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s/o Attachment Issues, Agency ?s


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Here's a thought that occurred to me, reading the thread about attachment issues.

 

While I *completely* agree that agencies should be addressing potential attachment issues and bonding stratagies, and emphasizing those, I also wonder, w/all the information on the net, why there are still adoptive parents who seem completely unawares of these potential issues. When Wolf and I were discussing adoption, RAD came quickly to the surface of potential issues.

 

Do ppl have such faith and trust in agencies that they don't do any outside research? Do agencies deliberately downplay these issues?

 

Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to point fingers or anything. It just seems like such a critical issue in adoption, and I'm wondering what more can be done so that families are really aware and able to take action to create the needed bonding from day one. I mean, you can't know it's a critical issue if you haven't heard of it, kwim?

 

Part of me does wonder if agencies are as open about it as perhaps they should be, simply b/c it could very well scare off potential adoptive families.

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Here's a thought that occurred to me, reading the thread about attachment issues.

 

While I *completely* agree that agencies should be addressing potential attachment issues and bonding stratagies, and emphasizing those, I also wonder, w/all the information on the net, why there are still adoptive parents who seem completely unawares of these potential issues. When Wolf and I were discussing adoption, RAD came quickly to the surface of potential issues.

 

Do ppl have such faith and trust in agencies that they don't do any outside research? Do agencies deliberately downplay these issues?

 

Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to point fingers or anything. It just seems like such a critical issue in adoption, and I'm wondering what more can be done so that families are really aware and able to take action to create the needed bonding from day one. I mean, you can't know it's a critical issue if you haven't heard of it, kwim?

 

Part of me does wonder if agencies are as open about it as perhaps they should be, simply b/c it could very well scare off potential adoptive families.

 

 

It's an excellent question! In our area, backwoods hole of Michigan in which there is a general naivete about mental health on ALL fronts, yep...they really trust the agency and the agency generally gives bare minimum information and expects the family to do research. It's a lethal combo.

 

We were the ones that educated our dear friends about facilitating attachment with the newborn they adopted. We knew this information because we served for three years as respite workers for foster parents who were caring for very emotionally disturbed children. Our training, through Whaley's Children's Center (now closed, former residential treatment center for cases so severe that FIA could not place the children in regular foster families) was how we knew plus first hand dealing with children while their parents got much needed breaks. Since then we've even had to educate local social workers!

 

I suppose there are agencies that do a very good job. This was not our experience as respite workers (Whaley was great! Others, very, very poor!) and it was not the experience of our dear friends with their agency here in Michigan. I suspect that agency workers are afraid to scare parents out of the process and therefore just hope everything will be okay. A very bad plan, but likely about how the thought processes go.

 

That's why threads like these, the support we provide Denise, Tara, and others, etc. is so important. The more people educated, the better off the world will be.

 

Faith

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I think, like in every area of parenting, there are people like *us* that research like mad and search out different opinions, viewpoints, experiences of those that have btdt, etc. Then there are others who just blindly follow what they are told by their ped, adoption agency, etc.

 

I'm thinking about car seat usage. Any google search will tell you that ERF is safest. Most peds tell parents at the 1 year well-child visit that it's time to turn their kids. They do it. I don't think any of the parents I know IRL read any parenting books past "What to Expect...", much less looked for current research on anything. More time is spent on registering for baby gear.

 

My kids go to daycare part-time. There are two kids there that were very recently adopted (international). They were home with new mom for less than six weeks before she sent them to daycare and went back to work. One of these kids calls me "momma" and cries when he does not leave with me every time I am there. He constantly tries to hug and kiss me and is begging for attention. Adoption agency has told mom that they "can't believe how well the kids have adjusted" so she is not concerned.

 

I am an adoptive mom with a child with attachment issues. She was home with me at six weeks. Our agency was clueless too. IIRC, their advice was to "really love on her." Gee, like I wasn't already doing that. :glare:

Edited by Beth.
gah - typo!
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Interesting responses, thanks!

 

I *know* I'm a research freak, so I don't expect anyone else to be like me.

 

Which is why I wonder about agencies themselves. Since they obviously make money off adoption, they'd have a vested interest in the numbers being high...and it seems to me, being open and honest about RAD would probably turn some potential parents off. I know it caused us to throw the brakes on, at *least* until our children are considerably older, but it has caused us to question if we could handle it at all, regardless of our chidlren at home (my having RSD, and it being affected by stress is absolutely a serious issue when it comes to RAD)

 

Any suggestions on HOW to bang the drum about this?

