Adoption RAD and Five Steps of Encouragement – Part One

Adoption RAD and Five Steps of Encouragement:


Hello! This is Laurie and I have created this blog to encourage adoptive and foster families who are navigating through the issues of adoption. I have written all of my posts on the subject of adoption but have specifically targeted adoption RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). Please scroll through my posts and have a look.

My last three posts were a series about RAD, DID and integration. It is about trauma and the results of a shattered heart called DID. I brought definition to DID (which is putting the heart back together again) and said I could help if you thought your child has a shattered heart. Please take a moment to read them. It may be helpful for your situation.

Today I am starting a five part series of posts about five steps of encouragement. I will be using an acronym FAITH. These are steps I have learned on my journey through the effects of adoption RAD which have launched me into faith instead of discouragement. I trust it will help you the in same way!


First Step – F For Failure:

         I don’t mean your failure – so take a deep breath and hear me out. I wrote a post a while ago about burden bearing which applies here so take a second and read it. We are to help people by bearing their burdens. Then we are to cast our burdens on the Lord. From this point it is God’s job to teach life lessons and we need to stay out of the way. Otherwise we are enablers.

Adopted RAD children need to fail in their efforts to hold everyone at arms distance (as a self-protection). They really need to fail at many things they do especially the ones allowing them to live life as an island. Failure is the only way they learn they aren’t as independent, tough and strong as they imagine.


Failure in Your Home with You:

         It is typical for parents – biological and adoptive – to want to fix things in the lives of their children. This is normal but not necessarily helpful. It is not realistic or your job to make life perfect for your children! When we do it creates “entitled” children that expect life outside our home to be perfect too. We all can attest life doesn’t treat anyone extra special.

So, let’s talk about allowing our children to fail while they are in our house – where they can be safe as they fail. For the RAD child failure is an impeccable teacher. So, what does this look like?


Thinking the Whole Situation Out:

One of the symptoms of RAD is the inability to have cause and effect thinking. This is to your advantage. Take the time and process the situation out to the end. This allows your thoughts to be ahead of your child’s and you can use it as a teaching tool.

I am not suggesting we use a situation to cause harm to any child! Let me say it again – I am not suggesting we use a situation to cause harm to any child! It is not my heart to harm. Instead, I propose we use every situation for the teaching opportunity it presents.


How Do We Allow Failure to Teach?

         Like I said – our RAD children don’t have cause and effect thinking so failure (as a teacher) allows learning opportunities. This prepares our children for life outside the walls of our home. Better they learn these failure lessons where they are safe and have a softer place to land (in your home). Again, they need to learn they are not as indestructible as they believe.


An Example of failure:

         The school my children went to had a pretty strict dress code. They weren’t allowed to wear zip up hoodies during school. My oldest adopted RAD child didn’t follow the rules and her hoody was confiscated. The school contacted me and I went in and got it. I explained to my daughter (again) the rule was easy – don’t wear it during school. I also said she would lose it if she did it again. She did it again and when I got it back and cut it up in front of her – I threw it away.

I already knew she would wear it again so I didn’t fix it by taking it away from her permanently the first time. This situation impacted her enough that it didn’t happen again with any other dress code issue. (I cut it up because I knew if I just threw it away she would retrieve it and wash it) Issue settled!



         Think out the situations presenting themselves and find a teaching opportunity. Allow your children to fail in your home (now) so life doesn’t have to cruelly teach them later. This is being a responsible parent who isn’t an enabler.

My intention is to encourage adoptive parents out there to navigate through adoption issues and RAD with some tools. Hope this was helpful!! Please leave a comment in the box below. I would love to hear from you! Until next time…

Joharian Window and Adoption

Joharian Window and Adoption

The next healing tool I’m sharing about is the Joharian window. The men who developed this window were named Joe and Harry – therefore the name of this window is a meshing of their two names.

The heart of this blog is about helping families that have fostered or adopted and are having problems with issues such as RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). I have talked about several issues attached to RAD in previous posts which you may find helpful if you are struggling.

The last two posts were about the four traps we can fall into, how they apply to any relationship and the effect it has on the relationship we have with our adopted children. Please have a look.


