Tag Archive | reactive attachment disorder

Reunification with birth sister

Sarah got to reunite with her bio sister Sunday and we had a great day. She brought her a few more pictures and a few things like some of her mom’s necklaces and a couple of rings. She is doing really good over all, but she is having some struggles a long the way. So many triggers. A shirt she was wearing in a picture or a necklace that she remembered her mom wearing when something happened.

She is also saying things that didn’t happen like a conversation that they had texting on my phone and I went back and read the messages and it didn’t happen so she is day dreaming about different things and can’t separate what happened and what hasn’t.

I am proud of her even though she has became defiant at times after a few hours she has come to me and talked to me about what was going on. It is very important for me to stay focused and even if I am about to pull my hair out because she won’t do what she is told that when she wants to talk I need to take a deep breath and take time to listen and help her process her triggers.

If this had of been a few years ago she would be raging. She is so amazing! This is a young lady that had no remorse and no empathy and now she concerned about hurting my feelings as she grieves for her birth mom. In some ways her mom’s death has helped her to love me even more. She has called me her “real” mom several times now. There’s no longer that feeling inside of her that feels like she is betraying her mom for loving me.

Never ever lose hope for your child……..We almost gave up a few times on her. God always showed me that we weren’t supposed to give up. I am so glad that we didn’t give up.

Patti

Another roller coaster ride ……..

I wrote before about how we are on a roller coaster full of twists and turns.  We have just gotten on another one. This one had some pretty big loops. Our 14 yr old daughter’s adopted mother died last week. This of course wouldn’t be good any time, but just coming out of the holidays I was really concerned. I saw it on her sister’s facebook Monday  a week ago and waited until I could talk to her sisters before I told her. I talked to them that night so the next day I knew what I had to do. I spent a lot of time crying and praying.

Wouldn’t you know it we get up Tuesday morning and it was the first really good day that she had had since the holidays began. So I really didn’t want to tell her. I waited until that afternoon and I took her to the bedroom with me and had her to sit by me on the bed and as I started to tell her I broke down and was crying. I didn’t want to hurt her. She’s been hurt enough and I also knew that this was a really big fear that she had that her mom would die and she would never see her again. I was also concerned that me and her mom are the same age and with her having reactive attachment disorder I don’t want her to be afraid that she is going to lose me.

I told her just a minute while I was trying to stop crying so I could tell her and she said “It’s ok if my mom died”. I had a few things that I had put up for her for when she was older. She had a baby doll that her mom wrote on it’s back I love you Sarah, Love mom. and I had a few pictures.

Our footsteps are ordered by God and sometimes we find out why certain things happen and sometimes we don’t, but at Christmas we were given a fish aquarium and the lady asked me if we would like some scrapbooking things and I said yes they will love it. Oh my goodness it was a bunch of stuff…so nice. Things I would have never spent money on. Now I know why she gave them to us. We are going to make a scrapbook for Sarah. Her sister has sent me more pictures and they are going to get more.

Sarah is doing great. I gave her the choice whether or not she wanted to see her mom to say good bye. She said that she wanted to but also wanted to see her bio sisters. So I told her sister that we wanted a private viewing with just them. Did I say God orders our steps? Sarah told me yesterday that she was afraid that it would be to much for her to see her mom and was afraid it would bring back bad memories and cause her to act out again. So I told her to make sure because she couldn’t go back and change her mind. Last night her sister called me and told me that because of  the delay in making funeral arrangements that they would have to have a closed casket. Thank you Jesus that you laid it on Sarah’s heart before we had to make the decision for her. God is so good. We decided last night that we would give them this week to rest and regroup since the funeral is Friday and that next week her two sisters and her two brothers are going to come to church with us and we will go out to eat afterwards and then go to a park that we dearly love. That way they have plenty of time…….I pray that Sarah is able to handle all of this because we have tried several different times to let her have contact with one of her sisters that lived with us for a little while when she was in foster care and it always caused Sarah to act out. So we would have to stop contact and the last time we told her that was her last time until she was 18. We told her that if this doesn’t cause her to act out then she can keep in contact with them. She is really trying hard which was why she made the decision to not see her mom.

