Friday, July 8, 2016

Young Love... And Parental Manipulation

At 21 years of age...
Our officially diagnosed RAD adoptee was "rescued" from us into the home of a manipulative woman who about a year prior admittedly planned from her inner-circle which young women  WOULD marry EACH  of her sons.

While RAD was starting on the brink of exploding... Before we had any inkling of what RAD would do next... That woman openly shared with me her secret plans for our youngest daughter to marry her youngest son. I firmly and kindly responded I thought it would be wonderful to allow our kids to make their own decisions about marriage.

Not yet understanding RAD, but knowing our adoptee well,  I never shared this woman's confessions along-those-lines with our daughter because although I didn't yet have the terminology to articulate behaviors we'd seen in our "officially diagnosed" adoptee,  we understood the concept that the cause and effect reasoning part of her brain had consistently shown evidence of not fully operating.

RAD doesn't make kids stupid...
 Our daughter is quite smart actually.  
She entered college at age 14. 
Was one B short of 4.0.  
She's smart and cute.

She used to easily memorize and regurgitate facts.

"BLUE is the answer! 
The answer is BLUE!     
What is the answer?????"
"..... Ummmm..... blue?"
"YES! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"   

In accordance with her illness...
  Our officially diagnosed RAD adoptee always had trouble processing the MEANING of information.

It's not at all that she'd NEVER "get it"...
just most times she'll have data...
and assume illogical meanings when asked to process information.   
Not her fault.  
Just one of the nuances of a young brain exposed to early trauma.

I didn't want to risk for a minute that our daughter would misinterpret the woman who would eventually become her "savior mommy"'s aspirations as plans she should pursue.    

Our daughter never for one minute expressed romantic interest in "savior mommy's" baby boy.

I recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions to another mom on the brink of "saving" a sweet young girl (in the system, not her fault) from the latest parents...

...A young girl this woman hopes will "someday" marry her son.

Some of the questions I asked this potential "savior mommy" to consider...   

1) Do you think it may be possible that this sweet beautiful young girl you want to save, and hope will marry your son may be behaving quite differently with you in your home than she does in the home that is establishing boundaries for safety and has the responsibility of keeping her safe?

2) What if you've contracted to become guardian and things don't work out romantically between her and the child you hope she'll marry?

3) Is it possible, once your role in her life changes,  this teen may eventually give you the same challenges she's presenting to her current caregivers?

4) Is there a way you can be supportive of this girl, AND her current caregivers, while encouraging this girl to be taking her own steps as a young teen toward responsible adulthood (for example resume attending HS, get a job... Etc.) while encouraging her to be so much less a teenage "victim" who needs to marry your child so she can be rescued her from this unfair life of living with adult caregivers whose reasonable rules at times don't facilitate these young lovers from living the  romantic wonderland they feel entitled to... to the fullest?

5)  Don't you want your child to be married to someone because they really love each other, not because one was in a bad situation and needed to be rescued?

6) Are you aware kids who bounce around the system make false allegations?

7) It's entirely possible the young lovers are sexually active... What repercussion might there be if you take her in as a her legal guardian and don't prevent your legally-adult child from engaging with this minor sexually in your home?    
8) Does your career allow you to earn money while officials investigate any strife she might cause against you as her new and improved caregiver who might try to establish rules and limits within your family's home that she as a young teen might naturally object to?

9) Wouldn't it be best to love, appreciate and hope for your "future daughter-in-law" while continuing to encourage the young-in-love couple  to work diligently towards achieving milestones of independent adult responsibilities to help establish their "true-love" on the strongest possible foundation for their "happily ever after?"


I do want to confirm.... I told this parent, many times throughout our conversations I AM honestly a believer in young love.  Just one week after turning 20, I married the boy I had taken to prom a few years prior.
We're still head-over-heels in love...

Just with my recent experiences... involving "system kids"... 

(Oh how I hate to assert there is a "system-kid" mentality!!!!!!!!!!!!  
...If only our experiences would have kept us blissfully ignorant!)

....So many aspects of all this woman  shared of her child's romance and her own desire to save his  beloved has me so-very concerned...

Turns out their family opted to not take on guardianship... For now. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

In Our Thoughts Prayers and Dreams

This parenting gig doesn't end.  Even when kids you love choose estrangement.
Father's Day I honored Hubbie, my baby-daddy -such a wonderful daddy that he accepted others' children to raise as his own... with the same undying love he has for our biological child.  (Not that adopted/bio EVER made any difference... Until Reactive Attachment Disorder RADtypically attacked at the time when age-typical-embarkation to adult life  reawakened our adoptees' abandonment issues.)

Nightly my love mentions our children, their children and even their RADtypically triangulated against us "rescuers"... Whomever is currently pretending to be "the awesome parents our adoptees never had" ...unknowingly perpetuating our kids' estrangement as they "rescue" our kids from dangers that never existed (in OUR home).