Joharian Window:


                SELF SELF
O T H E R S              Public Private
O T H E R S                 Blind Subconscious


Public: Information about yourself that others have access to.

Private: Information about yourself that only you have access to.

Blind: Information about yourself that only others have access to but you don’t.

Subconscious: Information about yourself that neither you nor others have access to but only God knows.

The importance of the Blind and Subconscious windows:

Our behaviors and attitudes understood by others (and not ourselves) are generated through information in our subconscious—information we aren’t even aware of consciously. This is how strongholds are created and why everyone needs to go through a process of life coaching (or what we call “un-reeling”) in order to walk in wholeness and healing.


Below I’ve defined five key terms or phrases:

 1. Life Coaching: When a life coach walks us through practical steps to improve our lives by implementing powerful actions moving our life in a positive direction.

2.  Un-reeled: When we allow the Lord to take out the lies that we believe and replace them with His truth – much like taking a movie film strip out of a film projector and replacing it with a different film.

3.  Stronghold: A lie planted in our subconscious giving Satan influence in our lives through our agreement. The lie can be developed through the personal perceptions of experiences and relationships, inner vows and generational curses.

4.  An Inner Vow:  An inner vow is a vow you make as a reaction to a bad or good experience. For example: I have talked in previous posts about the vow a RAD adopted child makes when he realizes his birth mom has abandoned him. The RAD adopted child then can vow to not let anyone close enough to hurt him so deeply again.

 5. Generational Curse: A generational curse is a curse that results from one of your ancestors sinning. The sin causes a curse and that curse is passed down to the third and fourth generation.


The Point of This Post:

My mission through this blog is to help facilitate healing to adoptive families. As adoptive parents, the best way to help our children is to get help for ourselves first. Walking in wholeness and healing personally will encourage our entire families to do the same. With this thought process in mind, the blind and subconscious boxes in our own lives need to be attended to and submitted to God for His help.

There are behaviors that are rooted in both our blind boxes and our subconscious boxes. The goal with the following practices is to allow our close friends and the Trinity to help us identify behaviors, thought processes, lies, strongholds, inner vows and generational curses that need broken and dealt with. Dealing with the root causes of our behaviors will allow for lasting change and total healing.


How do we do this?

 The Blind box is the one that everyone sees and you don’t. Kind of scary isn’t it? The idea that others can see something about ourselves that we can’t see is unsettling. But, the Lord wants us to be overcomers and is willing to save us (once again) from ourselves. Thank goodness!!

A trusted friend can help with the blind box if they love you and want to see you thrive and succeed. Just ask them to gently speak into your life. Be receptive, teachable and not given to offense. Remember that you are blinded to this part of your life and are asking for their help.



1) Listen to what they have to say and take it to the Lord because HE is the one who heals.

2) Ask if what was divulged is true and if the Lord says yes – repent and ask if there is a lie attached to the issue. If there is – break agreement with the lie and ask the Lord for the truth.

3) Receive the truth

4) Then make a conscious effort to go to God and ask Him to renew your mind and change your heart until you are changed. He is your healer and you can’t heal yourself in your own effort.

5) Keep in mind, this is about a close relationship with Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit. They want to use every situation to be something for you that they never had the opportunity to be for you until this issue. They want to come alongside and be everything to you and for you. They will express unconditional love at every turn with a healing touch. You can never wear them out with your need for freedom.


Subconscious Box:

 The subconscious box is un-nerving too! We all have things in our subconscious that need healing. The steps in the above section work here, too. Now we allow God in the place that the close friend was in with the blind box section. God wants to be our trusted friend and loving Father. He desires for us to thrive and succeed. So, give Him a chance to be for you what He didn’t get a chance to be for you until now. Remember, He can be many things that we as humans can’t ever be – such as healer, provider, protector, banner of love, and our peace, etc.


Adoption Application:

This applies to adoptive families simply because we as adults need to be actively searching God about our own healing and relationship with Him. Then we can see and help our children get the healing and heavenly love they need. God sees the whole picture – for all concerned. Let Him have His way with ourselves and the ones we love!


Please make a comment in the box below. I would love to converse with you.  I’ll share on another healing tool next time. Until next week…