When Your Adopted Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) Child Leaves the Nest

When They Leave the Nest:

 Intro:

         This blog was created to encourage foster and adoptive families who have children with behavioral, adoption and/or RAD issues. Please read through some of my posts. They are interesting and mostly on these subjects.

My last post was titled, “Adoption, RAD and Needing to Belong.” Take a moment to read it. We all need to belong and this post has some interesting points for everyone.

Today I am going to talk about a subject that may be a little difficult. I know it is difficult for me. My desire is to encourage you in a way that will lighten your load.

 

When Our Adopted Children Leave the Nest:

         I hate the idea of both of my adopted children living out on their own.  At times this is hard when my husband and I haven’t heard from them for months on end. I purpose to not imagine what could be happening.

Some of you might not know our oldest adopted child (at eighteen) decided we were not her family and has been on her own ever since. She doesn’t have a phone and rarely calls when she can use a friend’s phone. It’s been over a year since we’ve talked with her.

Our second adopted child had to be removed from our home because she was going to kill me. She doesn’t have a phone all the time either. So, we get a call from her usually once every two to three months (when she can borrow a phone).

 

What to Do:

         I realize not all of you are in this same situation with your children leaving your nest. But, it is good to prepare yourself because it will happen sooner or later. Unless you have a disabled child who will live with you all their life.

I am talking to all the rest of us who will see our children go out on their own sometimes whether they are ready or not. This takes a great deal of effort to stay in a good place instead of being fearful on their behalf. This is what I want to focus our discussion for today.

 

How Do We Stay In Peace About Our Children?

Our children moving out is the toughest thing I have faced. I have to purpose to stay in a specific mindset when it comes to the safety of my children. So, here are my thoughts and suggestions.

Four things I do – taken from Psalm 91 in the Bible:

1)  I stand in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1). It is the scripture I adopted which helps me walk out all the difficulties with our adopted children. This chapter helped me to learn about who God is and what He does for me.

2)  This chapter is all about God’s power and not mine. I need His power to work for me and my children. My power will not cause anything to happen.

3)  Being under God’s “wing” (Psalm 91:4) is comforting for me and God is extending the same comfort to my children wherever they are.

4)  I believe I will see the enemy (Satan) fall at my side (Psalm 91:7) and God will come through for all of us with His protection and healing.

 

Conclusion:

         For the parents out there who are enjoying your children leaving the nest – you needn’t feel guilty if you are experiencing some relief. It’s OK to enjoy a home that isn’t in chaos from RAD symptoms. My husband and I felt the same way initially. Then we forgave and turned our children over to God’s power to do what needs to be done.

When your life gets back to normal it is important to stay in peace when you haven’t heard from your child for a while. God knows what He is doing so ask for His protection for your children. God will see them through.

Well, it’s been nice talking with you. God bless your Christmas Season!! Until next week…

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Adoption, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Needing to Belong

Adoption, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Needing to Belong:

Intro:

Hi all! This is Laurie with another post to encourage all the parents out there who are in the midst of foster, adoption and RAD issues. Most of my posts are on these subjects. So, have a look.

My last post was on adoption and thankfulness. It is hard to maintain a heart of thankfulness in difficult adoption situations so I gave some suggestions on this subject. Please take a moment and check it out.

Today I am going to talk on the topics of belonging, being an orphan and sonship. Below are the definitions. Then I will expand on how to help the children in our charge with these areas.

 

Definitions of Belonging, Orphan and Sonship: (Taken from the dictionary app. on my phone)

1)  Belonging – To be a member of a group, such as a club. To fit into a group naturally. To be a part of something else.

2)  Orphan – A child who has been deprived of parental care, support or supervision and has not been adopted.

3)  Sonship – the state of being a son (I’m adding – or daughter)

I think we can say our adopted children don’t feel they belong to some degree or another. With most of them at least a portion of their lives fits into the “not belonging” category. It’s the results of rejection and abandonment from their birth parents. So, this “not belonging” is a thought process our adopted children have taken to heart. They feel like orphans but they could be sons and daughters who belong.

 

Why Don’t Our Adopted Children Become Sons or Daughters?

In the orphan definition above it says a child is an orphan if they are not adopted. Our children are adopted. So, what is not getting translated to the hearts of our adopted children?

Father God (father of Jesus Christ) wants to adopt every person on the planet (Rom. 8) because of what Jesus Christ died for on the cross. Yet there are millions of humans who feel abandoned and rejected by God and don’t know Him or don’t want to be adopted into His family. They could already “belong” if God had His way. What is the disconnect?

I can clearly say our adopted RAD children reject us because they don’t want the “substitute” father and mother provided for them. They want the original biological parents. Anyone else just doesn’t suffice.

 

What Do We Do About the rejection of sonship in Our Adopted Children?