 

I'm not saying that NO older child should be adopted. Please don't mistake me. I'm saying that parents need to be fully and completely educated so as to give everyone the best possible playing field for healthy family relationships.

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I think, in like every area of parenting, there are people like *us* that research like mad and search out different opinions, viewpoints, experiences of those that have btdt, etc. Then there are others who just blindly follow what they are told by their ped, adoption agency, etc.

 

I'm thinking about car seat usage. Any google search will tell you that ERF is safest. Most peds tell parents at the 1 year well-child visit that it's time to turn their kids. They do it. I don't think any of the parents I know IRL read any parenting books past "What to Expect...", much less looked for current research on anything. More time is spent on registering for baby gear.

 

My kids go to daycare part-time. There are two kids there that were very recently were adopted (international). They were home with new mom for less than six weeks before she sent them to daycare and went back to work. One of these kids calls me "momma" and cries when he does not leave with me every time I am there. He constantly tries to hug and kiss me and is begging for attention. Adoption agency has told mom that they "can't believe how well the kids have adjusted" so she is not concerned.

 

I am an adoptive mom with a child with attachment issues. She was home with me at six weeks. Our agency was clueless too. IIRC, their advice was to "really love on her." Gee, like I wasn't already doing that. :glare:

This is so heartbreaking....so very heartbreaking. An adoption can be more complex to me than birthing a child. Just...wow.

 

The agency I used to work for did, IMO, a fairly good job about informing parents about the different things that can happen in adoptions. I don't know if it was necessarily enough though, for every situation. Some parents came in with the idea that once an adoption happened that everything would be pretty smooth sailing, especially with babies. The reality is that isn't always how it was, especially if a child came from a country where their care was substandard. I do think some agencies may gloss over this or try to downplay situations but that that is no help at all to those who end up going through this.

 

There's also the other side where you can come completely prepared for the possibility of RAD and still be totally blindsided....its hard to completely prepare unless it actually happens. Learning all you can beforehand can be small peanuts compared to actually going through it.

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Here's another thought I had, but I'm not sure I'll express it properly, so bear w/me.

 

When looking to buy a house, if a realtor deliberately w/holds info, say that the house has had the basement flooded annually, or that there's issues w/the foundation, they can be held legally liable.

 

If a car manufacturer knows that there are potential issues w/a vehicle design, say the axle is known to crack, they have to recall and notify consumers.

 

So how do agencies get away w/NOT fully informing potental adoptive parents about all the issues re: attachment?

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I adopted with two different agencies 8 and 5 years ago. Both put a lot of info out there, with the second one making us take online classes. However, I think it's a lot like the saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." Heck, in my house, one of us got it and one was clueless. (Guess who?) No, that's not husband bashing exactly, because he admits to it. He really thought just the sight of his Chinese face* was going to trump all the work this white girl was doing on researching and learning about attachment. :001_huh: (Yes, he's got his MBA from an Ivy :001_rolleyes: .) <---Not a slap at Ivies, but some pretty well thought-out folks don't really "get" this realm because it's emotional/uncharted/whatever. And for us, heck, we chose to do this, over trying biologicially, so there was no regret or mixed feelings about this. So it must be simply "uncharted" in his case. Darn near wrecked our marriage. Forever altered it.

.

.

.

I wouldn't change a thing. :) We are adults who willingly took this on. Our children have been the greatest source of amazement, humor, love, etc. etc. etc. We are both better people than we were 8 years ago. We can not believe that we were given these wonderful people to guide to adulthood. We're honored to be their parents. And every ounce of work was worth it. But I'm really glad I did the work in the beginning and can just enjoy them now.

 

*One line in one book suggested that often (not always) the ethnically similar parent had an easier time of it. :rolleyes:

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I think it's a lot like the saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

 

I was about to say the same thing.

 

I have been active on an adoption forum and know that some APs believe the attachment recommendations are overkill. To be honest, I think some of them are overkill depending on the child. For example, the recommendation that if you adopt a potty-trained tot, you should put her back in diapers so she completely depends on you for her need to be clean etc. That sounds like mild abuse to me (unless the child wants it). Similarly, many people think it is ridiculous to limit grandparent exposure. And then too, all children are individuals, and all adoptees don't have the same needs.

