I am so glad to find you..

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by treasalin, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. treasalin

    treasalin New Member

    My husband and I are hurting now. After years of infertility, we adopted our daughters from foster care when they were 10 yrs and 6 months, respectively. The eldest had a host of learning and social deficiencies that we have worked hard to help her overcome. She had been retained for 2 grades and didn't read yet but in May, she graduated on time with honors.

    While we had success academically, the social side has been so difficult and got progressively worse following puberty. We moved from rude behavior to strangers to temper tantrums at the word NO, to defiance to compulsive lying to extreme sexual acting out. While we don't have proof of substance abuse, we can't rule it out. Socially, she is a 13 yr old in an 18 yr old body. To compound this, she tracked down her birthfamily via the internet and has reconnected with them.....convicted drug dealers and sex offenders.

    Following graduation, she declared herself free from all household rules and stated that all her friends felt sorry for her having such stupid parents. We stood firm on the idea that all households have rules to protect all family members and she would have to live by those rules if she wanted to live her. She refused and moved out in a rage one night.

    My family has never wanted to see the truth and has dismissed anything we said as "idle gossip". They have even accused us of not having unconditional love. She is very manipulative and they have bought it and say that all the poor little thing needs is love. Now, they have started excluding us from family gatherings in favor of her.

    I never dreamed what the cost would be when we adopted her. Friends we had always known stopped associating with us because they didn't want their children to be influenced by her. My family has written us off as being cold and unloving.

    Have any of you had family turn on you because of your child?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. :)

    Oh, yeah. Many of us have. The problem with being parents of difficult child's is that while we usually get to suffer the brunt of their acting out and behaviors....often strangers never see it at all.....or so little it doesn't add up for them.

    So we can wind up isolated with no support searching for answers to help a child we love dearly.........and wind up here. :D

    You've landed in a great place where people really do understand cuz we've been there done that.

    Unfortunately at 18 the law says she's an adult. Which gives you zero power over the situation regardless of her mental age. Sticking by your house rules was the best thing you could've done. I'm sorry your family can't see the truth of the situation. That makes it even worse.

    Others will be along shortly.
    Again, welcome. :)

  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I have experienced that, as well. It got much better, but my kids were much younger when it happened and those involved have since been...hmm...educated.

    Has anyone ever mentioned Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (Reactive Attachment Disorder)? I would look into it. I know she's an adult now and there is little to nothing that you can do, but it would give you some insight into her behavior if you think it fits.

    I'm so sorry for your pain.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've adopted four kids and one that was so dangerous it didn't work out.

    Ten years old is adopting a child who has already developed. Most likely she has been through hell. I was told most foster children have been sexually abused. Aside from that, she must have some attachment issues. This has very little to do with how your parenting skills are. I'm positive you did your best and loved the girls. But kids who come into our homes at that age are hardly blank slates and sadly some are too damaged to love back. Your daughter's behavior is very common, if not the MOST common, in children who have never been loved in ten years.

    Have the girls ever been in treatament? Ever evaluated for attachment issues? Every seen a neuropsychologist? Often, when adoptive kids have reunions with their bio families, they are more like them than us. Biology is huge! They may have Borderline (BPD) too. Their life experiences plus heredity play big parts here, NOT YOU!!!! Your family is dreaming that if you love these older adopted kids enough it will be one, big happy family. If only...

    You did a good job. You gave them a family and a chance and, no matter what, things may have been worse for them if they had NEVER had stabiity.. They are acting out not just in the moment, but from a lifetime of abuse and neglect before they even met you. I always warn future adoptive parents that if they want unconditional love from a child, adopt an infant. Our older child adoptions were very different. The less years of neglect these kids experience, t he better the overall prognosis. We adopted one boy at 11 and he turned out to be so dangerous that we had to send him away. He didn't understand love, didn't want it, and was dangerous to our younger kids and pets.

    Just know that it's NOT your fault. The girls need intensive therapy, but at their ages, nobody can force them into it. (((Hugs)))
  5. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hello and welcome. I agree with the thoughts that others have voiced ... attachment issues would be very likely, almost inevitable, with a child who wasn't adopted until ten years of age. I really think the agencies should offer parental training AND ongoing therapy for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) whenever a family is willing to take in a child like this, because it's an extremely high-risk situation. That said, the time and love and stability you gave your child for those eight years are undoubtedly the best part of her life. You did all the right things, including standing firm on your house rules. Your stand will not have been lost on your younger daughter and that's also good.