I wish that was the only loop on this roller coaster but it wasn’t. I posted on her sister’s facebook that we were praying for them and there were several people asking about Sarah so I posted a picture of her so they could see her. We are now in contact with her bio dad that she has never met and she has two more sisters. Now this is wild. She went to school with our kids and was in our son’s class 3 different years and Sarah knows her. I pray that this is the beginning of Sarah being able to have contact with her family. I will be sure to post about how the reunion goes.

PattiImage

 

No empathy????

No empathy????

As parents that have children that have little to zero empathy we long to see the tears that show that they finally have some, but at the same time we don’t want them to hurt. So that makes it hard on our hearts.

Our 13 oops today is her birthday so she is now 14. She had zero empathy. She would point and laugh at people that got hurt or was in a wheelchair. She thought it was funny when someone else was upset over something.

She finally has empathy. Even though I know she is hurting it still brings a smile to my face knowing that she cares. Our pastor asked her to sing a song at church and afterwards he went on and on about her singing. The following week he passed away. A few weeks later we were at home singing and the song that she sung that morning came on and she just started crying and our youngest daughter started crying. Not only did Sarah have empathy but she held Miah. A few years ago she would have just laughed at her for crying but she took her in her arms and held her.

In some ways this picture breaks my heart, but in other ways it makes me smile. No one wants their kids to have a broken heart, but more than not wanting them to have a broken heart we as parents don’t want them to have no feelings.

I am so proud of Sarah and how far she come………

Patti

Ugh holidays have begun……

UGH!!!!!! Is this what you got up thinking this morning? Dreading this day? If it didn’t already start last week or even earlier….sigh.

The beginning of all the holidays…….do you find yourself tensing up? First I will tell you that for us it has gotten so much better so never lose hope. I do believe that if you want them to do better that we have to sacrifice and maybe miss a few things. I know that isn’t fair to us, but hey if it will keep peace then I am all for it.

So missing a few things what does that mean to us as a parent? I am sure that you can add a lot of things, but the hardest things isn’t missing the fun. It isn’t missing the parties or the dinners or what ever else you may do during the holidays but it’s what we have to endure from other people……it may be a well meaning parent or sibling or a friend that you thought you would be close to forever or worse yet it may be a spouse. So many just don’t get it. They see your child as being so sweet, cute, considerate……well anything that other people want to see our kids give them a performance of a life time. So yep we are the bad guys.

I want to encourage you today to know that you are not a mean parent because you don’t let your child have all of the candy that they want tonight and you are not a mean parent if you let the “other” kids go have fun tonight and not your child that has RAD or other behaviors.

Parenting our children isn’t about being fair ……. it is giving what each of our kids need so that they can heal and grow up and be a productive member of society.

Also know that you are not a lone…….we are here and many others to support you………

Patti

Don’t be to quick to judge ……….

As I sit here listening to my 9 year old son yell about how mean I am and how he isn’t going to do what I say and he doesn’t care and on and on. I was reading on my facebook about a mom going without sleep because her daughter has ran away and is missing.

So many times we have been judged and told that if we don’t love our children then let someone else raise them. Does a parent that don’t love their child go days without sleeping because they DON’T love their child ….. of course not ….. does a parent continue to be verbally and physically abused by their child because they DON’T love them……..of course not.

Parenting is not about being fair. It is about giving what each of your children need to help them to be successful. If I allow a couple of our kids internet access then it is going to do more harm but I have a child that is allowed to have access yet I have been judged harshly for not allowing the others to have phones or to be on the computer.

Our children can pour on the charm and appear to be the best kids ever but as their parents many times we see a complete different child. So please before you judge so harshly when you see parents that seem to treat one child different than the others take a minute and ask how they are at home. It doesn’t have to just be kids that have reactive attachment disorder it can be Autism or any other special needs.

