There are some specific things people who want to adopt children from other countries or the US Foster Care systems need to consider. These are all those unknown things that can be major triggers.
Have you heard the saying “Never adopt out of birth order?” What that means is if you have other children in the home, for example, a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old, you might want to re-consider adopting that cute little 8-year-old. The problems may not seem to be an issue, but the 8-year-old may be jealous of the 9-year-old and wants to do something dangerous to the 7-year-old.
Are you parents who’ve had biological children and then decided to adopt a child older than anyone else in the family? That move can be detrimental to everyone in the family. The new kid may have spent several years in foster care and has figured out how to manipulate people. If so, that’s like adding fuel to already burning candles. And off they go!
How about trauma bonds? Do you know what they are? Children that grow up together should be placed together, right? Not necessarily so. Biological children that grow up in the same destructive environment often have a bond that keeps them from attaching to a different family. That bond may cause the children to attack each other as well as other family members. The best outcome can be to separate them.
Have you ever felt sorry for the orphan from a poor country? I did! My daughter arrived in Utah with the dress on her back and a pair of underwear. That was it! The first thing I had to do was go out and find her some clothes. Of course, I didn’t know what it meant when you have to buy them a whole new wardrobe. ENTITLEMENT!!! Every time I took her to a store after that, she would scream if she didn’t get something new.
In the past, I always loved shopping, but not for a long time. When she married and moved on with her life, I still had PTSD and could find myself getting out of the store as fast as I could. I’m still that way.
Most parents of children with RAD will tell you they will lie about everything whether they need to or not. Sometimes it seems like they will take the lie with them to the grave. It’s like that’s how they learned to survive.
I don’t know the statistic to tell you how many of the RAD kids steal, but I know mine did – she learned it as a survivor skill and then used it to take what she wanted when she wanted it. Almost all of the kids I’ve dealt with who have RAD have at one time or another tried or did steal. It’s a hard habit for them to break, almost as bad as lying.
The final RAD behavior I want to discuss is about the kids who use dissociation as a way to protect themselves. My daughter did this every time I tried to correct her. It infuriated me to no end. She would stand absolutely frozen; her eyes would roll back into her head and she was gone. I finally had had it and I put my hands together and clapped very loudly. It startled her and she came out of the trance. I told her never to do that again and she didn’t.
Not many RAD kids do the trance thing, but it’s a protective measured used by kids who have been sexually abused repeatedly. My daughter fit that category. I had no idea about her previous life before me, but that one behavior should have given me a clue
Do you all feel like there is nothing more that can be done for the families except to suffer or send their child to a residential treatment facility (RTF)? I know I’m an optimist, I always see the cup as half full. I always hope for a better solution than years with no one to call as their family.
Anyone who’s read any of my blog posts knows that I’ve not had a wonderful outcome with my RAD daughter. I admit that, but it wasn’t from me not trying. I do believe her outcome would have been better if she had been adopted by a 2-parent family. What the experience did is make me a stronger advocate for children.
I’ve been helping families with RAD for 11 years. My life’s goal is to keep on helping families and RAD kids as long as I’m able.
Thanks for reading my post. If you want more information, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
N. Ann Lamphere, MSW