 

In any event, I feel that when I adopted, I had more than adequate access to information. My state requires a certain amount of education for adoptive parents.

 

One thing that was helpful to me was participation in an adoption forum (found on adoption.com). If an adoptive parent doesn't seem sufficiently aware (or is in denial) of adoption issues, perhaps recommending such a forum would help. Like here, it offers an opportunity to explore issues with folks who understand, without risking being judged IRL.

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I was about to say the same thing.

 

I have been active on an adoption forum and know that some APs believe the attachment recommendations are overkill. To be honest, I think some of them are overkill depending on the child. For example, the recommendation that if you adopt a potty-trained tot, you should put her back in diapers so she completely depends on you for her need to be clean etc. That sounds like mild abuse to me (unless the child wants it). Similarly, many people think it is ridiculous to limit grandparent exposure. And then too, all children are individuals, and all adoptees don't have the same needs.

 

 

 

:iagree: I'd add the parents into that mix too. As the parents, I'd say it is our role to be discerning. Also to be authentic. So, some of the attachment exercises would have come off as contrived with my personality. I skipped them. Even my dh thinking just his Chinese face would work...well, at least that was authentic! ;)

Edited by nono
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True story that I might delete later -- ...

 

Totally understandable.

 

I tried cosleeping with my youngest when she was up grieving in the night. Ha! Neither one of us could stand it. (She actually bonded with me quite easily, all things considered.)

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I also agree with the "Can lead a horse to water..." opinions. Could some agencies make attachment more of a priority? I am sure there are many, but if you do any kind of research into adoption and or foster care-- you will come across quite a bit about attachment issues.

 

We are hoping to adopt through foster care. One of the reasons why we picked our agency, is because their entire focus is on attachment. All of their foster families go through training where forming good attachments is the focus. The agency only deals with babies under two (unless there is an older sibling), foster families are only allowed one foster child/sibling group at a time, and when you agree to take a child, you must commit to keeping that child until their case is done. We had a set of brothers for about 8 months. they were 3 1/2 and 17 months when we got them. We were their third foster home in a year. I know that the 3 year old had some attachment issues. He could *not look you in the eye...no matter how hard he tried. He also called anyone who was taking care of him "Mom" and "Dad." The baby was miserable when they came to us. He did not even know his name (neither of the other foster homes called him by his name...they each had different names they called him.) The first 5 months we had him, he was just so mad all the time. Finally, we had a breakthrough with him, and he started acting like a "normal" little boy. I was so happy for him, I cried. They both ended up going back to their dad, and I still wonder if there are attachment issues with them, but I am glad that we could help them some while we had them.

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We went through a couple different agencies and had very little training on attachment. Some, but not a lot. Granted, the agencies we went through were fost-adopt and it doesn't seem like there are as many genuine attachment issues as there are in other countries where infants are just left to languish in cribs. I hope I'm not going to put my foot in it here, but the whole RAD thing, reminds me a lot of the whole ADD/ADHD thing. Are there genuine cases? Of course. Definitely. They're horrible. But, sometimes things are blamed on it and it's not really there. My sil is so paranoid her sons have RAD, she's read tons and is convinced they do. And I'm like, "J, no. They're fine. They're boys. They're obnoxious! They're a tad bit rebellious!" She blames everything on RAD and I've just given up telling her my struggles with my kids because she'll look all concerned and say, "It's attachment!" and I'm like, "No, it's their personality!"

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Actaully, foster care is notorious for having attachment issues. Kids get bounced around, one home to another, back to their parent, back to foster care...It's easily as disruptive to attachment as an orphanage is.

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KrissiK, I think you are onto something. Many people seem to regard RAD as though it is an on/off switch. It's not. It's a continuum. There are severe cases, and those are awful situations. But, they aren't the only RAD children. If your sister-in-law is really concerned for her children, I'd encourage her to get an evaluation with a RAD therapist. Then maybe she'd have an accurate diagnosis.

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Here's another thought I had, but I'm not sure I'll express it properly, so bear w/me.

 

When looking to buy a house, if a realtor deliberately w/holds info, say that the house has had the basement flooded annually, or that there's issues w/the foundation, they can be held legally liable.

 

If a car manufacturer knows that there are potential issues w/a vehicle design, say the axle is known to crack, they have to recall and notify consumers.

 

So how do agencies get away w/NOT fully informing potental adoptive parents about all the issues re: attachment?