Help us help our children to succeed. When you side with them before you know the whole story you are empowering our children and it keeps them from healing.

Patti

Daily struggles

As I am sitting here trying to think of something really inspiring to say….hahahaha ok those that know me can stop laughing now. My heart is full and is at peace knowing that this too shall pass. As we go through our daily struggles sometimes it is really easy to lose our focus on things around us. Years ago when we were youth leaders in a church I took a white poster board and took a black marker and put a small black dot on it. I then asked what they saw on the poster board and no one saw the all of the white on it they only saw the black. I realize that when dealing with our children’s behavior’s that on a good day that black mark is much bigger than a little dot, but is that all we see? Can we not open our eyes just a little bit wider and see even a little bit of white? Maybe you can’t find that white in your child that has RAD on some days but what about other things in your life? Can you look really hard and find a little white that can help you keep going just one more day?

I just thought of this and I am going to do it. I am going to start writing down on a small strip of paper every time the kids does something good and then when it is just a really bad day or bad moment draw a slip of paper out and read it……. I think it will remind me of the good times and that there is hope. I am thankful that we have many more good times than bad times now.

Patti

Rehoming your adopted child………

Can you say WOW!!! There is a lot in the news right now about rehoming your adopted children. Although the two stories that I saw were very disturbing I feel that these are the exception. At least I pray they are………

At the same time parents are forced into a corner and sometimes have no where to turn to for help. Many don’t realize that in some states you can’t get help for your child unless you relinquish your parental rights……don’t want to do that and face abandonment charges? Well here’s the other option that parents are told…… if your child hurts one of your other children then the state can remove all of your children for failure to protect……..

About 4 years ago our daughter was 9 years old and was very violent. She wanted to kill us and we would find knives in her room that she intended on using on us. I couldn’t let her get more than a foot away from me because she would try to hurt the other kids. I was always able to keep our family safe until she started running away. Once she started going out her window then we no longer had that assurance that we were all safe including her….. She told me in great detail how she was going to kill me and we called her therapist and put her in a residential treatment center that night. We are blessed that we live in a state that we can get our children help a little easier….. the problem we have is that a treatment center only makes our kids worse if they don’t fully understand what RAD is…….

I know that there are families that are forced to make the heart wrenching decision to find a new home for their children. If you are faced with this decision make sure you are doing everything the right way. Hire an attorney. I understand that you are desperate but don’t let desperation cause you to make decisions that is going to put your child in danger. You love your child or you would have already given up. Take the time to make sure they are in a safe family……..

Patti

Help at school

School has started and I used to have a lot of anxiety when school started but that was before I started homeschooling our kids. Of course there is some anxiety that comes with homeschooling 6 kids but it’s not the same as when they were in public school. I was very blessed to have a school that took time to listen to me and learned about RAD. Not every one is that blessed. Being in the support groups that I am in I see it all the time where the teachers or the principle or any of the staff members just believe our precious little angels (angels in training). They don’t listen to the parent , they won’t read a book or other literature that the parent brings.

If I were to go to the school and tell my child’s teacher that my child was a diabetic then they would make sure that they followed the strict guidelines so that my child could stay healthy. They would probably ask questions and would want to learn more to help our child. Can they look at your  child and tell that they are a diabetic? Of course not. So why are they so eager to help.

So now imagine this……I go to the school and I talk with my child’s teacher and I tell her my child is diabetic but the first day of school she has those big baby blue eyes batting at her and she wants a piece of candy and she tells the teacher that she’s not diabetic and her mom only said that because she didn’t want her to have any candy so the teacher says oh well here you go. Now what would happen to my child……that’s right my child could get sick and the longer it happened the worse my child could get. This is exactly what happens to a lot of children that have reactive attachment disorder.

