(Reactive Attachment Disorder)
“With complete honesty I’ve had to ask myself can we deal with this?”
I’ve been immersing myself into the nightmarish world that some adopted children and parents find themselves living a in a day to day struggle of wanting to be understood, wanting to be loved, accepted and uncertain how to achieve it. It seems to be magnetic poles of parent and child trying to connect and neither one able to bond with the other, and it is not for lack of trying.
My own ignorance of this factor has put me into a spin where I’ve had to take a step back and ask myself can I deal with this? More importantly can my family deal with this?
In my heart I know this is right, that going forward is what we are suppose to do, however, I plan on going into this with as much knowledge and insight as I can. Putting it in plain terms the adopted child is a hurt child, who may have a lot of unresolved issues. I thought that a couple of months home would be fine, however after reading and more reading I realized that a couple of months won’t be fine. These kids need time to heal, to adapt and to bond though the bonding may not happen until adulthood.
I laughed at the idea of wrapping a twelve year old in a blanket and feeding him a bottle. (Okay, I will admit the idea of feeding such an older child with a bottle makes me cringe even still, I am open to a cup of warm milk though.) After reading about children with an attachment disorder I realized that the authors have a point. If a child was never held in such a way, they are missing out on a lot of personal closeness. I think about my own sons and how I carried them around in my arms for years. I remember holding Preston in the hospital after he was born prematurely and how I just had the feeling if I stroked his nose he’d fall asleep and he did. It was in those early moments I learned to read my children. I was able to pick on up their emotions, understand their needs, and then anticipate their needs.
So with this in mind and a mountain more of reading to do, we will go forward. The girls will stay home with me for a year, so we can get to know each other; they can be angry and upset and hopefully start the healing process that they will so desperately need. It does reaffirm that we should adopt sisters, despite that fact we will be parenting two hurt children, I know I will not be enough to help them through the pain and loss, nor can I fully understand their life pre adoption where all the hurt comes from. I can sympathize, and try to understand but it is not the same as having someone else who went through their experiences with them.