Welcome to No Place Like Home.

This blog is a place for information, answers and support for families who are considering international adoption, waiting or are home with their children. My name is Kimberley and I am the coordinator of this site. This blog is truly a network of families who are willing to support others along their journey to their child. The blogs listed on my sidebar are arranged by country and these families have volunteered to act as a resource to anyone who needs one. These are amazing people who are dedicated to helping families who are on the journey to their children in another country. If you are looking for someone to talk with or if you have a blog and would like to be available to help others, please feel free to e-mail me at timnkim@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Adoption Attachment...When Something Just Isn't Right

This is a post from the blog Day by Day. I want to thank Michelle for allowing me to post it. I think it is so important for adoptive parents to share their experiences.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Something is Not Right

Part 1

(This post is part of a string of posts that will tell the story of a little girl with RAD. Please scroll down and read the first post entitled "A hurt child and a family healing" and work your way up.)

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One of my kids, came to me a little over a month ago and asked me why God was punishing our family with bringing Sophie to us? My child(who has a huge heart) wept as they told me they thought they must have done something wrong and God was punishing our family because of it. There is a reason for everything and Sophie felt like a punishment to this sweet child.

One of my kids experimented with smoking, because of the stress that Sophie created. Their words...not mine.

Two of my children asked me on several occasions why we adopted Sophie. Things were good before she came. Everyone was happy. Now look at our home. Again, their words.

Not easy stuff to read, is it? I can assure you it is not easy to write, either, but it has been the reality of our past year. I wanted to use it as a way to show you the impact a traumatized child can have upon a family. This little peanut that has a 3 inch waist. All 20 some pounds of her. While many kids enter a family with an "ooh" and " ahh".....Sophie entered our family with a "WHAM!!!!" While I spent the first year of Ella being home reading sweet stories such as "I Love You Like Crazycakes" and "Over the Moon", writing her lifebook and such - I have spent the first year of Sophie being home, just trying to keep my sanity!

Our newest child had been hurt and is traumatized and bringing that trauma into our home, caused our family to be in a state of trauma. Not many days passed without me wondering what we had done. Now, never once did I question God's decision to place Sophie in our family. He knew when she was knit in her BM's womb, who she would call her family. Us. But why, oh why, wasn't she getting better? He chose me for her to call "Mama", but why was I not able to feel like her Mama? He chose me to help her heal, but nothing I did was working. God, are you SURE I am up to this?? I am not doing such a good job, I am surely disappointing you. But You knew I would fail and You still chose me to be her Mama. God, why do you feel further away from me lately, when I need you so very much? I look up to you all day long, I talk to you constantly, but we are hurting...where are you, Father? I know you have plans for this child and all of our family...but I need help!

Finally, the window opened a crack just enough for me to get some air. I can assure you that this is exactly how it felt! God put me in the right place at the right time and introduced me to a program called "Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control". Now, being that I have a library full of DVD's and books on attachment and trauma, why was I feelings some hope for this new program that I knew only a little about?? Nothing else has worked, including weekly visits to a trauma therapist. I knew God was leading me to this.

When I was at the end of my rope, He let me know there was hope.

Many children come into families through adoption with little transition problems. I do not want to ever discourage prospective AP. But this was not the plan that God had for me. Both of our adoptions were placed on my heart by God and His perfect timing. But the adoption experience for the girls was as different as night and day. We were so excited as we prepared to travel for Ella. But, that excitement was not there as we planned to bring Sophie home. I could not figure out why this was. As a friend of mine believed to be the case for her, maybe this was God's way of preparing me for what was ahead of us?

I was prepared more than most when it comes to attachment issues and trauma. Ella had her share , and because of that, I had to learn as much as I could on how to help her heal. It took a good year, for her to be where she needed to be emotionally. Both hurt children. The difference....Ella made little tiny baby steps of progress. It was gradual, but it was there. Ella was a very easy child to love. Rage was not part of her every minute-every day. She showed her fear as fear and wanted to be held when she was frightened. I easily loved her while I waited for her to learn to love me. I waited a good year and could have easily waited a few more years for her to learn to love and trust.

When we traveled to China for Sophie, we knew something was not quite right with this tiny, malnourished little girl we named Sophie Fuwang. I remember going into the hotel's restroom and falling on my knees asking God to show me the smallest light in this child. Where was she? She was not with us. I later learned that her not being present with us is her survival tool called disocciation. She can mentally pull herself out of a situation like the flick of a switch, which she still does several times a day.

We brought her home and I had no idea what was going on with this child. I kind of sat back for a few weeks and observed her behaviors, so I could figure out where to turn for help. It was obvious that the sit back and wait approach was not going to work with her. Dave turned to me one day after being home for about a month - Sophie had run full speed into a wall and smacked her head really hard, throwing her a few feet and landing on the ground. (I) would have cried if that happened to me. Instead, she started laughing hysterically. This was the scene we saw every few minutes. Bumps, bruises, bleeding...and then hysterical laughing. High pain tolerance? No, It was more than that. Dave turned to me that one night and said something just isn't right, Michelle. And it wasn't.

To be continued......


Christine said...

WHat a neat blog. Good idea for a support network. We happen to be leaving for Ukraine to adopt our little boy with special needs on June 21.

Gail said...

Outstanding post and writing...can't wait to read more.