Aside from us praying nightly for our kids by name... Adoption issues have been a small part of my daily life although thoughts of the kids, prayers for them, flow regularly throughout.

This has been a bigger than normal "adoption issues" week for me.  Bumping into adoptive friends I've not seen in almost a year... Calls from friends who call me 'cause ppl who haven't adopted would NEVER understand.

I dreamt of the murdered child's father a few days ago.  Googled and found an online presence.  Found a "throwback" photo of our adoptees' biomom.  I thought... Wow... Same face... She'll probably look just like that when she's middle aged!   Then I noticed caption.  Wow.  Our adoptee is already older than biomom when that photo was taken.  Addiction is such a hard life.

My work sends me all over.  From time to time I work almost walking distance to the address that consistently shows court history for biomom.  I don't think that address is the brothel/crack-den where various sources have said our son was born... But I suppose it's nearby.  I honestly don't know. There's this little (big?  I have no idea) microcosm of life so foreign to everything I know.  A place where their reality is so very different than my own.

I wonder sometimes what keeps adopted daughter away.  She's said she's made contact with bio family... I wonder if that's part of it.   She's shared her shock at biomom's manipulations which sound like the same manipulations the murdered child would tell me about.  There is a reason the children couldn't stay safely in that microcosm.  It was never their fault.  We always encouraged our adoptees to have loving thoughts about their birthparents.  Tried to explain how consuming and distorting addiction can be.  We always encouraged if our adoptees choose to explore their biological roots that they be careful... Cause it was during a visit with the family of origin that the oldest was murdered at 18.

Anyway... I wonder from time to time if connecting with birthmom plays some part in our daughter's estrangement.  I don't think it should.  I've struggled for almost 7 years of estrangement to understand our adoptees thought processes.

As I drove near that neighborhood for work recently, I wondered if our grandchildren have been to their biogranny's  house.  

I dreamt of our adoptees this week.  In the dream (like in real life) our adopted daughter was running around the church people we raised them near, causing strife against us.  I dreamt church families were struggling marriages, children, health issues.

  In the dream I told our daughter... It's okay... We love you... We've only ever had you and your siblings as our children.  Our love is irrevocable.  You've had about 19 families before us.  Everything you're doing is SO NORMAL for kids who've had beginnings similar to yours!   We love you, and allow you to love the ones before us.  You might find comfort in the knowledge you are not alone in your experiences.  We love you.

In my dream she began sobbing.  The church ppl surrounding her became suddenly distracted by their  own family, health, relationship issues.   I woke up praying health, healing, happiness and Love... for them all.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Out of the Blue She Brings Up Adoption

Can you believe there are friends who don't know we've adopted?  


For a while there it seemed the "common issues" of adopting traumatized children out of fostercare would forever be all consuming.

Life does go on.

I was chatting with a friend recently.

Innocently she brought up how a newly adopted child she knew was FLOURISHING in the new family... how she hoped the child appreciates all the sacrifices this kind hearted family has made to positively impact this young life pulled out of a dung heap.

I got misty-eyed.  Not at all a big ugly cry kind of thing.  Just misty.

My friend asked if I was okay.  Had she offended me?  If I ever need to talk... Etc.

I told her my heart breaks for that family.  I told her it turns out there's many adoption related issues that arise when children are adopted out of trauma. Yes, indeed the child's life has been positively impacted.  Yes the child needed to be taken out of the dung heap.  Yes indeed the new family's sacrifices are worthwhile and making a remarkably tremendous positive impact in the child's previously traumatic life... But unfortunately it's quite likely the child will grow up to despise the family that will lavish love health and healing in that child's direction for the rest of their days.

My friend looked at me with a puzzled expression.

You know we adopted a special needs sibling group... Right?  

She honestly had no idea.

I explained our adoptees' "special needs" are mostly psychological resulting from their traumatic origin.  All adults now.  All doing far better in adulthood than their family of origin... Well... All Except for one...   It's a long story.

Sorry, yes, I do agree the child is flourishing. That family is really blessing that child.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stones of Remembrance

February is coming....   That thought had me smiling to my core!

It is February.

My heart overflows!

February is the anniversary month of finalizing our adoption...

and most significantly lately...

...the anniversary month of the first time I met real-live adoptive moms who REALLY understood and were living our parallel adoptive universe.

At the time, most of the other mommas' experiences may have been as many as 17 years behind our family's experiences...

But I was/AM 

SOOOOOO GRATEFUL for the tangible reality that I am not alone!!!!!

I think our family's adult-adoptee experience may have really frightened those just embarking on early adoptive life...

For me, finding out my family was not alone in this bizarre-o world of loving and caring for traumatized children adopted out of generations of addiction and abuse was simply more evidence a Hand that reached out to pull us up from our adoptees' flattening attacks.

That first wonderful long-weekend in Orlando and the ETAAM events that have followed are part of my heart's "stones of remembrance."  