Three thoughts:

1)  In the bible (Romans 8) it talks about how Father God is called Abba Father (Daddy Father) who has adopted us and made us sons and daughters. Adoption was God idea first as restitution and protection for the orphan. This was God’s heart long before any orphan was born. There are several scriptures where God expresses His anger when someone comes against an orphan. In Prov. 23:10 it says God is an orphan’s defender. Yet orphans reject the Father of the universe and their selected adoptive parents to their own demise. They reject any father even if it is for their good and protection. They choose independence over sonship and belonging.

2)  There are many reasons a child needs to be adopted and many RAD orphans are angry they didn’t have a say in the situation. Yet, many orphans are too young to make such a decision. They don’t understand they would be on the streets if they didn’t have an adoptive family protecting and providing for them. Again, they choose independence over sonship and belonging.

3)  As the adoptive parents you have a great authority in God’s eyes in the area of prayer. God supports you. Your adopted children may not believe in sonship (adoption) but God does. He created it with the whole human race in mind. Ask Him to heal the distorted mindset (thought processes) of your adopted child so they feel they belong and choose sonship.

 

Suggestion:

         Find a life coach, counselor or therapist (who has experience with adoption and RAD issues) to help your adopted child sort out these issues. Not belonging is the root and sonship (adoption) and family is the answer. We know this but they have it all twisted up. Help can be a phone call away.

 

Conclusion:

         I would love to help so please leave a comment so we can converse. I am a Life Coach and can be reached at Laurie@getreallivin.com if you want my help….I’ll be here with a new post again next week. Until then…   

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Thankfulness. What?

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Thankfulness?

 Intro:

Hello everyone! As usual I am explaining what this blog is about. I created this blog for the adoptive and foster families out there who are in the middle of issues with their children. Please check out my other posts. They are intended to help lift your spirits during your journey.

My last post was titled, “Holidays and Adoption Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).” It has helpful information for the holidays. Please have a look.

Today I am going to talk about thankfulness. It seems the right time of year to talk about such a subject. I hope it is encouraging to your soul!! But how do we have thankfulness when RAD is involved?

 

Thankfulness:

         For the parents out there who are in the thick of fostering, adoption and RAD issues I know it is challenging to think of things to be thankful for. Life with RAD is so difficult! RAD children like to create division in the home and sometimes successfully cause parents to divorce. These children are always punishing the adoptive mother either aggressively or passive aggressively. They live in unending drama. All of this is hard!!

From my past experience I know constantly focusing on the hard things can be devastating to one’s soul. It effect one’s body and puts spiritual connection to the Trinity (Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit) into question. That is why I am venturing to say thankfulness is a good solution.

 

A Broadening Perspective:

         I heard a speaker once say something very interesting. She said, “Speaking and thinking positively attracts positivity back towards us.” This goes along with a recent post I wrote about promoting and maintaining a positive atmosphere in our homes. I suggested playing upbeat music to help create this positive atmosphere. I feel worship music is the best. I suggested several other ways to create a positive atmospheres in this post. Please take a moment and read it.

So, if a positive atmosphere causes the positive to come towards us – then it would make sense the opposite would be true too. Our RAD children are very negative and many times this makes the atmosphere negative. My point today is about moving forward in the opposite by regularly practicing thankfulness. Being thankful for everything you can creates positivity in our homes.

Below is a list of positive declarations of thankfulness. Take some time and create your own list. Maybe you and your spouse can develop an atmosphere of positive thankfulness too.

 

Other Things to be Thankful For:

  • For your marriage
  • For your destiny and future
  • For your health
  • For the beautiful season of fall
  • For your spouse
  • For your job
  • For good friends
  • For a good church
  • For your house and/or car
  • For the ability to breath
  • For having food on your table
  • For the clothes you wear
  • For the ability to think
  • For your furniture and things
  • For the money God provided to you
  • For the ability to verbally encourage those around us
  • For the ability to walk and enjoy nature
  • For the animals around us
  • For a free nation
  • For all the different arrays of color

 

Conclusion:

Creating a positive atmosphere as it depends on you is the goal. Maybe your negative children will catch the atmosphere and join in. You never know. If they don’t – allow yourself to live in the positive world with God and not your child’s negative world.

This is not to say we don’t vent our feelings to God, our spouse or a friend. But when all is out – revert back to thankfulness. There is so much more going on in the world beyond what is happening in our homes. God is big and deserves our gratitude for all He is as well as all He has  done.

Well, that’s all for now. Please leave a comment by clicking the “leave a comment” button by the title above. I would love to hear from you!!! Nice talking with you! Until next week…

Holidays and Adoption Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

Holidays and Adoption Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

 Intro:

         Hi all! I am Laurie and I created this blog to encourage adoptive and foster parents looking for answers for their children. Many of my posts are on RAD and adoption issues but I have also covered many other subjects. Please take some time and check my other posts out.

My last post  was titled “Adoption RAD and Adoptive Fathers.” It is an interesting and encouraging post so have a look. I’m sure it will be helpful.

Today I am going to talk about the holidays. It is a hard time for adoptive and foster families especially if your child has RAD. RAD children tend to create chaos which disrupts the whole family.