    As for family turning on you ... a lot of us have been there. My mother in law spent years telling my husband that our difficult child was perfectly fine and I was just a bad, abusive mother ... and other family distanced themselves and cut us off as difficult child's behaviors got worse. Even our church family turned their backs. The good thing about this board is that everyone here understands. We've all been through it and we don't judge. So, welcome, and I'm sorry you're going through this pain.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    treasalin -

    Hi and welcome to the family. Over the years I have respectfully and lovingly called this board my family for a number of reasons. Many may think it's a put-on or a false sort of "love", but when you have been shunned by all of your pseudo friends and have practically no family left that stands by you or understands you and then find a group of total strangers that do not judge you, berate you, chastise you or leave you? They become family and you begin to love them and cherish them. This family here (Our Board Family) has never made me feel unwelcomed, or like a freak, or pushed my son away in any shape or fashion. My so-called friends in the real world? Wow - I have nearly none left and don't make new ones or allow many people into my world because it's just too heartbreaking or tiring to explain WHY my life is chaotic at times or HOW I know about the things I do.

    I tell newcomers like you all the same thing with tongue in cheek, but I mean this from the bottom of my very large heart. The fact that my son has cut the majority of the friends I had from the herd? I'm glad!! If they had been true and good friends from the get-go? They would still be my friends regardless of what came down the pike with me or him. The fact that they bailed on us citing that it would be a poor influence on THEIR children is a sad excuse. THEY could STILL BE MY FRIEND and have left THEIR children out of OUR relationship. (SEE?) They didn't need to drag THEIR kids to MY house to meet ME for a cup of coffee or they didn't need to have THEIR kids present during a phone call to ME when MY son went into a psychiatric hospital for attempted suicide, nope - could have been right in the comfort of their own home and just called and said - I have no idea how to help - but just wanted to let you know I love you, I care. That would have made so much difference in MY DAY, from MY FRIEND.

    Those that are left? My Mom, who largely does not understand BUT supports my efforts and loves me unconditionally, my fiance who doesn't understand but loves me and this board and it's members. The rest? Well...(long pause)...sigh....the rest I guess I feel sorry for. It used to hurt when I started getting dropped from groups and outings, from social events and from gatherings. It hurt pretty bad. No one likes to be excluded. And you know WHY you're being excluded....and at first it's like - "OH honey we know you have a full plate blah blah blah (Insert sock puppet) blah blah blah." and eventually they just stop all together. Now I say "SO be it." I'm over the hurt and like I said - I would rather have friends here that when they type "I'm so sorry,or I understand." MEAN IT - than Not have real world friends who NEVER call or if they do see me - NEVER ask about my son at all as if he doesn't exist. I always ALWAYS ask about their kids - but they never EVER ask me about mine. That's not friendship - that's avoidance. AND like I said - Now? I'd rather just be around myself and my dogs.

    As far as the family you have that accepts your daughter? (laughs) YEah well - You know - it may take THEM some time to be used up and manipulated - but my best advice there. Is to DETACH from them. She will not treat them any differently than she treats you - it will just take THEM a little longer to figure out they are being used...and it WILL happen. She's not going for a full-on PITY party with them. Know what I mean?? She'll keep them on the back burner for future money, place to live, etc. And they'll oblige her but eventually tire of her as well. Some times it takes people a little longer to reach their light switch. Let them. Don't try to flip it for them. Just detach.

    In any event - welcome to the group. It's a nice group. We're a pretty understanding gang - we try to pepper every day ups and downs with love and humor...and the occasional DON'T YOU DARE....which helps when you're having a moment of weakness. ;)

    Glad you found us.

  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry.
    Yes, we too have felt isolation, stigma and rejection as the result of our adopted child's behaviors and/or comments about our parenting.
    Especially during the teen years, she had a habit of great exaggerating the truth or sometimes pure fiction was involved.
    I have read that fantasy sometimes can be a part of bipolar illness...so there is always that small possibility.
    It continues to baffle me how many adopting parents have gone thru hexx and back with these kids...many of whom are diagnosis'd ADHD (a documented higher incidence with- adopted children), but it seems that many are also receiving the bipolar illness diagnosis.
    Attachment issues are always a possibility with adopted children, esp. those who were adopted when they are older.
    Surely it requires a well trained/talented individual and family therapist to begin to unravel it all.
    We didn't have much family to begin with and there were a few who were 'unsure' of us for a short time, but over the years noticing how hard we tried to help difficult child and the messes she herself got herself into, changed their minds.
    in my humble opinion, if your friends and family turn on you and never concede, then I would just simply let it go. Don't worry in the least what they think.
    Surely, there are a few folks in this world who know that you have tried your best.
    Please keep the door open with your daughter, letting her know that you would always like to talk and that perhaps it would be best to get the help of a private counselor to work with- the family...tell her that their relationship is important to you and so you want the best advice all around.
    It takes hard work to make a family function in harmony and let her know that you are willing to get the right advice and are willing to do the work and you hope she feels the same way.
    In the mean time, as hard as it might seem, remember that you can only control YOU. So, do what you can to enjoy life...enjoy your spouse and your other child.
  8. treasalin

    treasalin New Member

    Thanks so much! I had a major computer crash and am just now back. I can't begin to express how much your words and understanding mean to me.

