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

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


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.



         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.



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

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: When Your Adopted Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) Child Leaves the Nest | Abba Father's Love
  2. Trackback: Need Foster and Adoption Help? Part Three | Abba Father's Love

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