Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who has RAD?

You know for some time I have avoided the term RAD. And I don't mean Really Awesome Dinners. I mean Reactive Attachment Disorder. It's just so SCARY. And a LABEL. I don't like labels.

But with kids that pushed me a bit too far again yesterday, I decided to brave my fears and look up the symptoms of RAD. And yes, I have 4 kids that all, in some ways, fit the criteria. No surprise here, just acceptance. WHY am I so unconcerned?

Well, first, I wasn't shocked. I think I've known for some time. I just REALLY don't like labeling my kids. But I also do not want to feel as if I am denying reality either.
To feel as if I am not "doing enough" to help my children adjust. And doesn't it always seem to come back to how inadequate we are as parents? Ohh dear, home 2 years and they aren't thrilled to have us parent them? How can that NOT be "our fault?"
Well... I'm about as much of a fan of laying blame as I am labels. 'Cause neither one gets me far. But as we struggled last night with the teens AGAIN- their attitudes, their disrespect of a teacher at school, and some other behaviors I won't bore you with, I am ready to embrace this RAD. NOT as an excuse, NOT that it changes how we parent them.

It just gives me some understanding of where they come from, with their behaviors. And it makes me feel somewhat better when they act so terrible and we try to talk to them and they come off with asking if they can move out and live in the streets. Yep, Chloe said that- over being called out on her behavior toward her sister in their shared room. That was her "solution."
I'm not going to tell you they don't frustrate me. THEY DO. Or that it doesn't cross my mind for a second "WHY did we go to China twice for these ya-hoos??" IT DOES. I am human. Painfully human.
But one of the things I found really, really interesting when checking the signs of RAD?? Next to the list of kid's behaviors, there was a list of RAD signs in adults. And guess who meets the criteria for MANY of them?? None other than ME!! Most were true of me in the past, as a younger parent, but it was still enough to make me take notice!

And I wondered, how can that be? I had parents. I wasn't orphaned, abandoned. But there you have it.
It leaves me wondering exactly what there is to this thing called RAD. It's part of why I am not getting freaked out, it leaves me parenting exactly the same, plugging along and leaning in the right place for guiding them and for my guidance- GOD. I would be so lost without Him in our lives.

Not that I am adverse to counseling if I see someone needs it. Nor am I saying this RAD thing isn't BIG. Yes, it is. But did I honestly NOT think all 4 of ours WOULDN'T have some signs of it?? Deep down I knew.

Without a doubt, I don't think ANY adopted child, no matter how well they adjust, how long they have been home, what age they were adopted at, where adopted from-- will NOT have at least ONE of the signs of RAD. And it's just how it is.

So for today, I continue to parent my kids, RAD kids being raised by a RAD parent- no wonder we are so odd- ha ha. And I don't lose sleep over Reactive Attachment Disorder, or Really Awesome Dinners.

It just doesn't scare me anymore. I've seen it, I accept it, we go on. What a relief:) I feel emboldened to keep on, keeping on. I'm glad I faced it. I did call our Chinese friend who spoke to the kids after school today and she tried to help.
The kids came home from her "talk" to them and they all apologized correctly except Chase. He said it in that "ha ha" voice that means he doesn't mean it. And I told him that. So he is mad at me again. He sure does spend a lot of time mad:(
He will learn that going head to head with momma will NOT end in him getting away with anything. Nope, I care too much to allow it.
Since no day here is without a little bit of funny, thank goodness since I need it-- I'll share what gave me a laugh today. Camden said this morning "What day is today?" And Miss Kitty said "Thursday." When Camden looked at her like he couldn't believe she knew that she came right back with "Hey, that's what my UNDERWEAR says so it must be right!"
Yeah, tiny hiney girl is still wearing toddler undies with the day of the week on the waistband.
Oh well, maybe ya had to be there:)


Adrian Roberta said...

O.k. I thought of you tonight Vicki, Ping actually said it, the dreaded sentence, the one your kids have said to you, the one that I thought "if she says this, I'll be cool, like Vicki" But Vicki, I wasn't cool, I was devistated, angry and really really hurt.

"I whanna go back to China" ~ by my 5 yr old. after getting in trouble for hitting her sister.

It's the way it was said. *sigh*

mom2three said...

We started counseling for our youngest daughter, who was adopted at one year old and has been home for 7 years. I knew there were behavior issues, but still the RAD diagnoses was hard to hear. Our counselor said that RAD is like autism, there are varying points on the scale. She isn't really bad behavior RAD, just anxious attachment issues RAD. So we get the help we need to help her become a wholer and happier person. And it is helping. I'm just glad that she is here, getting the love and counseling she needs rather than living in the SWI with no one to notice.

Jennifer said...

We've done the counseling thing too. It helped SO much. Hugs to you Vickie. PS I argued with my Xinyang princess about wearing flip flops to school and thought of you.