Sunday, February 28, 2016

Things To Consider When A Child With RAD Makes False Allegations

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  RAD, or Reactive Attachment Disorder, why is it so scary and isolating? Why are the parents and caregivers of those diagnosed with this terrifying mental condition, so odd? Why do they stick to their guns no matter what? They make rules and will not make any exceptions, not even for grandparents and close friends. Don't they realize their refusal to allow people to interact with their child, is causing a rift in their relationships? 

   I can answer those questions in a few short words, "It is because the parents realize what is at stake." Most people do not enforce rules that inconvenience themselves and drive wedges in their relationships because they enjoy doing so. If someone is doing some of the things I mentioned above, rather than think they are trying to hurt you or are being unreasonable, step back and think about why they might be putting up walls around their family. 

  What most people fail to realize is that children with RAD are willing and capable of doing whatever it takes to prevent relationships, especially with their parents, particularly mom or other primary care givers. You may think, isn't saying they will do anything a little extreme? 

  Let me explain it this way, if one of your children was in a burning house, wouldn't you do anything to rescue that child, even going so far as putting your life at risk? These children honestly believe their lives are at risk if they allow anyone to get close to them. They will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening.
  The next question that usually comes up is: "Then why was he so nice to me? I have a bond with him." 

    These children are super manipulators, they have to be, that is partly what kept them alive in their previous situation. So if the child can get you to believe he loves and trusts you, he succeeds in two things, conning you into thinking he is a sweet child and hurting mom. If he refuses to let mom read him a story but will cuddle up to you and allow you read him a story, mom will be hurt and that is what he wants. Mom hurting = one more wall between mom and I, which means I am in control of the relationship.

  Back to my original question, "Why do the parents of these children make such rules, even if the rules hurt relationships?" Because they have to. If your 8 year old niece came up to you and shared that a family member was hurting her, what would you do? Wouldn't you believe her? After all she was crying and begging for help. What you aren't aware of is that last night for the first time she allowed her daddy to kiss her good night. Last night she let down her guard, but today she is terrified, she needs to find a way to protect herself. If you believe the story and report it, CPS will take it seriously and the children may be removed from the home. A family is torn apart, because they tried to help a hurting child. Can you see why parents are very careful?

    "But how would a child know to make such accusations, especially if she/he never experienced this type of thing?" Think back to the scenario of your child in a fire, quite likely you would come up with some pretty drastic idea's to protect that child. I realize the fire story isn't a very good comparison, but I wanted to get you thinking. You also have to realize these children have been honing their self preservation skills for a long time, many of them for their whole life. They "go for the jugular," as some would say.

  Many of these children prey on those smaller than them, it is a power thing. It makes them feel strong, in control. They are very good at doing these things right under their parents noses, this is one reason why parents do not allow their child to play with his peers. They are protecting you and your child as much as their child.

   Parenting a child with RAD places parents in a very vulnerable position, their child is highly likely to make false allegations and who are people most likely to believe, the child or his parents? That is  one of  the biggest threats families face when trying to help these children. 

   The flip side is the child who truly is in a bad situation, and finally gains enough courage to ask for help. How can you know the difference? I don't think there is a cut and dried answer to that question. The first thing I would recommend doing is praying, God will not fail you in such a situation. Second, think of the child's history, is he known for lying? Has he made false accusations before? Does the child have RAD? If so, I would encourage you to speak confidentially to the parents and get their side of the story. Often times when a child who has RAD, does something like this it is because he feels threatened by a relationship. Quite likely, the parent will be able to go back and say, "Yes, _______ just happened and we had a break through with our child. He is terrified and this is his way of protecting himself.

  I encourage all parents to have a good attachment therapist on board, someone who documents all false allegations, as the parent you should as well. Include, dates, witnesses signatures and the exact situation, that way, when these situations come up you have a history. Of course, there is always a first time but typically, a child will not make the "worst allegation," the first time he accuses someone. 

   RAD is such a sad, twisted illness, if I may call it that. The children turn on the very people who are trying to help them and they are so good at getting people to believe them that entire families are at risk. Their actions also make it difficult for children who are truly in danger to get help because, people hesitate to get involved. If faced with such a situation, proceed with prayer and caution.

Shared on: http://fdeanhackett.com/2016/03/tell-it-to-me-tuesdays-link-up-party
  
                                     No Bohns About It


  


Friday, February 26, 2016

What Is It Like To Disrupt An Adoption?

