Saturday, March 19, 2011

Michael's Story pt. 4

I was browsing through my journal in 2009 and ran across these thoughts.  For anyone dealing with RAD, it is difficult teaching your child to form healthy relationships.  Over the past two years, Michael has come a long ways.  However, this has been a part of our journey, so I will share in hopes that it will help someone else along the way in their journey with RAD.

"I'm beginning to see more and more things that just don't make sense with Mikey.  We are realizing that he has no sense when it comes to relationships.  In the last six months, we have seen things like him running up and tackling a man he had never met at church, hugging and pulling on an elderly man's leg to the point where he knocked him over, and just Saturday he was hanging on and hugging a young man he had just met two minutes previously.  These are just a few of probably more than 10 incidents that just aren't normal for an 8 year old boy.

We've begun talking to him extensively about who a stranger, an acquaintance, and a friend are.  We are trying to teach him the proper behaviors for each one.  Yes, you have to teach this somewhat to all children.  But most kids don't just go latch onto a total stranger like he does.  Most kids will not pull on an old man's leg until he falls over.  And I've never seen a kid tackle a complete stranger they had never met.  Some of this may go back to the RAD.  Children with RAD are unable to form proper relationships.  They feel safer getting their love from someone they don't know because people they know have hurt them.  However, we do feel like Mikey has bonded with us, so it is all very confusing.

The reading I've been doing lately has emphasized over and over that RAD children are helped the most by their parents and not so much by therapists.  They need the relationship with the parents.  The therapist becomes another person they form an attachment to rather than the parent.  We just have to continue to educate ourselves and teach Mikey the right way.  I don't think he even understands what he's doing.

I have noticed that he always wants to sit with someone else at church.  I've put a stop to that.  I've told him that until he learns to treat those who love him most better, he needs to sit with us.  He still asks me every week about sitting somewhere else, but now he does cuddle up next to me at church and seems to enjoy being with me rather than being upset about it.

We definitely are on a long journey with Mikey.  I'm thankful to God for the healing he has brought, and I am confident he will give us strength for what lies ahead with Mikey.  I just keep praying for understanding and more love."

1 comment:

  1. It is a blessing to know Michael is making process. My little sister who was adopted from foster care struggles with RAD as well. It seem sometimes that there is no cure except through a miracle. I can clearly see Christ's calling to love her with His love, but the difficulty can be is overwhelming at times. I know that Christ has given me the power (through Him) to love her - and I must walk confidently in that. However, sometimes there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. It seems as if my family has tried everything for her, but still there has been little change. I have faith that the Lord can provide and may eventually make her into a strong young woman, shining light, and testimony for Jesus. Yet faith is believing in what we cannot see - and as of now I cannot see. Even though my faith is frail - my God is mighty to save. He is faithful and true. God bless you!