From time to time in my book I will relate a story from another family. These are families who have reached out to me about their situation with their adopted child/teen. ALL of the personal information about the family has been changed to protect them. And honestly Family X could be any one of a hundred different families with the same or similar issues. Today I want to give you one Family X story. This is a very common story.
Just today on my social media feed an article came up about a couple who are being accused of abuse and neglect of their adopted teen. After reading the article, and having the article read by several of us who have been in their situation we agreed that it could have been any of us. There is no doubt in our minds that this is a RAD teen and the allegations against them are common by these adopted children/teens.
So here is Family X for today.
Family X. After writing a blog post one day I got a message from an adoptive mom who asked if she could call and talk with me. We ended up talking for over two hours. They were from a very small town out west and the local law enforcement agency was not very friendly to their situation. She said that she and her husband had biological children and they had decided to adopt a teen girl for the same reasons I’ve stated. Save one girl from prostitution. She and her husband were both in the mental health field and were familiar with terms such as FASD and RAD. They thought they were more prepared than most. They weren’t.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is described in clinical literature as a severe and relatively uncommon disorder that can affect children. RAD is characterized by markedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate ways of relating socially in most contexts.
RAD in these adoptive teens is very dangerous. The RAD teen/child attaches to one of the adoptive parents, usually the one they see rescuing them. In our case our RAD girl attached to me on day one, minute one, at the orphanage. (Missed red flag). As soon as the RAD teen/child feels that they have control over the relationship, in our case as soon as we landed in America, they turn on the parent they attached to and that parent become enemy #1. That enemy needs to be destroyed in whatever way possible by the RAD teen/child.
In the meantime they are now on the lookout for their next savior. Sometimes this becomes the other parent. This turns into a triangulation situation which can be deadly to a marriage. Sometimes it is someone outside of the family. They are constantly looking for someone who will step up to rescue them from this terrible situation that they’ve found themselves in. And then it starts all over again. Over and over and over. A never-ending quest to be attached to someone that they never find unless they are willing to accept their diagnosis and years of therapy.
So back to Family X. They felt that they were very capable of raising an adoptive teen even if she was diagnosed with either of these disorders. Which they were told this girl was not. They were told she had no medical or mental issues. They were blatantly lied to and they were also completely wrong in their assumptions that they could handle these issues.
And by the way, NO child/teen adopted from these orphanages is free from trauma. How can they be? They were not raised in a loving family home. They cannot begin to be “normal”. No one should ever adopt thinking their child/teen will be healthy mentally no matter what the adoption agency or orphanage says.
This mom was raw emotion when I spoke with her. Their home was a war zone. They all lived in fear. The adopted girl was blatant about what she wanted to do their family. She wanted them dead. She told them that her dream was to burn down their home at night while they were all sleeping and watch them all die. She told them that she would stand there laughing at the burning house. She would laugh to hear them all screaming.
At the point I talked with the mom she and her husband took turns on watch. They never slept together or at the same time. They had no sharp objects in the home and had even removed all cooking utensils. The AT (adopted teen) urinated on the floors of the home whenever she could. She smeared feces everywhere. The family had a small one bedroom cottage on their property where the biological children were living. The family spent most of their time in the cottage. Hostages.
The family reached out to their adoption agency and was told they could not help them. Social services wanted to blame them and opened an investigation on them. They were threatened with removal of their biological children. The local law enforcement treated them like criminals. When they (law enforcement and social services) spoke to the adopted teen they saw a sweet, good nature’d, smiling, adorable teenager who was at a loss as to why her family that she loved so much was saying such bad things about her. She told them that she had always dreamed of a forever family and how she was so sad that all they did was abuse her, only fed her small amounts of food and kept her locked in her room all day and all night. Law enforcement/SS never questioned the fact that there were no locks on the AT’s bedroom door. This same story can be told over and over again. A family being terrorized with no help on the way. No way out.
This is one story. One. One of thousands. This is why this book is being written. Because I can’t in good conscience stand by and let one more good, innocent, well-intentioned family end up like this one. Without hope. Living in fear.
You can help by sharing this blog post. Maybe someone who is thinking about adopting will read it and pause to think. Maybe it will save one family from being in the position that Family X is in today. So please share.
Simply My Opinion by Kathe