 

Some people have sued along just those lines of reasoning. I would think more people would.

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I think it is because unlike most health issues that affect children, RAD happens to a child (except for rare cases)....they are not born with it. A child goes into foster/adopt (the first time at least) without RAD. RAD starts after the placement. The child goes in with normal emotions. They are sad to lose a parent. They go through stages of grief. They can bond quickly with foster parents.....or maybe they take a bit longer. ALl of it is totally normal. The problem lies in the gray area, between normal attachement to bio-parents....and an inappropriate or total lack of bond to others.

 

There is no single moment in time that a person can mark off as a measure of healthy attachement. The lack of attachment in the begining is Normal. The problem that I see in the foster system, is that the lack of EMphsis on working on attachment from the very begining of a placement, sets the child and the parent up for failure. Many kids form bonds naturally, but the problem is how far the problem goes before this occures.

 

The parents can try to prepare for RAD issues, but there are so many variations and so many degrees of attachement issues, it is incredibly hard to train a parent to identify ALL the variants. It is such a HUGE issue that it is almost too big to really teach someone without extensive training.

 

In our area, foster parents are trained of what to watch for (and basic skills to avoid it) but then are directed to seek out medical treatment for further advice more specific to the child in question.

 

I think it is very hard for foster parents to implement many of the ideas, becuase when the child first comes to them, they are acting normal. Sad, withdrawn, upset etc. The parents often just want to let the child absorb what is happening and to readjust to thier new life....they don't want to start therapy the same day the child arrives! But honestly, that is what many children need.

 

In foster training, there is so much they are trying to teach, that they run out of time. I think that there needs to be much more training and evaluation that occures before children are placed with these families. I understand that the foster system is desperate for families and that it is a huge burden to expect the families to give up that much time and effort just for training.

 

I do think they downplay it more than they should, but I also wonder if they were truthful, and if they tried to really educate people, if the people would be willing to put the time into really learn about it.

Edited by Tap, tap, tap
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We went through a couple different agencies and had very little training on attachment. Some, but not a lot. Granted, the agencies we went through were fost-adopt and it doesn't seem like there are as many genuine attachment issues as there are in other countries where infants are just left to languish in cribs. I hope I'm not going to put my foot in it here, but the whole RAD thing, reminds me a lot of the whole ADD/ADHD thing. Are there genuine cases? Of course. Definitely. They're horrible. But, sometimes things are blamed on it and it's not really there. My sil is so paranoid her sons have RAD, she's read tons and is convinced they do. And I'm like, "J, no. They're fine. They're boys. They're obnoxious! They're a tad bit rebellious!" She blames everything on RAD and I've just given up telling her my struggles with my kids because she'll look all concerned and say, "It's attachment!" and I'm like, "No, it's their personality!"

 

I am sorry but if the mom of a RAD child think their kid has RAD and has done extensive research, IMO, the child likely does have rit. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it is for a RAD mom to be told their child is normal or like theirs. hat's why many RAD moms just isolate themselves because it is easier.

 

If your sister is concerned for her othet children's safety, and I know what that is like, the problem is likely more serious than you can imagine. The thing with RAD is that the child is angelic and endearing around other people. You will probably never see the child's true self. My RAD could have just tried to kill the cat moments before copany arrived, then she would flip her switch and be all angelic and charming, being told my company what a good girl she was. :banghead: she no longer gets the opportunity to hurt anything now as my eyes are literally GLUED to her every second she is out of her room. I have also spent a lot of time doing animal care with her present and I am hoping she wouldn't try such a thing now. She was 3 the first tme she tried to kill our cat. I was told all the time she was normal when I would speak to people who didn't u derstand RAD. I rarely ever speak to people who don't get it now.

 

Imp, like someone once said to me in a previous thread here, how can you research something you don't know about? There are people in our situation all over the world, THOUSANDS of them, who were uneducated about AI or RAD. For me, like so many others, I knew my love woild be more than enough for dd. I have more than enough love and compassion and I truly did believe in my heart that any adopted child would thrive in my family. I even thought tgat having parented three kids who were great kids was proof of that.:glare: We were a very close family and I did everything with and for my kids and I truly knew in my heart we would have a fairytale ending. I knew things would be fine. The only research I remember doing was about health issues from dd's province.

