Friday, January 14, 2011

Real Life at the Wright Home Part 2

 Hello there.....yes I am the cutest baby girl on the planet.  Feel free to look at my cuteness :) 
 You know some people think this is a toy.....
 I call it lunch!
Hmmmm.......well it may not be great food, but it helps me cut my 3rd tooth......

Real Life with Reactive Attachment Disorder.  AGAIN- I HATE LABELS!!!!!  Read my last post if you want to see the explanation.  SO for these expansions in what we deal with....I am not going to name names.  I may use he or she in random order may use both in the same sentence....just to be silly.  Remember this is how our family rolls :)  I have never told my children this is what you have.  We have not taken our children to see anyone about it.  Actually we did when the "state" ordered us to for one of our children, but that was to prove that he was attached to us in such a strong attachment after 3 years- that it would be harmful to place him with his biological family.  There were issues with going back anyway....long story...

So back to reality....what has this looked like in our home.  This is not all at once, but this is what it looks like for us sometimes daily, sometimes hourly.

- Lying daily.  I mean obvious silly lies that really are ridiculous.   Example - honey where is ____ I don't was under her pillow?  Another example- honey where did you put the nail polish container?  There is nail polish all over the bed sheets.  I don't know I didn't do this.  Yeah....that kind of thing- daily!  :) 

- Open affection toward anyone.  Strangers, people she knows very little about- doesn't matter.  Walking up to people in a store and hugging them and saying you are my best friend.  Yeah, cute to them....not so cute to me.  Kissing someone she barely knows.  YIKES!

- Fake flattery to try to "win people over".  Hey, I love your shoes...or your hair is pretty...etc.  While being very crazy with her body motions like she is on a first date or something.  Completely over the top for the situation.

- Constantly breaking things- ALL THE TIME.  Let's see broken curtain rods ripped out of the walls- 1 -3 times, 4 others, picking at bedsheets- apart, pulling down towel bars- too many times to think about, dumping soaps out all the time, destructive behavior such as picking at things until they bleed, pulling hair out, picking holes in the walls, tearing anything to shreds- constantly- paper, plastic bed sheets, toys, you get the picture.  I am not talking normal "wear and tear" of 8 children...I am talking destructive on purpose, but then acting like - what's the problem?

- No consequence connections at all.  Impulsive.  This in itself is NOT RAD, but with the others- yes.

- Refuses to look at you during normal conversations.  Avoids your eye contact even if you specifically look at them.

- Incessant chatter.  Oh dear.  I think this alone is just silly sometimes normal type behavior, but when it is all the time,  and they don't even realize they are doing it.  As in they seriously have no idea they have been talking, humming, singing, over everyone else for over an hour.  This is a different story.  When this happens daily.

- Screaming for 1/2 or more consistently sometimes daily.  More than just a meltdown.  A HUGE over the top screaming, kicking, trying to hurt themselves at times- sometimes not.  

- Difficulty forming a real relationship.  Harder to form one because of the "fake" attitudes in daily life, difficult behaviors that can be very frustrating, pushing you away emotionally, and lack of eye contact.

Now out of the above may not all be RAD behavior, but with us it has come with the territory.  So now the BIG QUESTION?  What do we do about it?  :)

We first of all never even knew anything about RAD until after we were well down the adoption road- 6 children into it :).  Helpful huh?  BUT like I said before I am NOT into labels.  I believe the heart of RAD is not the behaviors or the person.  I believe in my heart that it is something that requires healing physically, emotionally, and SPIRITUALLY!

Yep, I am not an expert, but my mommy heart and my belief in God tells me that this is just something like a lot of  things- IT TAKES TIME, PATIENCE, & HEALING!!!!  Now before this post gets extremely longgggg (I will continue) I want to leave you with some thoughts- Why are we obsessed with RAD in the adoption world?  Why do we often try to get rid of the symptoms?  Why are we afraid of RAD?  Does your child really have RAD or just some insecurities how do you tell?  (****these are not judgment questions just something to get your mind buzzing :)!!!)  More.....later........ :)

***Just a side note- not interested in arguing over this issue, just trying to share our personal experiences praying this will help others.  :)


  1. We deal with and have dealt with many of those behaviors. The worst part for us is that they can also manipulate so others think there is nothing wrong with the child, the parents is just an awful person, neglectful (since they would destroy their clothes or shoes and I'd make them live with it for a while) and so on.