   Disruption is almost a byword in adoption circles. In fact, as much as I read up on adoption and related topics, I wasn't even aware such a thing existed until a few years ago. Then I was of the persuasion that it was something illegal. The poor children were handed off to strangers and never heard from again, or something of that sort. Sadly, there are cases where it does happen, probably more than we are aware of but it isn't always like that. 

  People seldom outright ask what it is like to go through a disruption, but we do get asked some pretty pointed questions from time to time. Let me say right here that we don't mind these questions. I would much rather people ask, than assume.

  Enough of that, here are some of the things that I wish someone else would have shared, so we would have had an idea what to expect while going through the process of disruption. However, I do realize every situation is different and every parent will experience their own particular emotions and triggers.


    You will feel guilty, like a failure. I can't help but think, maybe we should have tried harder, or if we would have done xyz, things might have been different.

     I am tempted to feel like I failed the Christian adoption world. We, who are supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ, to love the unlovable, turn around and disrupt an adoption? What about the Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?" 

    Do you know how many people will have the same name as the child who's adoption you disrupted? Seriously, I think B's name must be the most popular name in town. I know it isn't and I only think I hear it so often because it always stirs up memories.

   You will hear a child scream and break out in a cold sweat, then an intense relief will wash over you, as you realize the child isn't your responsibility.

   You will need to talk about what happened, especially if you are like me, and process things best by talking through them time and again. 

  When you sign the papers to relinquish your parental rights, you will have emotions unlike anything you have experienced before. I remember feeling like a criminal.

  Odd things, like a shirt, hole in the wall or a notice with your child's name on it, will send you into spasms of tears, fear or both.

    You will let your breath out and be able to relax for the first time since you realized what you were up against. Looking back you will be amazed at the level of hyper vigilance you needed to maintain to keep everyone safe. You will wonder how you ever did it.

  You will feel a huge sense of loss, something you may not anticipate. I struggled with an inner pain I couldn't identify. Dean helped me realize I was grieving the loss of dreams, the loss of hope. Before the disruption, we always had hope that things would get better, now that hope is gone.

    Depending upon the situation, you will have PTSD. You will remember things that happened. Things you had forgotten because your brain was protecting you by allowing you to "forget" while to you were putting all your energy and mental power into making it through each day.

    You may feel cut adrift. I felt like I was laying down in surrender after giving everything I had to win a war. It felt wrong, like I was willingly giving in to the enemy.

  You will feel relief, then feel guilty for feeling relieved. 

  You will wonder who you are. For years I was a "RAD mom." I had a close bond with other women who were in the trenches as well, suddenly I was no longer one of them, but who was I? I still find myself wondering who I really am.

   You will be tired, oh so very tired. Even though B wasn't living at home prior to the disruption, the situation weighed heavily on our minds. If your child was at home prior to the disruption, the sudden lack of need for constant supervision, the need to out think and out smart the manipulative child, will leave you feeling exhausted.

  Panic will wash over you when you realize you don't know where your child is and what he is doing. Just that quickly you will remember, and the relief that washes over you will leave you feeling dizzy.

   

  

  
   



    

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lia's Doctor Appointment and A DIY Wreath


 Lia went to the doctor for her yearly physical last week. Lia loves all things "doctor." Her doctor kit is among her most prized possessions and she has her sights set on being a doctor someday.

                

 Lia wanted to take her doctor set along but I convinced her to take her Lea*p Pad instead. As we were driving home, Lia said, "Mom, they forgot to take my blood pressure!" My little girlie is in the 6th percentile for height and the 18th for weight. Last night Kiana said her teacher brought a scales to school as they were learning about weight. To her dismay, she is among the lightest in her class. "It takes so long to gain weight," she moaned. I can't say I agree with her. :)

This wreath is my latest project. My friend has one and I took a liking to it so I took notes on how it was assembled and made one for myself. My friends wreath used sheet music paper but I substituted pages from a devotional I no longer use. Take the top and bottom of the paper and bend them toward the center, then press firmly to form a crease. I used a wire floral wreath form and hot glued the papers around the inside wire. The edges of the paper were touching slightly, then I simply went around with another layer of papers placing one where the corners of the bottom papers met. Quick an simple.









   

Saturday, February 20, 2016

When We Ask God For Patience And He Gives Trials Instead

     After I wrote yesterdays post I was listening to a radio program and what I heard felt like God was prodding me, giving me a reminder. In my own words this is what I heard, "Patience, we ask God for it, desire for Him to pour it upon us, to give it to us a gift of sorts, if you will. But God usually doesn't answer our prayer by filling us with patience. He often leads us through hard times and let's us earn patience because like most things, we will value it much more if we have to earn it."
      The speaker then gave the illustration of someone learning to water ski, again my own words, "You are in your living room with your new ski's and an instruction manual. Even though you follow the instructions, you will have a difficult time learning to ski because you are missing the key ingredient, water. Learning patience is similar. We have an instruction book and we know what we wish to attain, but without trial's, we will have a difficult time learning patience."
     I was wishing, praying for a quick fix for Johnny's heart, but these words made me realize that both Johnny and I may learn more if we have to struggle to build a relationship. Our relationship will be stronger and more secure if we struggle to bond.
          

