January 22, 2018

Mama’s Heart Never Gives Up

MamaHi all –

As I continue (with my man, of course) on the journey with these adopted kiddos, I not only learn new parenting tools that I must use for the Reactive Attachment Disorder, but I also gain more insight into what is going on in their hearts and minds.

This week has been no exception. #5 is currently on the front burner. And he has been extremely transparent. He is entering junior high and he told me he is excited about going to a new school. However, before this beautiful youngster divulged this bit of info, he revealed that he knew he had been quite a bit of trouble in 4th and 5th grade. Really? Because you acted oblivious at the time!! Nice to know though and he also informed me that if you get in trouble in jr. high, you spend time in detention instead of study hall. Upon asking if that was going to be his place of choice, he said “maybe”. Okay then. Next up, conversation on why that is his choice. And I know he will tell me, in part because of the following conversation.

On the way to church last week, #5 blurted out, “I hate you #4”. Dad not a happy camper, understandably. With further review, we realized this was good as at least he was letting us know he had some big feelings brewing with his words instead of acting out. So I gave him a chance to explain. And he did! He did not like the way #4 but him down. Had a great conversation about telling #4 this so he would know what he was doing was upsetting and giving him a chance to apologize and change that. He got that too and did it!!

Another reveal – he loves to say I want to go home or I want to kill myself (words every mom hates to hear, right?). Well RAD kids feel like that but seldom say it.  In fact, the book I shared I have read by a RAD growed up, Deborah Jiang Stein “Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus“, she describes her internal view of herself, “The curse (of being born in a prison) fueled my anger and my insecurity. A defective adopted multiracial girl born to a heroin addict in prison. My self-esteem sat somewhere in here: I might as well be dumped from a sky-high crane into a vat of acid and tar”. That was truly an eye-opener for me on how deep their self-hatred can go. So the reveal you ask? He is either scared, hungry, angry or tired when he utters these gems. Wait, I learned this…H A L T = hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Check for these if you face out of control behavior. Sure enough, yesterday at the height of a fun, fun day at an amusement park that he earned a ticket to for reading excellence, he blurted his famous lines. I quickly remembered he had told me he was hungry a few times. Cheeseburger eaten, attitude improved.

See when you are in the trenches a lot of the time, the normal activities sounds get tainted. Because I am constantly trying to figure out how to parent this behavior, I can lump all of them into the RAD basket. I am driven by wanting to be the mother they long for and fight desperately to not let in. A quote from Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus sums it up best – “a mother’s bond can hold incredible love and stamina, even if not a link by birth”.

Trying and trying again, not giving up are my only options.

Chat soon ~

About the author: By

Julie is an awesome parent (along with her husband Matt) to five adopted kiddos and the owner of the Parenting Allies website.

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Comments

  1. It is amazing what we can do when we absolutely have to do it!

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are parents of children with special challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this website have worked for us on our parenting journey.

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