The RAD Orphan Psalm – Part Two:

The RAD Orphan Psalm:


This blog is about helping adoptive families who is navigating through the symptoms of RAD. RAD is a disorder called Reactive Attachment Disorder and it effects a large percentage of adopted children to one degree or another. Please read my previous posts on the subject. They will help in many ways including understanding this post.

My last post introduced what I call the RAD Orphan Psalm which is Psalm 10 from the bible. I presented some thoughts and points paving the way for part two and three in this series of posts. Psalm 10 describes the behavior of an angry, fatherless (Orphaned) child. Please take a moment to read part one of this series. It sets the stage for this post which includes a list of RAD  symptoms below.


My List of RAD Symptoms:

This list of symptoms are a combination of two resources:

1) Book: Parenting the Hurt Child by Dr. Keck

2) What I have observed from having two RAD adopted children of my own.

Most of this list will help us see the verses of Psalm 10 in a RAD symptom light. I will put the verses of Psalm 10 in parentheses next to the symptoms so you can see the connection between two. (Psalm 10 is printed below this symptom list for your convenience)

1. Manipulative and charming, putting on a false face (verse 2)

2. Amoral in their life choices (verses 5 & 13)

3. Indiscriminate affection towards strangers

4. Not affectionate with parents

5. Little or no eye contact with parents (symptom 3-5 are about being amoral in their life choices) (Verses 5 & 13)

6. Persistent nonsense questions and incessant chatter (all verses except when God is talking)

7. Inappropriate demanding and clingy behavior (verses 1-11& 13)

8. Lying or sometimes pathological lying (verse 7)

9. Stealing (verse 3)

10. Destructive behavior to self, others and material things (verses 1-11)

11. No impulse controls – can frequently act hyperactive (verses 1-11 & 13)

12. Has lags in learning

13. Has abnormal speech patterns

14. Has poor peer relationships (verses 1-11)

15. Lack cause and effect thinking (verses 1-11 & 13)

16. Lack of conscience (verses 1-11 &13)

17. Shows cruelty to animals

18. Preoccupied with fire (destructive behavior – most of the chapter)

19. Attracted to evil, witchcraft and power (verses 1-11)

20. Narcissistic – thinks unrealistically highly of themselves. Wants everyone and everything to revolve around them. Makes themselves a God to be worshiped. They are never wrong. Their problems are always someone else’s fault. (Verses 1-11 &13)

21. Won’t let anyone truly close to their heart (verse 6)

22. Lives in a destructive fantasy world (verses 4, 6 & 13)

23. Strong self-gratification impulses (verses 1-11 & 13)

24. Easily jealous or envious (verse 13 – wants to be parented but only by their birth parents)

25. Loves to create chaos (verses 1-11 & 13)

26. Angry if anyone is happy if they aren’t (this orphan is just simply angry)

27. Always has to win (verses 8-10)

28. Doesn’t read life situations correctly (whole chapter)

29. Lives in self-pity (whole chapter)

30. Schemes intentionally to emotionally hurt people (verses 5, & 8-10)

31. Verbally and emotionally punishes those around them (verses 2,5, & 8-10)

32. Loves to pull the heart strings of those around them – including God’s heart strings (verses 1-2 & 13)

33. Challenges authority – (who is there to protect them – verse 13)


Reading Psalm 10 Again:

       Please read Psalm 10 again in light of my RAD symptom list above. I feel the anger exuding from the orphan (fatherless) makes sense in light of what is going on in their heart as an RAD orphan. The RAD orphan is angry about not being in control, is feeling cheated in life, think they deserve to be entitled in their behavior and should have preferential treatment. They try so hard to force life to go the way they think it should go. They are very deceived about who is for them and who is against them and lash out at anyone who crosses their path – including God.


Why, Lord, do you stand far off?     Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,     who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts about the cravings of his heart;     he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;     in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous;     your laws are rejected by him;     he sneers at all his enemies. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”     He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

His mouth is full of lies and threats;     trouble and evil are under his tongue. He lies in wait near the villages;     from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims;     like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless;     he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net. 10 His victims are crushed, they collapse;     they fall under his strength. 11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;     he covers his face and never sees.”

12 Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God.     Do not forget the helpless. 13 Why does the wicked man revile God?     Why does he say to himself,     “He won’t call me to account”? 14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;     you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you;     you are the helper of the fatherless. 15 Break the arm of the wicked man;     call the evildoer to account for his wickedness     that would not otherwise be found out.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;     the nations will perish from his land. 17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;     you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, 18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed,     so that mere earthly mortals     will never again strike terror.


Most of the Psalm 10 is about RAD orphans and what they are saying. The RAD orphan even says, “Nothing will ever shake me, no one will ever harm me and God won’t call me into account.” (Verses 6 and 13) In verse 11 the orphan says, “God will never notice; He covers His face and never sees.”

I have a long experience with RAD orphans and this is exactly what they say to those around them and to God. They seem to always be against everyone who wants to love them because they don’t want to be hurt again. They want to hurt before they get hurt and it puts them in a vicious cycle of feeling they are not seen, loved or understood.

BUT THEN – Father God has His say at the end of this Orphan’s Psalm which is the theme of my next post. Join me again next week and hear the conclusion to this series of posts. Please make a comment in the box below. I would love to hear from you. Till next week…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The RAD Orphan Psalm – Part Three | Abba Father's Love

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