    The same concept goes for feeling near to God. I long to have a close relationship with Him but unless, I come to the place where I realize that I am helpless and circumstances are beyond my control, I will find it difficult to acquire the trust I need to give my life, everything that I call "mine" over to Him. How do we come to the bottom of ourselves? By being in situations beyond our control, something many of us call a trial.

   My Brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
                                  James 1:1&2
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Trying To Regain A Lost Bond

       Sometimes I want to make everything okay for my children. I want to make their decisions for them and set a course so they have no choice but to take the right path, even though forced obedience isn't true obedience. It would be noble of me if I wanted to do this to help them, and don't get me wrong, I do. However another equally large part of me, wants them to succeed because I don't like working through the junk their junk stirs up. Selfish, I know, but unfortunately it is the truth.

   There are times, like now that I wish I would have given my children anonymous names so I could share a little more freely about some of the things we experience. I could just be quiet but I have this burning desire, a need even, to share what we are learning. Perhaps it is a passion of mine due in part to all the pain we could have avoided if only someone had told us about Connected Parenting, about parenting traumatized children back when we started on this journey. Anyway, I didn't use pen names and even if I had many of you would know exactly which child I am referring to. I will simply refer to this particular child as Johnny. 

   Johnny is afraid to love me. I can guess at his reasons why. Reasons like: what if you stop loving me, I don't want to betray my loyalty to my birth mom, what if you would die and so on and so forth but none of those fears is the big reason that keeps Johnny in constant emotional pain. 

  Johnny won't talk, his lips are sealed. We do know that Johnny is afraid he will hurt my feelings, which is ironic, because he is continually hurting me by his nasty actions.

  The light has gone out of Johnny's eyes and we seldom see a genuine smile. He smiles plenty of fake smiles, laughs and plays with his siblings but he usually ends up in tears because his big feelings get the best of him.

  We have tried everything from begging to pleading and even a few things we knew wouldn't help, like bribing. I know bribing isn't helpful but when you are desperate, you are willing to try almost anything. I long to have my happy little Johnny back. 

   We placed Johnny's name on the waiting list with a local therapist. This problem has surfaced off and on over the years since Johnny's adoption and Dean told me he thinks it is time we introduce a third party into Johnny's struggle to bond with me and I agree. Although I must admit the thought of more attachment therapy, makes my stomach churn. Seems not so long ago we were doing this very same thing with another little man.

   Those memories make Johnny's rejection of me extra hard, it brings back memories. Memories that bring pain. It is amazing how quickly I can be transported back in time to those days. I can feel the utter loneliness of being the only one is on the receiving end of a little persons big feelings, my heart races and a cold sweat breaks out on my brow. I struggle to remember I am dealing with a totally different situation. I panic and worry that Johnny has RAD even though I know that isn't true.

    I am trying to go out of my way to connect with Johnny, hoping that with time, love, patience and lots of prayer we can regain the ground we lost. It would be easier if I knew how we lost our bond. I go over and over it, trying to figure out what went wrong, where did I fail? I think it just can't be, why didn't we see it before now?

    But when I look over the past year, I know why we didn't see it, our minds were occupied with B. We were working through the emotions his move brought on and we thought the children were doing okay. Living in regret doesn't help and with God's help we will conquer this new battle.  

This post shared on: http://fdeanhackett.com/2016/02/tell-it-to-me-tuesdays-link-up-party-53.html

  

  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We Have A Winner!

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FAYE MARTIN!!!!!

Congratulations Faye, send me your address and I will mail the cookbook asap. Enjoy!




Friday, February 12, 2016

The Spiritual Battle Over Adoption

      Redemption is messy, you have to get close enough to people to risk being falsely accused. That is what Jesus did. He did not hesitate to intervene even though he knew others would misinterpret his actions and he would be judged by the people of the day.

       Jesus was willing to pay the full price, even death so He could offer redemption to a fallen people. What about us, are you willing pay the price, am I? 

       It is human nature to be willing to do things where we will receive praise and honor. But is that the redemptive love Jesus portrayed? 

