I came to this site looking for information on conduct disorders. I’ve been reading posts off and on for months, but not had the energy to explain my situation. I’ve been in therapy for the past couple years because I’ve learned that adopting children (especially through the foster system) can expose previously stifled childhood trauma in the adoptive parents. But a little more than a month ago, I finally decided (with an extreme push from my therapist), to see a psychiatrist for myself and have gotten on antidepressant medication that’s helping me. Now instead of repeating to myself “I Love My Kids” over and over trying to convince myself, I’m able to separate my reactions to their behaviors from my feelings for them as people and my children. I’m 46, currently a stay home mom. I have an eclectic work experience. I’m twice married. The first time when I was young, stupid, and didn’t recognize the warning signs of impending abuse. On the positive side, from that relationship, I got a wonderful daughter who is now 26. My second husband is wonderful. We married when my daughter was 10 and he stepped in and raised her as his own. Once bio-daughter was 18 and we were on the verge of becoming empty nesters, we decided to adopt children through the foster system. Most important to us was to keep siblings together. So, in 2006 when got a call asking if we’d take a set of four we said yes. The adoption was finalized two years later. A month later, my husband adopted adult bio daughter also, because she didn’t want to be the only one with a different last name J. Prior to becoming a foster parent, we were taught there are no “normal” children in foster care. They all have behavioral problems. But when we got the kids we were told they were all normal except that one of them “might” have ADHD. I look back on that now and laugh. Sometimes the laugh is bitter and sometimes it’s hysterical, but it’s laughter non-the-less. Because, you can tell from my signature the kidos have some difficulties. My current big issue is that the end of this month, both of my sons will reach the one year anniversary of being out of the house and I don’t know for sure when/if they will be coming back. At the end of February last year, they were arrested. Actually, my husband and I called the police because they hurt one of their sisters. After nearly 6 months in juvenile detention, they were finally placed in a residential treatment facility nearly 4 hours drive away from us. (My area has VERY limited resources, so it took that long to find beds in a facility that would address their needs.) The boys are in the same city, but aren’t even in the same location. We try to visit with them every other weekend but it’s difficult because they (the boys) aren’t allowed to interact with each other. So, we have to visit with one boy, take him back, pick up the other, etc. That requires overnight stay, which requires arrangements for the girls and pets left at home. It’s exhausting. Everyone except my husband is getting therapy as a result of the boys’ actions. Everyone in the family has to heal AND the courts need to agree before the boys can come home. That may not happen, but I’m praying. In the meantime, we are making arrangements to take special classes for supervising children with conduct disorders and making changes to the physical house as part of our safety plan. I’m told most people give these kids back to the courts, but my husband and I feel these children have already been thrown away once and they aren’t “throw aways”. No matter whether they come home to live with us or have to live outside the house, we are going to love them and support their continued improvements in therapy. And they ARE improving. Another HUGE part of the heart break is that their sister, who dearly loves them both keeps going through the grieving cycle and alternates between missing them, hating me for calling the police, and acting out because she’s trying not to act like a victim and wants to be “big man on campus” so to speak. She wants them to come home, but doesn’t want therapy and I’ve told her that is not an option. If she doesn’t heal or feel safe, we as her parents will not even ask the courts for them to come home. It’s difficult advocating for both sides of the issue! Thank you for listening.