life on the funny farm

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Much Goin' On ....

When I look at the date of my last entry, I find it hard to believe that it's been nearly a month since I've posted. There have been so many things that have kept me busy, including:
*new round of dentist appointments for all the kids, two at a time
*Bella's birthday
*James beginning therapy
*Rosie's confirmation
*chaperoning field trips
*a minor surgical procedure (don't worry -- nothing serious)
*school meetings regarding my youngest (can you say Problem Child?)
*redecorating Rosie's room including assembling not one but two nightmare pieces of Ikea furniture
*soccer games
*2 1/2 new horses (a mare, her 6 month old colt, and her foal in-utero)

Normally I would have been all over the one year anniversary of Fred and I leaving for Kazakhstan and meeting James and Julie. That's something in slower days I could write volumes on (aren't you glad you've been spared?). That has come and gone without so much as a nod to the event.

If you read and wondered about the above "James beginning therapy", allow me to elaborate. James has RAD.

(brief pause for the collective gasp of the adoption community)

Yes. James has Reactive Attachment Disorder, as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We're doing this textbook style. We enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon period, followed by some hard-to-understand emotional moments, then moving on to out-and-out rebellion/disrespect, even some limited violent behaviors. Every adoptive parents' worst nightmare, right?

Well I'm glad to inform you that we are all alive and well and pulling through this. We have seen tremendous progress by James and so he continues to impress me in yet one more way. I am trying to resist the pull into a false sense of security since our ride has been bump-free for a couple weeks now, but I know in my heart as well as my head that this will be a long, slow process of two baby steps forward, interspersed with baby to giant steps backwards. That's OK. We're in this for the long haul.

I think they should have parents of all kinds, biological, adoptive, foster, take parenting vows, akin to the wedding vows of marriage. You know, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.

Since many adoptive parents prefer not to talk about RAD, but all of us are afraid of it, I'm going to put a side-bar in this blog to timeline what we're experiencing. I know everyone who deals with RAD will go through something very unique, but maybe this will help someone gain some perspective.

For anyone going through tough times with their kids, RAD or not, one small bit of corny advice before closing:
Don't let the bumps in the road knock you out of your car. Just buckle your seatbelt, watch the road signs, and don't be afraid to pull into the gas station to ask for directions.

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