 

And there was no where near the information on the internet 8 years qgo that there is now. Even how AI are viewed and treated has changed and morphed since I started my research. ETA make that 10 years ago. I have had dd for 8 years so I would have done my research before that. I was also researching thing like SARS, which was a serious issue at the time, how to help internationally adopted toddlers u derstand you when you speak, etc.

Edited by Denisemomof4
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I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating it is for a RAD mom to be told their child is normal or like theirs.

 

Mine aren't RAD, but this is SOOOOOO true. We have so many examples that I'm like, "you just don't even know." Yesterday was the prime example. My kids were being complimented on their meeting behavior. I was like, "you know I feel like each meeting is an Olympic sport" so that they look like that to you, right?" Of course, they go on to say how much better they are than certain other kids. Yeah, well, certain other kids aren't turning around going home doing X or Y (insert the worst behaviors you can think of here) or pooping themselves when they get mad at mom or or or or....I think I'd prefer my kids be a little more disruptive during meetings!

 

And they are "so cute," and "so smart," and "so friendly," and and and....yeah, they are. Don't think that you seeing them for 2 hours or 2 days says ANYTHING about how they are! Walking in our shoes has been very rewarding and wonderful in some ways. It has also been the hardest thing on earth and sometimes "forever" scares me! A lot!

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We are a new adoptive family - IA of a 13 year old (now 14) girl. Been around IA forever - sister adopted 3 "older children" - and also RAD (2 of her 3 - 1 severe, 1 doing well with years of work. Both professionally diagnosed.)

 

I think part of the parents' "naivete" is self preservation. The adoption process (at least for us, and ours was VERY straightforward with a country that has a very stable system) is DAUNTING. Exhausting. Emotionally draining. It feels like it lasts forever. Even though parents are informed about attachment issues and RAD, they look at meeting the child as the "end" of a terribly long, hard road. Of course, we al know it usually isn't, but who could go into the parenting process with enough joy and motivation needed by saying to themselves, "Great! Now the REALLY hard stuff starts!" There almost has to be a bit of denial for adoptive parents to get a fresh gulp of air for what lies ahead. (And I mean that in a positive way.) :001_smile:

 

Just yesterday I had a friend ask how our daughter was adjusting. I go on automatic pilot these days when I'm asked that, because I know most people (to quote Jack Nicholson) can't handle the truth. Our dd came to us 100% in, she really wanted a family (which makes a HUGE difference). That however doesn't mean she came knowing how to be a part of this one from the get go. The accomplishments we celebrate and the goals we have each morning would make no sense to someone in a "normal" family situation.

 

I have two friends I can be honest with, because if I share some of our every day struggles, everyone else would miss the love I have for my daughter when they hear what life can be like with a "child from hard places" (ala Karyn Purvis!). I am finding it is hard for people unfamiliar with adoption and attachment issues to understand that how much I love my daughter doesn't always correlate to how easy it is to parent her.

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Denise, I'm glad you popped onto this thread. Now that you are here, I can talk about this more.

 

I was answering in general terms about "You can lead a horse to water..."

 

I find Denise's case so shocking because it is roughly in the timeframe of our own first adoption. Soooo, the information was out there. In her case, the agency was the horse that was refusing to drink!!!!! And, really, with a busy family, I can totally see if the agency was mute on the subject, one might have no inkling about the potential issue. Further, I do think the adoption communities in general foster a fairytale aspect to adoption, focusing on our joy instead of the child's pain in transition. Heck, make that our society in general has that focus...we have this idea that love is enough. Not just in adoption, but marriage. That's simply bunk, and it needs to go away. We're hurting too many folks with the fairytale.

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We are a new adoptive family - IA of a 13 year old (now 14) girl. Been around IA forever - sister adopted 3 "older children" - and also RAD (2 of her 3 - 1 severe, 1 doing well with years of work. Both professionally diagnosed.)

 

I think part of the parents' "naivete" is self preservation. The adoption process (at least for us, and ours was VERY straightforward with a country that has a very stable system) is DAUNTING. Exhausting. Emotionally draining. It feels like it lasts forever. Even though parents are informed about attachment issues and RAD, they look at meeting the child as the "end" of a terribly long, hard road. Of course, we al know it usually isn't, but who could go into the parenting process with enough joy and motivation needed by saying to themselves, "Great! Now the REALLY hard stuff starts!" There almost has to be a bit of denial for adoptive parents to get a fresh gulp of air for what lies ahead. (And I mean that in a positive way.) :001_smile:

 

Just yesterday I had a friend ask how our daughter was adjusting. I go on automatic pilot these days when I'm asked that, because I know most people (to quote Jack Nicholson) can't handle the truth. Our dd came to us 100% in, she really wanted a family (which makes a HUGE difference). That however doesn't mean she came knowing how to be a part of this one from the get go. The accomplishments we celebrate and the goals we have each morning would make no sense to someone in a "normal" family situation.

