Adoption RAD and Dividing What is Yours or Theirs:

Adoption RAD and Dividing What is Yours or Theirs:


Laurie here to encourage you and talk about adoption RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) issues. I started this blog because I felt so alone through my journey with adoption RAD and I don’t want you to have to do the same! I’ve written many posts on this subject. Please have a look.

My last post was titled, “Adoption RAD and Kingdom Perspectives.” Please check it out. It was about two Kingdom tools we are finding effective to heal some RAD issues.

Today I am going to talk about learning to divide what belongs to who. Then everyone can be responsible for themselves. This helps bring the stress level down in the middle of conflicts.


Parents – What Belongs to You?

I lead an adoptive parent’s support group and we were just saying we need to separate what belongs to us and what belongs to our children. In the daily chaos of adoption RAD issues, it is easy to listen to the constant assault of blaming which comes from an adopted or RAD child and take it in as truth, guilt or shame.

They seem to have the ability to pour the guilt and shame on with no conscience of it being a truth or a lie. It’s simply just what is coming off the tip of their tongues at the time. This comes from tree of the symptoms of RAD which are: (Two of the symptoms are found in Dr. Kecks book titled “Adopting the Hurt Child”)

1) They have no conscience

2) Lying about the obvious (crazy lying)

3) Narcissism (it is always everyone else’s fault)

Even if these symptoms are true, we as parents do need to own up to the issues in our own lives. The sooner the better. Then when our adopted children pile on the blame – we can separate what is ours and what is simply all their symptoms in action.

In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” This means we confess and repent. Then we give Jesus His justice for what He did on the cross to cleanse it all away. We can rejoice because we are clean and the issue is over. We don’t have to carry it into the daily chaos of adoptive life and it can’t be added to what our children are saying to impart guilt and shame.

With the line of delineation securely in place we can see clearly to address the barrage coming against us and know the presenting issue fully lies on our adopted children when we address it. Dividing what is ours and what is theirs helps clear some of the chaos to focus on the issues at hand.


What Belongs to Them?

Here is a list:

1)  All of the symptoms on the RAD symptom list (a couple of posts back I included the full RAD symptom list from Dr. Keck’s book. Please have a look)

2)  Anything the birth parents negatively caused by giving them up for adoption

3)  Their inability to bond to you

4)  When they keep you at arm’s length

5)  Sabotaging your attempts to bond to them

6)  The way they twist things around to make it you or someone else’s fault when it’s clearly theirs.

7)  Attempts at getting you and your spouse divorced

8)  When they question if your motives are right towards them.

9)  Their drama issues which are projected onto you as your fault

10)              When everything is the adopted mother’s fault



I can say this worked for me and brought such clarity to my parenting. Deleting the option of our adopted children’s guilting and shaming helped me make choices for their sakes only. This promotes good parenting.

If you have a comment please leave it in the box below. I would love to converse with you. I will be back next week with another post. Nice sharing with you…


Can You Refuse the Effects Of RAD?


The purpose of Abba Father and His Love blog is to become a source of encouragement to the foster and adoptive families who have children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I have several posts on the subject of RAD. Please check them out.

I just finished a series of posts called, “What Power is Behind You.” These posts describe Holy Spirit who has seven facets. (Isa. 11: 2). I encourage the parents of RAD children to look to the Holy Spirit. He gives his spirit, wisdom, understanding, counsel, and knowledge – all in the fear of the Lord.

Today I’m going to address the self-esteem issues that adoptive mothers face as they navigate the tumultuous journey of parenting an RAD child. I’ll talk  about the heart and soul issues of “failing” and “being good enough” and how to refuse your child’s impeding rejection.


Foster and Adoptive Moms:

A mother’s self-esteem can be eroded from all directions when parenting an RAD child. When the bombardment is chronic, an adoptive mother can start to feel invisible, insignificant, non-viable and lacking legitimacy. I’m sure many other adjectives could apply here but for the sake of the clarity, I will stick with these four words.


