The Unspoken Pain of Reactive Attachment Disorder in Adoption

Here is comes, folks. My spill it all post where I share real. My heart and mind are in constant battle. I love orphans. LOVE them. I want to see every single one cared for. I KNOW we are called to care for them. I KNOW my God is big enough to heal their trauma. I know. I also hate the butterflies and roses adoption posts. Or the, ‘sure it’s hard but the joy is bigger than the pain’ posts. Or the, ‘Oh, I would never_____’

Pride surely comes before the fall, my friends. 

This is reality.

Folks, I hate to pop any pretty little bubble thoughts you have about our family walk and our ‘amazing’ adoption, but we have walked the hardest 2 years of our life. We have been mostly isolated and terribly traumatized. One of our healthy children started having seizures from the stress of a child in the house who rages for as long as 12 hours before falling asleep and starting over. Who is in a constant state of trying to cause chaos. A child who we must hide anything that could give him a chance to sabotage. A child that we can’t teach because teaching him good only teaches him how to be bad. Manipulation, triangulation, peeing and pooping on everything he can. Those heart wrenching hospital pictures? They only tell half the story. They don’t tell how he screamed and raged the entire 3 hour car ride home because he wanted to be taken back to the hospital for more pain and trauma. They don’t tell how the latest extra trauma sent him into a whirlwind of destructive behaviors for the past year.

They just don’t tell.

Parenting doesn’t work. Consistently doesn’t work.
This video is the BEST BEST BEST explanation I have ever seen on the matter.
Folks, this is reality. Reality is that this isn’t hard, it is destructive.

Please. Please walk along side families that have children with RAD. Please don’t tell them they’re crazy. Please don’t buy into the thought that you think you know how to raise *any* kid, even a trauma kid. I promise you it is different. I was that ignorant once. I have been humbled.
Two instances have stood out to me more than any other since we have started this walk.
1. A person who teaches in the church setting not only helps to make a way to include our kids but read about RAD and ASKED how to best approach the need. HUGE!
2. A teenager. I sure do wish she could have seen me go off and cry from the blessing she was. Our kiddo was in her class. He hit a kid and he sat the whole two hours after that until I returned. I went in the next day ready to explain why. Why a 5-year-old has a 2 hour timeout. Explain how once he crosses that line he must sit out or he will go too far because he enjoys and seeks out that type of attention.

What happened next blesses me and gives me hope every time it crosses my mind .

This TEENAGER, stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Hey, you don’t need to explain, we trust you. You know what you’re doing.” A teenager ladies and gentleman. A teenager had the *best* answer I have very been given.

Think about that next time you feel wise.

Prayer works. Jesus heals. I trust that we are here because He chose it so. I have not lost faith or perseverance. But let me be totally honest. The need for orphans is SOOOOO Much greater than adopting. You know what I have seen answered mostly when adopting parents are asked how they “do it”?


They get on antidepressants to numb their pain.

  • Not the family of Christ walking with them.
  • Not other family helping.
  • Not a magic formula.


I am not judging them, please do NOT think that is where I am going with this. They need help!

What I am saying is something is terribly wrong when parents are ‘making it’ on the basis of just numbing the pain.

I have a renewed passion. People everywhere need love. There is an epidemic of trauma and heartache.

We need Jesus.

In His Mercy,


Reactive Attachment Disorder in the Church

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