Sunday, February 25, 2007
Reclaiming Surrendered Ground -- Living With a RAD Child
My darling Goldilocks (6) has severe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). This is a disorder that a child can develop in the first 3 years of life, if they have been horribly neglected and/or abused. These children have a terrible time bonding with people and tend to act out in very destructive ways. Our Goldilocks came to us at 20 months of age as a foster child and we have since adopted her. She saw and experienced things that we cannot and do not want to imagine. What we do know of her past is so sickening that it still makes us cry. Yet, after nearly 5 years of turmoil, she is truly starting to bloom. This past year Goldilocks has been making more and more strides toward healing and acclimating into our family. She has finally accepted us as her parents and trusts that we mean her no harm. For the last 10 days, her one-on-one worker and her therapist have been on vacation, so, in a sense, we have been on our own. Normally, this would mean a great deal of stress for me, and our entire family routine would have been disrupted by one of Goldilocks' blow outs. She has never made it ten days without a major meltdown before. The amazing blessing that has fallen on our family is that Goldilocks did not blow out -- in fact, she rode through every little crisis (not getting new shoes when someone else did, her favorite stuffed dog's ear being eaten by our dog, a fall off the swing set, Mom being sick enough to actually take to my bed ,which shows a sign of weakness and thus in her mind untrustworthiness, etc.). Just as you would expect of a well behaved 6 year old to do!!! In the past, any one of these events would have caused several stormy days. We are so thankful for all of the wonderful people who have worked tirelessly to help our little girl heal and our Creator for answering our prayers. We are not out of the woods yet by a long shot, but every month gets easier raising our precious little girl. We are filled with hope and faith as we reclaim surrendered ground.