 

I have two friends I can be honest with, because if I share some of our every day struggles, everyone else would miss the love I have for my daughter when they hear what life can be like with a "child from hard places" (ala Karyn Purvis!). I am finding it is hard for people unfamiliar with adoption and attachment issues to understand that how much I love my daughter doesn't always correlate to how easy it is to parent her.

 

It REALLY p*sses me off when people I have know for years ask how RAD is doing. What I want to say is, "why ask? You don't want the trust and I'm not going to lie and give you the fairy tale you want to hear."

 

As I get o,der, I do isolate myself more. NOT because of RAD, because I. R E F U S E to let her ruin my life, but because I am tired and intolerant of people these days.

 

I am SO fortunate that I have three local friends who TOTALLY get it and support me 100%. The rest of the people who keep hounding me to get together? No thanks. It takes all my energy to stay sane in my home. When I am with friends and without my RAD, it has GOT to be with people who I enjoy being around.

 

And I will go so far as to again say that our agency not only DID NOT inform us of RAD or AI, because if they had, It wouldn't have taken me so long to figure out what was going on, but they outright LIED to us. The entire way our adoption was handled SHOULD be a lawsuit but I am just too tired to even think of taking that on.

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Denise, that's exactly what I mean! How can you possibly research what you don't know...and *why* weren't you told?

 

That's what bothers me.

 

Don't get me started.:glare: I have shared everything before about our joke-of-an-adoption-process, how we were even lied to. How it was a state law that we take classes but none were available to us so we were "grandfathered in." friends who adopted before and after us at least got some clue about AI. Not us. Had I known I cou,d have started my work with her right there in China where she made it LOUD and CLEAR that at 14 months she wanted NOTHING to do with me. How at the one year celebration with adoptive families through our HUGE agency my RAD ran into the arms of another woman to hug her as our boat with candle floated into the water with other family's boats (it was a special moment for FAMILIES and my dd wanted nothing to do with hers) and as I stood there at the pond looking like a FOOL and crying hysterically, because I had NO IDEA why my dd was refusing *MY* love, that ugly cow of a social worker looked at me and said, "You DO know that adoption is forever, right?". I wish I could slap that obnoxious face of hers. She knew what was going on then and I had NO IDEA. Their secrets and lies should be considered criminal.

 

 

I'm not bitter. Really. :angry:

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Sometimes the agency does everything it can to educate the parents and the parents give every indication that they know what they are signing up for and they just don't. They've just deluded themselves into thinking they are up for whatever challenges. And they know the challenges and can tell you all about them but for some reason, the reality of living with it day in and day out hasn't really sunk in. This was the case with my parents...

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Its so difficult to read the way this child is spoken about.

 

Have you not read any of Denise's other posts where she so bravely shared some of what their family life is like? Because if you had, I can't imagine any human being with a heart would respond to her with anything but sympathy and admiration.

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Denise, would your consider your experience adopting typical or atypical? it sounds horrible.

 

A-typical, but I think things could have gone so much better for us had I known what to look for and worked with my dd right from the start. That is what bothers me so mich.

 

My dd is much, much better now, but she is still i hibited. When she DOES let her walls down, life is so good and she loves the feelings she is experiencing. Then after a long time of of enjoying this, the happiness scares her and the RAD behaviors return.

 

We once went eight long, wonderful, amazing months. Most RAD parents don't get to experience that.

 

So while her behaviors are horrendous, we are so fortunate that the awful ones arent constant. Silver lining.

 

ETA: our adoption process was atypical and horrible. Our adoption isnt all horrible. What sounds absolutely horrible to so many on this board has actually become our new normal. We have learned to accept that, and I have finally learned to thrive despite dd's efforts to squelch that. It is so important that parents stay strong. Had I had a picture into our future, I would have said, "That's horrific! I could never!!!". But keeping dd wat my side is just my new normal now and no longer stresses me out, and it keeps her happy and safe. But my win-win was horrible to me at first, just as mist people say they could never live like this.