    We are still very careful in letting the twins interact with other adults outside of school. I know peole think we are overboard, but they've had their kids since birth and attachment was formed during the early feedings and diaper changes etc. We are still working on "hugs are for family and teachers" (since they spend everyday with them) but others at the school constantly hug on them even though we've asked for high fives. They just started basketball but Rick signed up to be one of the coaches so he can monitor inappropriate touch and affection etc. We also work on "Mommy will make sure you always have food so you don't need to take it from others or ask your teachers for extra snacks." Last year a preschool teacher decided that since Kaleb was a refugee he would get ALL the extra snacks at school. Nightmare!!!!! Sorry--this is longer than your post!!

  2. I really appreciate your honesty. I'm w/you, I hate labels. We all have our own version of special needs, every single one of us. It just seems to be more pronounced in some that others, but we all have things we need to deal with.
    One of my children has some more pronounced issues as well. It isn't RAD, we haven't adopted (yet), but some of the behaviors you described we can relate to. No matter what we are all dealing with as parents to the precious children God placed in our care, it is always nice to know we aren't alone. When there is a hard day, it is good to know that someone else out there totally gets it. So thanks for being real. I hear your heart. Keep up the good work by pointing them to the cross.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing and telling it like it is. We all need that, and you are a great source of learning and inspiration. I love your heart!!

  4. I missed that last post... shame on me! :) OK... so I never ever thought about the destructive thing... hmmm. We have some of the other things too... parenting is such hard work! We LOVE Cake Boss and The Next Great Baker, have you seen that? Now that is off the subject...
    Thanks for writing this!!

  5. Sounds like you're listing all the things that happen in our home daily.:)
    Let the good times roll, huh?!

    Can't wait to hear your follow-up post!
    Much love from another mommy in the trenches with ya...

  6. Thank you for sharing this. Keep it up!

  7. Thanks for being so real! My daughter exhibits many of these same behaviors. I too hate labels! In my heart, I know that her heart has been broken, that she is deeply insecure, and that only our savior can heal her. But some days are harder than other, huh? I love how you love your children so unconditionally. Keep this conversation going!

  8. Thank God we are all precious in His sight and we can draw from that to love each other, when it's easy and even when it's hard. Wrights' you do good at love...Bless you!

  9. Thank you for talking about this! I work at a children's home and experience this ALL THE TIME and with so many of the kids! I'm fairly young and am not married or have children so jumping into this job was definitely overwhelming. I so appreciate everything and anything you have offer in the form of experience/advice.
    God bless your family! :)

  10. We experienced most of the things your talking about with our first foster child. Being our first placement it was really hard for us to understand WHAT exactly was going on. I am very interested to hear your perspective and glean from your wisdom.
    Thanks for the post!

  11. I too hate labels...just want to enjoy my kids! That being said, we are now looking into some evaluations...hopefully not actually doing therapy...but more for give me some more tools...and for others to know that no, he does not just need a good spanking...

  12. I can so RELATE. Especially the tantrums and the breaking things and the lying and the "I am going to hug you over-the-top first so you can't reject me" and, well, the rest of it. Sounds like a lot in black and white but we just take one day at a time, right? @ Karen: We had therapy for 6 years before I realized who the therapy was really for - ME. We need to constantly replenish our tool boxes to be able to cope with the ever changing landscape of daily life with trauma kids.

    And at the end of the day? So worth it. These kids are worth every tantrum, tear, and broken thing. When they grasp onto the hope that Jesus Christ is their savior, then life is not quite the same. Amen.

  13. I read through them all. Thank you for sharing this. I too hate labels.

  14. Yup! Been there! And healing DOES happen. :)