If you’re the parent of a foster or adopted child who has behavior issues, you may (or may not) have heard the term Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Let Google help you find where to look online for information about RAD and how it impacts children and adults who have lived through abuse, particularly abuse that occurs at an early age. Sometimes, these kids are referred to as RADishes; an attempt to add some levity to what can be a difficult life to live, both for the child and his or her parents.
Our son Michael has had a rough life. He weighed a little over three pounds when he was born. We were never told why, but it’s not a big leap to assume that he was premature. His parents either didn’t know how to take care of their children, or were too high to care. Social workers found him wandering the streets with a little brother when they were pre-schoolers. Michael was only three years old at the time. His brother was 10 months younger. They ended up in foster care.
Over my many years of parenting, I have grown to really dislike gift-giving holidays. And, every holiday, I forget how deep my resentment goes until the holiday is upon me. I enjoy shopping for the perfect gifts for each of my kids. I enjoy the thought they put into the gifts they pick for other family members. That part is fun and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. What I don’t like is dealing with the gift-giving reality from well-meaning agencies as well as some of their biological or prior adoptive families.
I’m old fashioned about a lot of things. For example, I still send Christmas cards – lots of them – about 140 each year. I sign them by hand and address them by hand. Sometimes the kids help me stuff the envelopes. And, if I’m lucky, they make it to my friends’ homes before Christmas.
When I was growing up, my parents instilled in me a strong concept of how my actions reflected on my family. We were expected to be the perfect children, never doing anything that might cause others to look at our family as less than perfect. We were expected to dress appropriately for every situation. Manners were essential to everyday life, including knowing how to hold a conversation in a social setting. We were taught that there are consequences when we embarrass the family and we felt the pressure of having to be the perfect children.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
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