The parent goes to the school to talk to the teacher.  Explains to the teacher that their child has RAD and probably even left the teacher a letter explaining even more about it. All the parent can do now is pray that they will read it and believe them. BUT the child doesn’t do their homework at home because they are to busy screaming and destroying things. So the child tells their teacher I couldn’t do my homework because I didn’t have a pencil or paper or crayons and the list goes on and on and the teacher sends home notes everyday saying MUST DO HOMEWORK. I know that, but she/he won’t stop screaming. Yikes. They are so kind though and they really want your child to succeed and I believe with all of my heart that they do, but our children are just so good at what they do. After all didn’t they fool you too in the beginning? Well two of ours did and two of them just let their hair down or rather pulled it out……

If you are a teacher or you work with children it is important that you listen to your parents. It doesn’t have to be just RAD it can be other issues as well. So listen to your parents if they tell you that there child has a disorder that you are not very familiar with then educate yourself. If you are educated then you can help these children to succeed. If you don’t then you are setting them up for failure and very possibly ruining their life. Does that sound a little dramatic? Well not in the world of reactive attachment disorder.

I do want to say that while my children were manipulating their teachers especially our oldest daughter I was clueless about RAD as well as our children’s therapist and doctor. When I learned what RAD was and how to treat it then I passed it to the school and I was so blessed to have teachers that were willing to go the extra mile and get educated.

I do hope that you will share this with any one that works with children. Let’s get educated!!!!

Patti Hearon

What will define me?

I hope to instill this into my children’s lives “It’s not what I have been through in my life that defines who I am, it’s how I got through it that has made me the person that I am today”.

Choices ….it’s all about choices. What kind of choice will you make today. You have a blank page today and you will write your history. You can’t go back and erase what happened yesterday, but you can write something today that you won’t want to erase tomorrow.

I was having a conversation with our 9 year old and he was asking me questions about how we should act. He finally looked at me and said I am just a hippo. Of course he was trying to say he was a hypocrite. Lol He realized that he would act one way at church and act another way at home, but I am thankful that he does recognize the fact that his behavior is not the way it should be.

Our children or maybe even you have been through things that we may never even know but how are you going to make it through those things? How is your child going to make it through those things? I tell my older kids to get more of God in your life and these other things won’t have room to stay. It is a battle so what are you doing to equip yourself or your child to fight this battle.

I was going to make a list of things that we do but I would like to see if we can get more of you to post and write one thing that you do to prepare yourself or your child for battle.

One thing that we do is to apply the blood of Jesus over our kids from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet for protection.

Tag your it……..

Patti

Is this the same child that came to live with us 7 years ago?

Is this the same child that came to live with us 7 years ago??? When I was 16 years old I taught the 2 & 3 year olds at church and there was a beautiful little girl in my class named Sarah…..I loved her so much and I knew then that someday I would name my daughter Sarah…….but since we were adopting that was out unless we changed her name but I did get my Sarah……..and she is so beautiful and sweet……but……lol there was a day when……..oh my goodness…..she was beautiful but anything but sweet unless it was to other people. I look back over the last 7 years and see how much she has healed. When she came to live with us we had three good weeks and then ……..she tore up everything and ripped her door off of its hinges. She would scream for hours on end. Everyday when I picked her up from school the first thing I did was look and see if her teacher walked her out to me. Stealing food, did I say screaming??? Trying to hurt everyone, pooping in her room, peeing everywhere ………wanted to kill us and started hiding knives……

Now I look at her……is this really the same child? We were told that we may have to institutionalize her. We were told that she would probably not heal. Is this really the same child and my answer is yes and no…..it is the same body and the same beautiful face, but it’s not the hurt, damaged, scared little girl that came to live with us 7 years ago. She has healed so much. She loves me now. She tells me that when she thinks about me that it makes her heart feel funny………RAD reactive attachment disorder is a terrible thing and as we get caught up in the day to day behaviors it is hard and we get tired. We are told there is no hope, BUT there is hope. We know a man that can…..His name is Jesus and through Him all things are possible. It is through Him that all four of our kids that have RAD have healed or is healing. I give Him all glory.

Patti

I started on this a few weeks ago and I didn’t know that it had posted until I actually was able to get on line tonight. So I am sorry for those that only read part of what was on my heart………..