Edited by Denisemomof4
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As an adoptive mom who was educated and did NOT experience RAD, I think I understand what Denise and others in her situation are saying. The way I interpret her words, she feels terrible that she did not have any direction early on when she could have prevented her daughter from continuing down her self-destructive path. She just wants her daughter to feel loved, accepted, and happy. Now the situation is such that nothing "normal" that she can do will have that result, and who knows whether there is still enough time in this girl's childhood to resolve this?

 

Totally different in most ways, but somewhat parallel, is my daughter's vision issues. Because I know from personal experience about various learning AND vision issues, I suspected enough to research, demand evaluations, and find help when my daughter was 2-3. Most kids with these problems are not even looked at until after they are failing in school. I can imagine my regret if my kid was 8 or 14 and I was just finding out that all these years I could have been doing something to prevent this, or at least understand it better. But I did take my kid to an ophthalmologist at 2 (who declined to tell me what he saw!) and at 3 (when they discouraged me from seeking vision therapy!). What if I'd just listened to the experts? Do you think I'd be mad when my kid was facing failure and discouragement down the line? Darn right I would, but that would NOT mean I was blaming or not loving my child.

 

I said that my state requires education in the area of attachment (for adoptive parents). I realize that may not be the case in all states, and may not have been the case 10 years ago. I agree with the overall theme of this thread that parents need to be armed with enough information to seek competent advice if their child has early RAD symptoms. However, I do know that some APs have heard this info and prefer not to believe it can happen to them. Maybe that's because their own child doesn't have those symptoms in the first place - I don't know.

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Its strange, then, that I often receive so many PMs of support when I mention my concern for the child's feelings in all this.

 

I would assume the little girl is not a party to these conversations. And even if she is (now or in the future), she will understand the extent of her mom's love to go through it all and still keep forging ahead. (Some APs disrupt their adoptions over RAD.)

 

Just because some of us are supportive doesn't mean we do not care how this little girl feels. I don't see how sharing this information for the benefit of parents of younger adoptees is going to hurt the little girl, anyway. I think it is very helpful.

 

Maybe you just don't believe Denise is accurately describing things. In that case, I suggest you do some research, because the things I've seen Denise say are relatively mild from a RAD perspective.

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I would assume the little girl is not a party to these conversations. And even if she is (now or in the future), she will understand the extent of her mom's love to go through it all and still keep forging ahead. (Some APs disrupt their adoptions over RAD.)

 

Just because some of us are supportive doesn't mean we do not care how this little girl feels. I don't see how sharing this information for the benefit of parents of younger adoptees is going to hurt the little girl, anyway. I think it is very helpful.

 

Maybe you just don't believe Denise is accurately describing things. In that case, I suggest you do some research, because the things I've seen Denise say are relatively mild from a RAD perspective.

 

Thank you!!!:001_smile:

 

I think it is probably obvious that dd is never exposed to these conversations. That would NOT be beneficial to her at all.

 

Dd does tell me she is happiest and feels safest when she is at home alone with her family. Shocking to some, isn't it?

 

I may rant here or to a friend, but I have learned how important it is not to show these emotions around dd. She will feed off of the,

 

Similarly, it really wouldn't be beneficial TO HER if I just fell into a pit of despair because I had a rad dd. Shocking to some, I know.

 

As her mom, though, I just wish she could let that wall down. I know how happy she is when she does. It is just too scary for her to live in that world for too long.

 

If I had reverted her back to her infancy at 14 month instead of 4, things would be different. And I wish I didn't do or not do so many things to make her comfortable. Chest to chest holding, cuddling...... I didn't feel right forcing myself on her. Niw I wish I were a little stringer.

 

I know how u believable things sound to people uneducated onRAd or those with no experience with it. The adoption forums scared the heck out of me when I first read them. I judged the way I am judged here because I didnt know better. Its ok. Really. : smile:

Edited by Denisemomof4
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Further, I do think the adoption communities in general foster a fairytale aspect to adoption, focusing on our joy instead of the child's pain in transition. Heck, make that our society in general has that focus...we have this idea that love is enough. Not just in adoption, but marriage. That's simply bunk, and it needs to go away. We're hurting too many folks with the fairytale.

:iagree:

We were very fortunate--our dd adopted at 10 months was well loved in the orphanage, and we have not had significant attachment issues. However, with no education on the subject the transition would have been much more difficult for her.