My first year attending a sweet beautiful woman gifted each attendee with a stone engraved "I am NOT alone"

That stone, and those women remain precious to me!!!!

It will soon be seven years since our "healed hallelujah!" young adult adoptees attacked our family in a "RADtypical" manner that is fully in-line with the mental health diagnosis the middle adoptee was "officially given" after bouncing around 18 families before joining ours at age six.

Our "unofficially diagnosed" son proves exactly how much he doesn't have Attachment Disorder by remaining estranged almost 7 years from the family that raised him.  He's continuing to pretend in adulthood his bff's family is his "real" family... And they are delighting to "serve in" that role in their own brand of insanity wholeheartedly under the impression they're serving Jesus to do so.

Meanwhile this son has honored his own son with two of the names we'd given him. Not his birth name, not his grandmother's married name (that the children's last names were changed to as the state attempted to unify this quasi-related group of  3 children with very different last names who never really lived together beforehand in order to place as a "sibling group" in one adoptive family) not the names of his latest "real family" RADtypically triangulated rescuers...

Our grandson bears our family name inherited to him through adoption... and our grandson's first name is the middle name we gave our son at adoption.

Fascinating stuff. 

Bizarre-o adoption world.

The officially-diagnosed-adoptee peeks in from time to time.  Tells us she loves us.  And means it.  I believe she knows we mean it when we tell her how much we love her.

Her history before us and resulting  illness, makes relationships hard for her.

She RADtypically wears masks and has "RADtypically" manipulative stories that gain the sympathy of her RADtypically triangulated rescuers.  Stories that she struggles to keep straight depending on whom she's talking with.

The lies she's told (continues to tell)  RADtypically prevents her and her young daughter from comfortably enjoying time with our family.

We're grateful she does come around from time to time... and we're glad to see her when she's strong enough to step out of the drama triangle her disease has her living in. 

Relationships are hard for the attachment disordered adult adoptee.

Meanwhile, she's been reaching back to bio-family.  We've always encouraged our adoptees to have mercifully kind and loving thoughts toward their family of origin.

Addiction is hard.

Our adoptees' cousin has internet presence and is quite vocal about her perspective of generations of their biological beginnings.

It's tough.

So totally foreign to us.

We don't fully "get-it" but we keep trying.

 And we love them.

We're eager to see them... as much as their illness will safely allow.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Powerball and Other Free Dreams

Happy New Year friends!

Dear Sweet Wonderful Hubby and I were treated by VERY generous family members and friends to an over-the-top extravagant Christmas-New Years celebration.  Wow.  "Car service" (read "limo") at our disposal to drive us around a city we had never before visited.  Keys to the Mercedes for whenever we wanted the driver to "bring the car around" so we could explore on our own. Decadent meals in fine restaurants, no reservations... holiday crowds... no problem, friends' connections got us right to the front of every line. And best of all quality time with people we love... Who love us back.  I'm still pinching myself... Back home, it all feels like a dream... the likes of which I'd NEVER aspired, but could very easily imagine myself getting used to.

Powerball fantasy has me dreaming of permanence of that amazing "lifestyle."  One of my BFFs was asking if we were in it to win it.  Together we shared fantasies of what instant wealth might provide.  In my heart I remember and "amen"...

Proverbs 30:8-9
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only daily bread.  Otherwise I may have too much and disown You and say "Who is The Lord?" Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God.

Once home from our awesome trip I got a call from one of my dearest high school bffs.  We seldom get to talk 'cause she's in that SUPER busy stage of life with small children.

Together in HS she and I studied early childhood development together and were each assigned a twin to observe and write our reports about.  Back then we bet each other we'd have twins first.  We now joke that the race extends to the next generation.  Haha.

She was birthing her kids about the time we were adopting.  Fast forward a couple years and she's an adoptive mom too.  When you love kids, I suppose it predisposes you to adopt kids who need loving homes.

She ended up adopting a sibling group too.  Interesting story how she got them.  But it's her story to tell if/when she needs to.

She was expressing feelings of a lack of love toward the one with attachment disorder.  I told her to hold on.  I reminded her she does indeed love her daughter she's patient, kind keeping on, still trying still hoping still protecting...   Etc...

From 1Corinthians 13...
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. 
I explained what is frequently missing in relationships with attachment disordered kids is the warm fuzzy feelings that accompany "reciprocated love."
I encouraged her to keep on keeping on despite a lack of reciprocation my friend is making a positive difference despite the child's inability to "appreciate" all the hard work that goes into loving a child adopted from life's hard places.  She doesn't have it in her account to give back.   Something broke big in our attachment disordered kids long before we ever met them.  It's not their fault, it's not ours either.  
Keep on loving... 
Love doesn't mean we have to fake warm fuzzies that don't exist.   When children we love hurt and hate us on a regular basis the feelings of warm-fuzzies aren't there.