Thursday, July 01, 2004

I give up! I am a RAD MOM.

Okay, after 17 months from placement and four other types of therapy Our State has finally graduated the First certified Attachment Therapists from a two year post Graduate program! And we have been very lucky to find a well trained highly experienced therapist.

From the information I am getting it was not possible for a therapist to offer Adoption Attachment therapy until they completed the two year program. Even if they had been practicing before they could not until this certification was earned!......................So I think I understand why we could NEVER seem to find the 'right' kind of therapy!Long story short--I made a commitment at the first of the year to spend some time just getting to know Makala. We arranged to have two full mornings together while baby brother was at preschool.

And I pulled Makala out of all extra activities except Kindergarten which was two full days and one half day a week. And......I got to know her...... or not......We started therapy with the new doctor three weeks ago. For those three weeks we went twice a week as between our family vacation and the therapists we will miss the next month!I have decided to put a journal of our road through therapy here for others and maybe it will help. I also hope other parents can add their stories.

After all the efforts to have someone verify what appeared to be true we do now have diagnosis of several issues. And I have learned considerable information about why some issues cannot even start to be addressed until attachment happens. Makala is diagnosed with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) . She is clearly stuck in Grief stages. She has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and very likely ODD (Oppositional/Defiant Disorder).

The first week of therapy my assignment was to casually make a comment here and there about how Makala got certain wonderful traits or attributes from her birth mother..... It became very clear with many of the things that Makala has experienced that she knows a great deal of the reasons she was removed from birth mom and placed into care. Makala has said that she is 'bad' because her birth mother did drugs and her brain is messed up....

The therapists pointed out to me that it is very important for Makala to have good feelings too.... and so we made an effort to reinforce the positive things Makala got from her birth mother. I told Makala that she has beautiful and lovely eyes from her birth mom..... We were driving in the car from the therapy session. A few miles down the road Makala said, "I thought I got my eyes from God....?" So I explained that God gives us everything but he takes parts of the mom and dad and gives them to the baby..... and that she will always have parts of her birth mom that are special and nice.

Actually, I think only a few remarks were even made. Big brother said something about her really nice long legs and how he is sad that even though he is really tall he got stuck with moms short legs and long body--but also real glad he got moms nose and not his dads....Of course that kind of talk started the whole birth father discussion....and Makala has for the time decided that she didn't have a father--under the circumstance we are going to let this issues ride for a while.

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