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. 


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…

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Healing Process | Abba Father's Love

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