     Sometimes I struggle with the ministry God has given Dean and I. I tend to think it would be so much easier if our mission was outside of our home. If the walls of our house could be a refuge from the toil and pain of the outside world. But God called us to the mission of adoption, and while I wouldn't have it any other way, it is tough sometimes.



   Adoption is messy. In a sense we are redeeming lives from the cycle of abuse, poverty and addiction that so often play a part in our children's pasts. Those strongholds will not be easily tossed aside. They, along with genetic "tendencies" are vying for the lives of our children. We are in a fight between good and evil. The age old battle between God and Satan is still being played out across the world. Naturally Satan does not want to give up one of these little one's. His plan is to keep them locked in the life of bondage they were born into, slaves to sin and self. Is it any wonder that the world of foster care and adoption is fraught with pain and turmoil?

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    Just because our children are now in Christian homes, doesn't mean they are automatically protected from the trauma and pain of their past. In fact, I wonder if some of the intense struggles some families face while trying to parent and bond with their children is not a direct attack, an intense all out effort to keep our children from loving their parents and following Jesus. Think about it, if our children cannot learn to love and trust us, their earthly parents, how much harder it will be for them to learn to trust their Heavenly Father?

   This attack on our children's ability to bond has a two fold purpose. What better way to discourage a follower of Jesus, a lover of children, than to have a child come in to their home who takes everything he is given and uses it to hurt and destroy? When a child will not/can not/ does not love you and appears to adore everyone else, you seriously begin to doubt your ability to parent. When the child falsely accuses you, you begin to doubt your integrity. Maybe you aren't who you thought you were. Maybe there is something wrong with you. When you no longer trust yourself, your faith in God is next in the line of attack. If you aren't careful, you fall for the evil lies Satan is planting in your mind. You need someone to speak truth into your heart because so quickly both you and your child have totally lost your way. Just what the enemy of our soul is trying to accomplish.

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Sometimes I succumb to fear when I think of what my little ones are up against. They have so many battle's ahead, battles that Dean and I have no experience navigating because we were loved and cared for as children. Then I remind myself, who is on our side and I take fresh courage. I remember that the battle is the Lord's, he is the one who called us to adoption and he will make a way. 

So friend when parenting your child feels like a losing battle, when tears and sorrow envelope your heart instead of joy, remember: IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?!

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As I was pondering this blog post this song came to mind...
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.


Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

  Remember to leave a comment or like my FB page Tales From Our House Blog to be entered in the giveaway, hurry it ends next Tuesday.


  Faith 'n Friends

A Little R & R

also shared on Mama Moments Linky party
      

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Giveaway!

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I am having a giveaway to celebrate 3 years of blogging. I have been thinking I should do something, but what? Then one of my friends showed me a cookbook her family recently published and I had my answer. The recipe's range from tried and true family favorites to gluten and dairy free. The index includes: Grandma's Recipes, Outdoor Cooking, Appetizers, Dips and Beverages. Full color pictures of select recipes are shown on each divider. 

   To enter the giveaway, post a comment below or go to Tales From Our House Blog  FB page and click on giveaway. There you will have the opportunity to have your name entered more than once. The giveaway ends next Tuesday.

 The cookbooks sell for $17 plus shipping. You can order a cook book at: cookbookorders2015@gmail.com
 or call:
 717-572-7057
There is special pricing for wholesale orders.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Versatile Blogger Award

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I want to thank Abigail from Herding Chickens for nominating me. Her blog, herdingchickens.wordpress.com is excellent. 

If you are nominated, you've been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award!

-Thank the person who nominated you and be sure to share the link to that person's blog.
- Then select 15 blogs/bloggers that you recently discovered or regularly follow whom you consider versatile and excellent in their writing. Nominate them for the Versatile Blogger Award and notify them on their About page. 
- Finally share 7 things about yourself.

- Starting a blog felt like I was allowing the whole world a look inside our home. Did I really want to do that?
- On the other hand, I had to do something, starting a blog was a non confrontational way for me to educate people about attachment, trauma and how they affect those who suffer from it.
- I still struggle with knowing how much to share on my blog.
- I have a passion for helping parents who have a child with severe attachment problems.
- I thrive on deep relationships
- I love coffee and chocolate, maybe too much sometimes
- I am a Christian and am so thankful for what Christ has done for me.

