* Please understand that I don't know who this letter is to in particular, but it sometimes comes to my mind that I wish I could write it all out and hand it to people spur of the moment.*
If you are receiving this letter then I probably care about you and you are a part of my life as well as the lives of my children. You also probably do not have a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder. :)
If this is a good day, then you probably see my children with Reactive Attachment Disorder having some small freedoms. You probably then wonder, why can't they do more if this is a "good day"? See when these three particular children have good days, then they are beginning to trust me to keep them safe, take care of their needs, and are allowing themselves to try and enjoy life with us. See none of these things come natural to them because of their past experiences prior to coming to us for adoption. It takes a lot of effort from them and more work than you can imagine from me over years and years of trusting God to bring them through if I am faithful.
I have to walk a balance beam thinner than you know. I need to let them see the rewards of their efforts, but not let them sabotage themselves or set themselves up for failure. Failure is something that seems "comfortable" for them while suceeding and trusting are very "uncomfortable".
So, if you see them looking happier than on the "not good days", then just be happy for all of us. Thank God on our behalf!
Please don't congratulate them, hug them, smile at them, or show them any attention that you would a normal child. I know this sounds bad, but I love them enough to risk what you will think. See all of those things make them not need my attention and then it sets us back as far as attachment is concerned. They've had moves before and they are always "mommy shopping" not because they'd love you any more, but because true attachment is "risky" and "uncomfortable" for them. I know that they seem just adorable, cute, and charming. Some day they will be able to handle more, but it is going to be quite a long time.
If you see them looking sad, "poor pitiful me", "no one loves me", and secluded from some fun activity during the hard times, then PRAY for them and us. Pray that God gives us the words and actions to bring them through that tough time. Pray that he softens their hearts and makes them long for the attention that ONLY WE should be providing. Realize that if we didn't love them so much, we'd just let them keep the behaviors and not work for the attachment. See without accepting love from those of us that they can touch, then how can they accept the love of a Father that they can't touch. Look up the statistics on RAD and you will see that we have to fight through this with them.
Please don't even look like you feel sorry for them. Please don't say, "oh come on can't they . . . . ", because "no they can't, I love them too much!". Please talk about me or doubt my abilities to help them somewhere else if you must. I do know what I'm doing and I am doing what I need to for them. I love them to much to let what anyone else thinks phase my task at hand. I will admit that sometimes it feels like their hope for people to feel sorry for them is becoming a reality that I can't stop, but I won't let the devil defeat us in bringing them through it.
Thanks for lovingly being a part of our lives!
Amanda, mom of three children with RAD and 9 who don't but still have some issues sometimes because if they've had breaks in attachments before they came to me we always have to work out some kinks.
*Now please remember that if you are reading this and feel like any part was for you, no part had me thinking about anyone in particular. I was purely thinking about my kids and their behaviors. It is no one else's fault that they have RAD except the ones who didn't care for them properly in the first place and none of them are here. Even those people can't be blamed mostly because they probably weren't in any position to consider the effects. Right now I just have to thank God that they are here with me and watch in faith as He uses me to help them get better. *