 

Honoring the Birth Family:

I wrote a post about the holidays last year and gave suggestions to help the children in our charge get through holidays. I suggested healthy ways to honor their birth families. I also wrote a post (before last summer) about keeping our children busy when they are off of school. This is important because it prevents them from punishing us for their birth parents decision to give them up. Please check the two posts out.

 

Today is a post about implementing measures of Space:

The Holidays are a time when adopted and foster children are in their fantasy zone. They spend a great deal of time fantasizing about how their life would have been with their birth parents and siblings for the holidays. They do the same for their birthdays. This is a fruitless act which creates conflict in their heart causing them to behave negatively. The results ruins the holiday for themselves and everyone else.

If they are creating chaos because they can or because they prefer to be with their birth families – then allow them to have some space in their room as a gift to them and you. Just because they can create chaos doesn’t mean it should be tolerated. If there is a sibling (biological to the adoptive parents) to your adopted or foster child – they may punish them and ruin their holiday or birthday too.

Everyone doesn’t need to experience the chaos the adopted or foster child creates. Give the adopted child some space to collect themselves and when they are over their negative behavior they can join the festivities without ruining everyone’s day.

I don’t want to seem cruel here but giving everyone a break can be a very good thing. The rest of the family can continue to celebrate and be joyful. It will peak the interest of your adopted or foster child. This is good. It shows they want to know what all the glee is about and hopefully they will re-engage. Goal accomplished! Plus, they need to know their behavior doesn’t have the power and effect they intended.

 

Conclusion:

         Helping our children learn appropriate behavior in all situations is what a parent is supposed to teach. So, not allowing our adopted or foster children run the festivities with chaotic behavior is part of teaching them social skills. This allows them to connect to others appropriately and add their richness to society. I’m sure it is your heart to help your child succeed in this way.

         I hope your Holidays are rich and meaningful! I pray this post was helpful. Blessings to you and yours!

I would love to hear from you so leave a comment by pressing the “Leave a Comment” button. I am a life coach so if you would like my help I can be reached at Laurie@getrealliving.com  Ask for Laurie and they will let me know. Until next week…

Adoption RAD and Adoptive Fathers

Adoption RAD and Adoptive Fathers

 Intro:

Hi everyone! My name is Laurie and I created this blog to help the foster and adoptive families out there. My blog is a place to read topics pertaining to adoption, fostering and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Please take a moment to read some of my other posts.

My last post was about adoption research. It talked about several subjects to look into before committing to adopt. Check it out.

Today I am going to talk about adoption RAD and adoptive fathers. I have several things on my heart to talk about. I’m sure you’ll find this post interesting.

 

Adoptive Fathers:

I still find it hard to wrap my mind around how much an adopted child with RAD makes “everything” next to impossible for the adoptive mother to accomplish. This is because adopted children project the punishment they have for the birth mother onto the adoptive mother.

What adopted RAD children make difficult for adoptive mothers:

1)  shopping for food and clothing

2)  following rules or chores set by the adoptive mother

3)  accepting homework help or any other help

4)  getting up when the alarm goes off and/or making the bus

5)  accepting any advice or quality time together

6)  this list goes on and on

 

What the Adoptive Father Can Do:

         Everything your wife does in the realm of motherhood is difficult because of the RAD adopted child’s attitude. So, I am asking all the adoptive dad’s with RAD children to listen. Your wife needs your help and reprieve from the constant resistance she faces. Dad – you need to take over some of the things on the list above.

 

Here are some of the things the dad can do to give the wife a break:

(The numbered points above coincide with the numbered points below)

1)  Take over some of the clothes and food shopping. These kids love to drive the adoptive mother over the edge about shopping. My husband took the clothes shopping over for me and it helped tremendously. Our adoptive daughters co-operated with him and they had a great time shopping. This was one less resistance for me to deal with.

2)  The adoptive father should always communicate “he” set all the rules and chores of the house even though you and your spouse decided together. If an adopted RAD child knows the adoptive mother set either the chores or the house rules you can be sure she will have a battle on her hands.

3)  Dad’s need to lay out the expectations and consequences you and your wife have agreed upon concerning homework. Then father’s need to follow through to the end.

4)  Fathers, lay down some expectations and consequences for not only getting out of bed to an alarm but getting out of the house for the bus. Adopted RAD children will battle with your wife for no good reason except to punishing her. SHE DOES NOT DESERVE THIS! Fathers, you need to be her buffer and enforce your expectations and consequences.

5)  Your adopted RAD children won’t accept advice from your wife so tune up your communication skills. They also won’t spend quality time with her. You and your wife need to discuss what you desire together but father’s need to convey the advice and family time expectation.

 

Conclusion:

There are many more areas of parenting I am sure adoptive fathers can help with. If you do your wife will see you as her hero. Then love her back with some words of encouragement, a card and/or some flowers. Your wife needs all the love and support you can give her. She is facing the toughest portion of her life and needs to know you are traveling this journey with her. The impossibility of her RAD adoptive children ever treating her as a mother is slim – so having her back goes a long way to help her endure this disorder.

         Thanks dads for listening. Please leave a comment in the box below. Until next week…