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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Landing In A Strange Country - Life With RAD

    Many adoptive parents have heard the story about the couple who was flying to a certain country when mid flight they learned they would be disembarking in a different country. At first they are so disappointed. They feel as though they have been cheated but as time passes they fall in love with their new destination. The moral of the story for folks who plan to have biological children but in the end adopt, is that while the destination may be different than what we planned, there are new joys awaiting us.

   But what if there isn't any joy? The sunny weather we dreamed of is only a distant memory because here in this new country there are only storms and the threat of storms. The peace and deepening relationship's with your spouse and children never materializes, instead there is screaming, rage, deep emotional pain and grief beyond anything you have ever known. 

  You determine to be cheerful and seek for the good in every day but most days there isn't anything good to be found. You decide you will be thankful for the storms, after all it is the storms in life that make us strong, right? But when the storms hit, they destroy the bond you have with your previously untraumatized children, they cause yet another friend to turn on you and CPS comes knocking once again. Emotional strength is good, but is the cost worth it?

   This is the life parents live when they have a child with RAD. There isn't much to be grateful for, well not other than being grateful no one ended up in the emergency room, no one removed your children because of lies and you are still in one piece at the end of the day. Those are all things to be thankful for but when they are the only good things happening in a day, you long to jump on the airplane and return to the country from whence you came. The country called, Before Adoption, Before RAD

   There is only one problem, there aren't any planes departing from the country in which you live. You are stuck. Your child throws physical, emotional and psychological abuse your way and you have to live with it because there is no way to leave. You sink into a deep depression made worse by the people who are supposed to be your support because they think, Surely there is some good in every place on earth. They advise you to count your blessings and be thankful you aren't living where such and such is, because they really have something to complain about. And you sink still deeper into the pit of despair. 

    Then one day you hear that there is a ship that will take you back to your home country. At first you rejoice, then you fearfully begin counting the cost. Would leaving prove you are a coward? Is it morally right to leave when God has clearly called you to this place? The flip side is emotional and physical health for your children as well as an opportunity to heal physically yourself so you can be the parent your children need. After much prayer you leave the country which you never intended to come to. You leave a part of your heart behind, along with some of your trust in mankind. You bring a broken heart, a bruised spirit and a burden for the people who are still living in the country you have just left.

  We have been back in our "old country" for several months now. While we are thankful to be back, we continue to feel somewhat like strangers. Our stay in another country changed us. We are no longer the same people we were before we climbed on that plane, our hearts filled with joy and anticipation. We came back with a different perspective on life and sometimes I wonder where we would be if we hadn't climbed on that plane.
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