Definitions of These Words:

For a mother – feeling visible, significant, viable and having legitimacy is very important. For a mother with an adopted child(ren) with RAD–it’s not just important—it’s necessary. (I’ve used the definition found on my phone app for these four words)

  • Visible –

1)  Possible to see; perceptible to the eye

2)  Apparent; manifest; obvious

3)  Being constantly or frequently in public view

4) Prepared for visual presentation


  • Significant –

1)     Having or expressing a meaning; indicative

2)     Having or likely to have a major effect

3)     Important, notable, momentous or of consequence

4)     Having a special, secret, or disguised meaning


  • Viable –

1) Capable of success or continuing effectiveness

2) Having the ability to grow or develop


  • Legitimacy –

1) Undisputed credibility

2) Authenticity, genuineness

3) The quality of being believable or trustworthy


When You’re Feeling Like a Failure and Not Good Enough as a Mother:

 All mothers at one time or another feel like failures or feel like they don’t measure up. If you haven’t, then you probably haven’t hit the teenage years yet or have very compliant or perfect children. LOL! That would be a first.

For the parent of an adopted RAD child(ren) – you wouldn’t be reading this blog unless you are struggling and in search for answers to what in the world is wrong with your parenting and your adopted child.


Impeding Bombardment:

 1)     Impeding – means to retard or obstruct the process of

2)     Bombardment – means to assail persistently; harass. The rapid and continuous delivery of linguistic communication (spoken or written); a barrage of questions.

Impeding bombardment is exactly what  RAD child intentionally try to do to an adoptive mother’s self-esteem. There are many reasons the adopted RAD child acts the way they do, and this is written about in detail in some of my previous posts. Please check out those posts. They will help in understanding this post.

For this post, I’m zeroing in on the intentions of the RAD child’s need to destroy the adoptive mother’s self-esteem. They want the adoptive mother to feel invisible, insignificant, non-viable and not legitimate as their mother. They take great pains to constantly use impeding bombardment towards your heart and mind. They use the consistent communication of rejection with the intention to wound you to prevent you from bonding and building relationship with them.

After an accumulation of years with this treatment, an adoptive mother can lose sight of who she is and feel like a failure and or not good enough. I know I did. I felt invisible, insignificant, non-viable and not legitimate as my adopted RAD children’s mother. I felt like a failure and not good enough.



 No one can intrude on your feelings or self-esteem unless you allow them to. In response to the constant rejection and impeding bombardment I had to regularly tell myself: 

1)     I’m not the one who can’t bond or build relationship.

2)     I’m capable of deeply loving and nurturing another being.

3)     I’m not the one sabotaging connection or intentionally rejecting in order to deeply wound.

4)     I love for the sake of loving and not for the sake of manipulation.

5)     I am good enough

6)     I’m not the one failing if it is the other person who is preventing the relationship

7)     God loves me and loves the way I love.

8)     I’m visible, significant, viable and legitimately their mother (I have two adopted RAD children).


Adoptive fathers and husbands to your lovely wife: Listen to me. There is no other time in your wife’s life that she will need your support than at this time of trying to win over the heart of your child. If you want to be her hero – be it now! Encourage her and tell her she is doing a good job. It’s your child’s RAD that is preventing bonding and I’m sure your wife will need repeated encouragement that it is not her fault. Your child can’t bond at this point and they were this way before you brought them into your home.


Moms – It is so important to keep Father God’s thoughts about you close at hand. He sees you and loves you deeply. He knows how hard this journey of RAD is and surely doesn’t want you destroyed in the process. Go to Him, Jesus and Holy Spirit for everything you need. They want to give you wisdom, understanding, counsel and knowledge to resist the intentional meanness of RAD. You are good enough and haven’t failed in the Trinity’s eyes! They see you as valuable, loved and significant to the process.


If you need my help in processing through these issues, please call Unleashed Healing Center and ask to make an appointment with me. My name is Laurie. I am a life coach and I would love to help you through this. Visit for more information… Please leave a comment below. Until next week…




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…