Julie Tocher said...
I have been seriously considering adopting a child from an International adoption. I read your blog faithfully, but I read a lot of International Adoption family blogs and it seems like there are sooo many kids with RAD and I worry about that. Do any of your kids have RAD? If so, have you seen improvements?
January 21, 2011 4:54 PM
If this is not too personal, I would like to know if any of your kids have RAD (or that you suspect it). I know you've adopted from disruptions, and disruptions always make me wonder about RAD being a possible reason. But please, if it's too personal, don't worry about answering.
January 24, 2011 8:38 AM
You know, I still don't quite get RAD. From everything I have read RAD basically means that a child has attachment issues that result in them not caring if they were a part of your family or not. And because of that lack of attachment they act out in many different ways. (And if I am wrong please correct me.) I do not see this in any of our kids. Now that is not to say that they do not have very RAD-like behaviors from time to time-- but as a parent to both biological and adopted children-- I really see no difference. In all honesty, I think my feelings, my intolerance, my own inability to attach the way I should causes more problems than my children's behavior. Just like my kids' behaviors can set the tone of my attitude for the day-- so can my attitude influence my kids' behaviors.
Oh, and I am not into that reverse psychology though I tried it a few times and thought that I was the smart one. Sure, I can tell them to slam the door and get them not to, but what does that teach them? That they should do the opposite because they can? That I think they are too dumb to understand what I am trying to do? No thank you. I personally would be very ticked off if someone tried to use reverse psychology on me. I do not play those games- and I tell my kids just that.
Just like I tell them when I have had enough, or that the mess in the house is making me grumpy, or that I need a break, or that I have changed my mind, or that I am incredibly proud of them for the good choices they have been making lately but that I am afraid that me telling them is going to get them to make a bad choice because I noticed the good behavior when I shouldn't have.
Now with all that said, most of our children that were adopted came to us with guarded hearts and I used to personally take it as a form of rejection because they didn't want to talk when I wanted to hear their whole life stories. Well-- that is not going to happen immediately and once I learned that, I began accepting the pace at which my children began to reveal their feelings to me. I refer to this as the open window, because once they begin sharing intimate details of their lives with me, I know that their trust in me is growing. And as they share with me, I share with them, encouraging them to open up even more. That means that I have shared embarrassing stories, sad stories, even things that I wish I had never done. See, adoption related issues may not be adoption related at all-- we just see them that way because they happen to be happening with an adopted child. Once we get past that stigma that certain behaviors stem primarily because a child was adopted, we see the child for who they are... a child.
If I am brutally honest with myself-- many of my own behaviors as a child mirror those that are described in children who are diagnosed as having RAD-- and I did not and do not have RAD. Once I figured this out, it was a turning point for me as a parent.
Michelle said... aside from the question i asked about if you're going to do a post about Galina so we can know more about her, where she's from, all that sort of info like you did when Annalyn & Rachel joined your family, i've got a couple others. :-)i've always wondered if any of your adopted children have any type of desire to go back to their country of birth, either to learn about the culture or find info about their past. is this something you would support when they are adults? would you want to go with them if things worked out for that to be possible?also, how is it working out with having Galina come along so soon after Paul & Anastasia? i know the reason most agencies say you have to wait a certain amount of time between adoptions is so that all the family members can sort of find their place in the new balance of things, and i was wondering how your family is doing with having one very new addition & two relatively new ones, and especially how Anastasia & Paul feel about it.how is bonding going with Galina? i'm not sure if you knew her or OF her before she came for respite or how long she's been officially part of the family, but i know it's all still very new & have been praying for both her & the rest of your family as you all bond & figure out the family dynamics.and finally... what do you all think of your new location? from what i can tell you'd been in your previous area for many years and i know you have enough changes going on with the adoptions so the move is a pretty big deal. are you & John glad you moved? how are the kids adjusting? January 21, 2011 3:24 PM
At first none of the kids wanted to ever go back to their birth countries except maybe Rachel. Since I absolutely loved my visits to both Russia and Ukraine (outside of getting post-partum adoption blues while in Russia adopting Anna and Sveta) I found it sad that they didn't want to even discuss Russia or Ukraine let alone go back for a visit. I so wanted them to have some fond memories of where they spent their formative years. After helping them to see the good things about their birth countries and allowing them to feel encouraged to speak about them open and freely, I think they would all jump at the chance to go back for a visit. And honestly, I think one of the best things we could ever do would be to take the kids back for a visit so that their birth country could see how well they are flourishing! It was a wonderful thing when we took Dennis with us to Ukraine.
When Galina came to stay with us, I don't think Anastasia and Paul thought much of it. When we told them that Galina was going to be their sister, they smiled and appeared very happy. Like I said in a previous post-- the two of them couldn't be more happy-go-lucky, well adjusted kids. I can't explain it any better than this-- we are just blessed with how easily they have adjusted to family life.
Brenda said... My question is...do you have the same "problems" with your 3 girls that were re-adopted by you, that their first families had? Or do they just fit in better with your family and you don't have the same troubles? Everybody seems so happy and they just seem to fit in so well. January 21, 2011 4:52 PM
When we adopted our daughters the problems that the first families had didn't just disappear. We had to deal with those same problems and still deal with a few of them. But we knew what we were getting into and because of that we parented accordingly-- and that has been a big key. I wish I could explain it better-- it would be so much easier if you were just a fly on the wall.
P.S. I know that RAD exists and people have it, but I was asked to share about my experience and so I have. So sorry it hit such a raw nerve with so many of you. Though my gut reaction was to remove the post because of the negative comments, I will keep on my big girl pants. You are entitled to raise your children your way with your views and your thoughts and your ideals and your morals and so am I. That is the beauty and God given gift called life.