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My experience was first agency had us do classes but only one required and then you could choose topics of interest for next three. I chose to attend every class offered as I'm a researcher by nature and it passed the waiting period and I liked learning. However, because I was adopting from Korea I often heard that all the attachment lectures wouldn't apply to me since my kids were in loving foster families. Families adopting from orphanages were the ones who needed these classes.

 

Honestly, there was so much misinformation going around at the time (oldest is 17). No one really talked about the long term difficulties. Everything always seemed to resolve itself after a few months or year.

 

When we switched agencies due to moving the new agency didn't offer classes at all. Social worker said they were a waste of time because parents waiting for babies didn't hear what she had to say anyway. They were so focused on having a baby that they couldn't hear. When babies are home and struggling then they would hear her. I told her that I didn't think that worked because a lot of families would struggle and tell no one due to shame, guilt or really just not knowing what was wrong. They now offer classes but I think it was the state that set the standard.

 

Also had a friend adopt 1st around time I adopted #3. Her daughter at 4 months totally rejected friend. I gave her lots of advice, info, etc. Two years later she fussed at me saying I should have been more forceful in telling her to quit her job to stay home, to do such and such, etc. Not just say that I would do such and such. So it is hard to know what to do to help others.

 

I've had one child that bonded quickly, securely nad just was really receptive. And the other four have had more struggles in forming secure attachments and it has taken a lot of work nad purposeful parenting and there are still times we have to work through things as we reach different stages of development and understanding. Attachment is a continuum.

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:grouphug: to Denise. I'm sorry you are getting judgmental comments. I know it's not the first time and I know it won't be the last but I wanted to publicly say that I admire your strength and everything you do for your daughter and that by being open about RAD and it's difficulties, you are making the world a better place. How many people might read your story and rethink their adoption plans, or go forward with their adoption with eyes more open? How many people might look at their child's behavior and see the early warning signs or realize what some child and family in their life is really going through. Thank you! And don't let ignorant people keep you from sharing! :)

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:grouphug: to Denise. I'm sorry you are getting judgmental comments. I know it's not the first time and I know it won't be the last but I wanted to publicly say that I admire your strength and everything you do for your daughter and that by being open about RAD and it's difficulties, you are making the world a better place. How many people might read your story and rethink their adoption plans, or go forward with their adoption with eyes more open? How many people might look at their child's behavior and see the early warning signs or realize what some child and family in their life is really going through. Thank you! And don't let ignorant people keep you from sharing! :)

 

Thank you, Momm!!! How sweet!

 

I never let certain people's comments get to me. ignorance is bliss and all. I also won't let it stop me from getting the word about RAD out for the reasons you mention, but also because there are so many hurting moms who need compassion and understanding, and sometimes to be listened to without judging. All too often moms are judged and criticized and it is so sad because their lives are so difficult in the home. It is so common for moms like me to be isolated and have no support. I am so thankful for my friends and my support. I never take them for granted. But there are too many out there who dont have what I do, and the ignorant people judging as if they have a right to...... I just feel so bad for those moms.

 

I have shared hundreds of PM's with people about RAD. I know that my honesty has benefited so many (and I am beyond thankful to others who also have experience with RAD or AI take part in these threads!) I am so thankful, and was overwhelmed to the point of tears many times, for those who are able to see with new eyes their friend who is struggling with their adopted kid, the family member who felt bad because she didn't believe her sister until she read more here (it is SO EASY to be fooled by a RAD's charm!), the grown woman who knew my pain well as she was raised with several siblings with RAD, the moms who can't speak openly about their own struggles with their bio and adopted kid with RAD or AI, the therapists (yes, more than one) who have been frustrated with the ignorance or meanness on the board, or who wanted to offer personal support, those who are no longer sure adoption is for them, or those doing further research themselves to make a better educated decision than I did........ I could go on and on and on. there are too many wonderful outcomes to these discussions on this board to list.

 

so no..... I'm not going to be quiet because I have an inside scoop on how beneficial my transparency has been.

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

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Its so difficult to read the way this child is spoken about.

You never fail to chime in w/negative put downs, criticism, etc. Why bother to respond at all, when you never have anything constructive to contribute?

Its strange, then, that I often receive so many PMs of support when I mention my concern for the child's feelings in all this.

Ah. The infamous, "I have so many PMs!" :lol:

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