening to kill me. We found a facility/school in another state that only helped RAD children. She didn’t do well there.

We continued to work with our other daughter while she vacillated up and down about working through her issues. Towards the end she refused to work on anything. She fought harder to not let anyone close, including my husband. (She was diagnosed a narcissist) We discovered, through the therapy, she really didn’t want to be our child or in our family anymore. Not a very happy development in our journey!!

We ended up sending her to the same place our other daughter went with the idea she would get consistent help, heal and come home. She went, resisted to work on anything, didn’t progress in any healing, and refused to come home. She went on to training in Job Core and decided she was not apart of our family anymore. 

Conclusion 

All of these events have been painful for us!! It hurts to love with all your heart and get hate and punishment in return. Again, I want all of my readers to understand that I know how truly painful it is to walk through these types of trials. This journey has fueled my passion to help others and is the reason for this blog. I will continue to tell our story in upcoming posts in order to connect with those who are going through the same things. I will also start to talk about my healing process with hope it will help you too.  That’s all for now. Please comment below if you have anything to say. Until next time…

Final Symptoms of RAD

Final Symptoms

Today’s post will be on the final symptoms of RAD. There are seven symptoms:

 

  • Inappropriate and clingy behavior
  • Destructive behavior to self, to others, and to material things (accident prone)
  • Abnormal eating patterns
  • Lags in learning
  • Abnormal speech patterns
  • Poor peer relationships
  • Lack of cause-and-effect thinking

 

Inappropriate and clingy behavior – My girls displayed this symptom in different ways.

 

  1. First adopted daughter– She didn’t display this symptom to me at all because her goal with me was a passive approach. She avoided me for the sake of ostracizing me out of her life. Her father, on the other hand, was a different story. She put on this “woe is me” kind of ‘I’m so weak that I need to be protected” façade. She treated him like a boyfriend that she could emotionally manipulate. It was more than having her father “wrapped around her little finger” or the “apple of his eye” type of father-daughter relationship. It was very intentional. My husband came to see right through her tricks.

 

 

  1. Second adopted daughter – Wanted me out of the house for sure. But she took this symptom in a new direction. She was able to be close to me  with the intending of making my day miserable.

 On top of acting passive aggressively all day, she found out that her birth mom was mentally handicapped. She wanted to be just like her birth mom, so she would act like a baby and play dumb.

  This evolved into being clingy with aggression. She would daily walk beside me and put her hand on my shoulder and press down. She would grab hold of my purse strap and pull down to the point of pulling me over or off balance. She had to constantly touch or poke me. I would ask her to stop but the very next day she would be right back at it with pleasure.

 

Destructive behavior to self, to others, and to material things (accident prone) – Both girls approached this symptom differently too.

 

  1. First daughter– In my last post I talked about the men she met online. The interesting thing here is that she followed in her birth mother’s shoes by not picking kind or good men. This was very self-destructive and self-demeaning. Probably with self-hatred added to the mix too.

 

  1. Second daughter – She acted out in all three categories. She was destructive to herself, others and to my things. She liked to pinch herself until she swelled up.

 

She showed destructive behavior towards others when she would bully everyone on the playground except for one girl. This girl played with our daughter because she was easily controlled and was ultra-sensitive towards everyone including our daughter.

 She also was destructive with everyone’s material things and all of her own things were ruined. She seemed to not care about material things and any effort to teach her differently was fruitless.

 

Abnormal eating patterns – Both girls had odd eating issues. They both needed to know we had all the food in the world that they could ever eat. This was probably do to the poor living conditions of the foster families they lived with. Both foster family homes were extremely impoverished.

 

 Lags in learning – 

  1. Our first adopted daughter didn’t have any lags in learning. She was a good but average student.

 

     2.  Our second adopted daughter had learning disorders due to possible fetal alcohol syndrome. This is the result of the birth mom drinking while she is pregnant, causing what I call “Swiss-cheese” brain. The alcohol  damages parts of the brain so they don’t work properly. Homework was difficult because one day she seemed to have a homework concept, then the next day she would act like she didn’t have a clue about the very same concept. She did admit she was purposely playing dumb so she would be like her birth mom. With spelling she had a photographic memory.

 

Abnormal speech patterns Mumbling was the most predominate abnormal speech pattern displayed by both of our adoptive daughters. Our first daughter did a great deal of passive behavior when it came to communications. Her answer for everything was “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.” She would do whatever it took to keep communications down to one-word answers. Towards the end of the time she was with us, she would spend days of not saying a single word to anyone in the house. Silent punishment was her passive aggressive retaliation.

 

Poor peer relationships – In previous posts I describe the girl’s relationships with friends. One daughter was surface in her relationships. The other was intrusive and at times aggressive and bullying. 

 

Lack of cause-and-effect thinking – Both girls were unable to think situations all the way out—at least not rationally. I feel this is due to the great amount of time in fantasy mode. (Please refer to my post on fantasy) It seems to break the connection to real life cause-and-effect thinking. 

Conclusion

 I’m sure I will touch on this “cause-and-effect thinking” in another post. Please comment on this if you relate or have questions. I would love to connect with you!! Till next time…