Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hurray for our kids

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Tough week for this. Going to do it anyway.....

Eagle: Had a job interview but didn't get the job. Has a great attitude and is working on her next plan of action with an employment agency.

Dancer: Haven't actually heard much from her this week. I need to give the girl a call!

Fish: Did something wrong and went to the adult involved and told them and then apologized. That is a man.

Bear: Is catching back up on some school work and so has raised a grade that was low.

Taz: Is doing a good job of getting his school work done at school so he doesn't have so much homework.


Anonymous said...

I've been "lurking" on your blog for a while and really appreciate your helpful RAD suggestions and your positive attitude. (And I have to admit that I laughed out loud at "I like big butts" being Taz's song of choice.)

But I just got my first genuine -non-manipulative - words of gratitude and had to share a "hooray." I was painting my 9 yo "soon to be adopted" daughter's nails and just as I put the butterfly sticker on to make it look like it had been handpainted, she said "that is so beautiful. You are making my life so good now. I always wished for stuff like this." I'm still all teary eyed!

Brenda said...

Oh....that brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am not sure where to start. I am having a very difficult time with something that happened almost 10 months ago. Have I been in denial? Possibly. I have reached the point where I need to tell understanding people what my RAD daughter did. I don't think I even need advice- I just need to relate the incident and relieve some of the pressure. Are you ready for the story???

Brenda said...

Of course. You may share it here or you may email me at

Anonymous said...

Hi. I would like to share it here so that other parents (unfortunately moms mostly) can read it and hope that it does not happen to them. I know there are parents out there who do have horror stories to share and please do!
Here goes--- Last June my RAD daughter was finally graduating from high school (after a horrendous senior year). My husband was on a business trip and I was alone in the house (all of our other children are adults and living elsewhere). My daughter was out (Honestly, I do not remember where.)
Earlier in the day she had brought home her yearbook. All of a sudden I thought I would look at the yearbook before going to bed. My other kids had had some of the same teachers and I know a lot of the students so I was curious to look at it. I went into her room and even though I did not turn on the light I did see a pile of books. I thought eureka because on the top of the pile was the yearbook. I picked it up and went to the living room to look at it.
As I sat in my chair I realized it was not the yearbook, even though it was the same size and color. The cover was not the yearbook cover though.
I opened it up thinking what the heck is it then............
It turned out to be (as I call it now to myself) a hate book. It was a journal written by my daughter and also read and commented on by a few people but mostly by one girl that we had requested that she not hang out with. If you ever want to read about every hateful thing (true or not) about yourself- this was it. Page after page of how she hated me-- page after page of every disagreement we had and the exact conversations was had.. page after page of what was wrong with me etc etc etc etc. And at more than one point the book was 'misplaced' in the school according to some of the notes. (And who knows who read it).
I was so stunned and upset that I could barely move.
I did not even finish reading the whole thing-- there were 2 instances of what I read when she said she would kill me if it weren't for 'daddy'.
............... To this day she does not know that I read the book, although it was not returned to her room. When my husband returned from his trip I did tell him about it-- he glanced at it and was so furious that he burned it out in the yard.
At the present time she is attending a community college and working part-time. She is 20 going on 21 years of age (adopted at 11 from an orphanage in Russia).
I still am agonizing and yet when I do see her (Part of January and February) it has never come up.
Does anyone out there have any words of advice? I do know a lot about RAD and have also raised 3 other adults who are well-adjusted adults and I am a high school teacher so I do know about adolescent behavior. The problem is- of all the years of ups and downs and trying and trying-- I cannot come to grips with the journal episode. It is one thing to have your teenager/RAD child say things to you but to read page after page of it------that is difficult. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

Brenda said...

That sounds so heartbreaking and painful. I know my kids have those feelings down deep inside but to read them would be something else. How is she doing now emotionally? If this is still hurting you after so long I think it would help to deal with it in some way. What if you make a prayer book that is the polar opposite and write your prayers about the pain? Maybe plant a bush or something outside that represents all your child's hurt and fear, which is what really drove the book and tell her about it in front of the bush. Tell you planted the bush because you want her to know that you understand the book was written because she has so much fear and sadness inside and that you love her enough to care for and nurture her anyway. The book was not actually about you but all the pain and agony from those first years. You are the safe person to aim it at. (((((((((hugs))))))) Please take care of your own heart's hurt.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous, I am the first anon w/ the 9 yo. I've got to come up with a blogger name!

I am so sorry this hate journal happened to you. I just wanted to attempt to encourage you today. Choosing to parent a difficult child is probably the most Christ-like thing I have ever done. I don't usually say this out loud as it sounds braggadocious. But since I am anonymous and most of these readers are in the same boat, there is some freedom here. Most of us have been spat upon, cussed out and told horrible things by our children, yet we pray and continue to choose to love. Love is definitely a choice, not always a feeling. When we started this journey, I naievely thought that we would bring a needy child up to the top of the mountain to live with us up there (metaphorically speaking of course.) It didn't really work that way. The whole family had to go join her down in the valley and start the walk up the mountain together. We have all had to experience many of her emotions with her. I had never dealt with fear before, but I find I am daily having to take my fearful thoughts captive (what if she never grows up, what if she turns violent) and surrender them to Christ. I had never dealt with rejection before either - I really believe everyone likes me. :) But being told regularly how horrible I am has forced me to deal with rejection (just like my daughter does on a daily basis.) All this to say, your daughter has forced you to deal with rejection just like she has. I know that doesn't make it hurt any less, but this experience will help you to understand her deep wounds a little more. You can model for her true forgiveness and love. The Bible says satan has come to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy has set traps regularly to try to destroy my child. This journal sounds like a trap from the enemy to do serious harm to your relationship. It does not seem coincidental to me that it happened at the close of her time with you in the home.

God is close to the broken hearted. God will be there every step of the way with you as you once again make a choice to forgive and to love. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Brenda has great advice that your daughter is really angry with her bio mom, but you are the one who stayed around to take her wrath. That sounds pretty Christ-like to me. I pray that you feel God's closeness to you as you heal. May you feel God's pleasure in you for all of the sacrifices that you have made for this child. Your care for her truly is pure and undefiled religion.

Brenda said...

Anonymous A, I thought you were the same person! I'm glad you came back because I feel what you had to say was beautiful and very earnest. Thanks for encouraging all of us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Brenda and the other 'anonymous'! from the bottom of my heart for your very thoughtful and wise advice.
I still think about it but I am doing better.
I loved the way 'anon' wrote that she had never been rejected by people before (as for as she knew. I realized the same thing-- It sounds so simple 'never been rejected before' but perhaps that is what we (the parents) have to deal with the most- that horrible grinding perpetual idea of being rejected and yes you did point out that is what happened to the children themselves. Hey- I can be really nice!!!!!! Almost all of the time- what happened? We made the decision to adopt a child with a whole lot of baggage. Now and forever we are responsible for that child. But why does it have to be such a daily battle!? It is so tiring. One point that I should tell you (and perhaps that is part of my problem). I am 60 years old and when our daughter was adopted I was 50. Maybe I just want to hunker down and enjoy my life peacefully, but that is not happening yet. I look 49!!!!!!!!!!!!!!