Here are the bloggers I nominate:  http://www.nobohnsaboutit.com/ 
 http://rebekahsfamilyfoodandfun.blogspot.com/http://nancyvnjourney.blogspot.com/
http://martinsinchina1.blogspot.com/
http://www.fromsurvivaltoserenity.com/
http://shallrunandnotbeweary.blogspot.com/
http://donnareidland.com/
http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/
http://homeasoftplacetofall.blogspot.com/
http://couldntmakeitupifitried-jen.blogspot.com/
https://momzookeeper.wordpress.com/
http://colombianbrewed.blogspot.com/
http://theordinaryhomemaker.blogspot.com/
https://thebeautifulopportunity.wordpress.com/
https://jenniezimmerman.wordpress.com/
http://ourgoodwinjourney.com/


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What Is It Really Like To Be An Adoptive Parent?

What is it like to be an adoptive parent, you ask. Well, sometimes you feel very blessed and other times you wonder why you were chosen to walk the tangled pathway of adoption.

I like to think that adoption is "typical parenting" on steroids and when you add special needs into the mix, you get way more than you ever bargained for. You become super blessed and super stressed!

  When Tristan was placed in my arms, I was already bonded with him. He was mine. My mother heart was ready to protect him at all costs. When a foster/adoptive child is placed in your arms, it isn't the same. I loved each of my children but it took awhile for me to feel like their mom. Part of that was because they already had an opinion about life. They had experienced life without me and they didn't think they needed me. No one knows your biological child better than you do. When he cries, he is automatically handed to mom. You can comfort him because you are familiar, you represent security. When a foster/adoptive child comes into your home, you do not represent security. When he cries, he is crying for someone else. You are a stranger. It takes awhile to learn the necessary dance that happens between a mother and child.

Your newborn has always had his needs met. He has never experienced life separate from you. Your adopted child has quite possibly witnessed and experienced horrors you know nothing about. I remember longing to comfort my children when they were placed with us but some of them wanted nothing to do with me, how were they to know I wasn't going to hurt them? 

Your biological child soon recognizes mom and gives smiles freely but you have to earn your adopted child's smile. When my children gave me their first true smiles, my heart beat with joy. They were responding to me, we were building good memories on top of the ashes of their past! Knowing their back grounds made their smiles that much more precious..

Complete strangers will come up to you and praise you for adopting children. You will hear things like, "I could never do what you do!" On the flip side are the people who say, "Lucky you, you are just handed a baby. No pregnancy or labor to go through. It must be nice!"

As an adoptive parent your heart will cry a little when you hear people saying their child has his daddy's eyes or his grandpa's personality. You will also smile inside when a stranger comes up to you and say's, "This little boy looks just like his daddy." You quickly learn to say something like, "We think so too."

   You will find yourself in doctor's offices explaining why your child needs an evaluation. The doctor may look at you and say, "Didn't you know that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy?" When you quietly point out that your child is adopted you are lifted from criminal status to sainthood. Neither position feels comfortable.

  As an adoptive mom you will learn about different nationalities. We are continually amazed at the amount of hot sauce and spices our daughter enjoys. Our mouths are burning and she is shoveling in the food, exclaiming how good it tastes. You may need to learn about skin and hair care, if your child is older, you will have cultural issue's to work through. 

   As an adoptive parent you will have to accept that your child's heart is never fully yours. Typically they reserve a small - sometimes large -  portion of their loyalty for their birth parents. 

  You, especially mom, will receive all the anger and rage your child feels towards his parents and whatever he has experienced in life. He will shout that he hates you and wishes you weren't his mom. She will break things she knows are precious to you because she wants you to know how badly she is hurting inside. There will be days when you wonder why your heart still beats.

You will receive love notes, hugs and kisses and feel guilty that you have this privilege instead of your child's birth parents. 

As an adoptive parent you will grieve the time you didn't have with your child. When your child asks, "Why didn't you keep me safe?" When referring to the years in his bio home, your heart will break a little more. You will also grieve for your child's birth parents, they are losing the years you are now enjoying with their/your child. Adoption is all about balancing joy and sadness, grief and relief.

Your child will beg you to take him back to his biological home because he is sure that life would be easier than the one he has now. You will once again be the "bad guy" when you tell him you can't do that.

You will find little love notes to birth parents alongside the "I love you" papers your child gives you and you will be reminded that even though you have sacrificed, cried, begged, pleaded and pounded pillows because of this child, you still come in second in your child's heart. As an adoptive parent you have to be okay with that.

When you hear your child belting out Jesus Loves Me, while playing with her dolls you will fall to your knees and thank God for rescuing one more child from the cycle of abuse and poverty that is so often a part of our children's pasts. You will praise the Father for choosing you to have a part in helping one more child. You will find yourself praying, "Thank you for being patient with me when I fought against this path you have chosen for me. Thank you for blessing me with this child, give us the wisdom we need to help our children feel loved and be able to give love in return. Thank you, Jesus for this priceless privilege."



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