    About the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), I think it's possible but she's so good at "playing the game" that even trained therapists pronounced her normal. The only one that could see anything had experience with older adopted kids. Bipolar is definitely a possibility but we could never get a diagnosis as she would walk in a room with a counselor/therapist/doctor and sit staring away from them because we made her go and she wasn't going to participate. Her birthdad is bipolar and at least two of her biosiblings that were not removed by social services are also bipolar.

    She will only contact us by text message on her cell phone now and will not give us an address for forwarding mail.. She is saying she needs an insurance card ASAP because her front teeth that have a cavity betwen them are going bad and she is freaking out but she won't come here to pick it up. (I have made appts for the dentist several times and she wouldn't go because the needles to numb her are not fun!) OUr family dentist told us last time not to bring her back unless it is her idea because it's disruptive to the other patients. She has had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) for weeks now that almost goes away and then returns and doesn't respond to any of the antibiotics so far. I have told her that knowing that and knowing she is sexually active, she needs to make an appointment with an ob/gyn for a full checkup but she refuses that because it is "too embarrassing". I actually got her to an appointment once but she wouldn't allow them to examine her.

    The concern I have now is for her younger sister. We have seen older sister a few times since she left and each time she has encouraged her younger sister to rebel and tells her that if she isn't perfect, we'll kick her out of the family too. We didn't kick the older one out of the family.....in fact, it was quite the opposite. My husband all but begged her stay and work through the problems she was upset about and she refused. I can't let her poison her younger sister.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    Welcome home. husband and I became so isolated due to our difficult children behaviors. husband's friends from college (10-15 year very close friendships) just walked away. It was incredibly hard on him. We went years with no friends. It was so hard. Now that the boys are better behaved (still difficult children but not as bad) and Kanga is at an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), we are slowly building new friendships. Our family has been supportive, sometimes not in the best way (we did get a lot of the just love the poor babies) and our relationships with them are different, and in many ways less, than they would have been without adopting our difficult children.

    I found this board 8 years ago. I was desperate. CPS was suggesting that we disrupt our placement of Eeyore. The pressure from all sides was unreal. This board saved our lives (literally in Kanga and Eeyore's case as the people on this board helped me to find the help for them when they were suicidal). Please get your HMJ and pull up a chair and join our family.

    We limit our oldest daughter's (Kanga) contact with the younger children. It feels bad to 'break' those sibling ties but she is so inappropriate and they have a right to grow up safe as well. We will be starting sibling therapy via phone next month after Kanga being placed outside our home for almost 2 years.
  10. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Though my children are not adopted, I do know that my social isolation is due to them and their behaviors. After my step-father passed away, my mom began to invite us over to dinner once a week. However, every time their has been an behavior incident with one, or the other, or both, difficult children that has pretty much ruined mealtime. My Mom loves her grandkids, but I just don't think she could take it anymore.

    Son used to come to my work after school (I also work at a school) and Friday I was told that he needs to stay away because other parents are complaining about him. He loves to play with the younger kids, and is very immature, but then does things that intimidate them. I've tried and tried to explain and it just won't sink into that thick skull. Of course, I'm mortified that a colleague would have to approach me about his behavior. I feel myself withdrawing from those I work with because of the pain.

    You have definitely found the right place. I found it six years ago and it is the #1 place that has helped me and my difficult children.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our group. Apparently, according to my family, there's nothing wrong with my children, who are much like your daughter. I'm just a liar. And if there is anything wrong with them it's because I was stupid and over reacted to everything because I'm a whiner. My family stands firm on this and revels in every chance to shove it down my throat or to make themselves feel superior by getting a good giggle out of what a terrible parent I was. So needless to say, I have no contact with my family.

    I'm sorry for your hurt, and for your daughter's hurt. I think at this age if she has been defiant and moved out, the best you can do right now is to let her live with her choices. Your family is never going to understand, so there's no use trying to get them on the same page. Your daughter is manipulative, so trying to make things right with her right now is hopeless. Keep your chin up, keep going for your other daughter, and I wish you the best.
  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    What a sad situation. My heart goes to you and your husband. Also, to your kids. It can't be easy for them. Yes they had the chance to have loving adoptive parents, yet they can remember whatever their life was like before you and your husband. It is common actually for kids adopted at that age to search for their birth parents. Sadly, it is not usually the dreamed of reunion that they want. so much damage in such short lives. I imagine it must be so difficult to have worked so hard for these kids, and to see them derailing. (((hugs)))

    I don't have any advice, but I wanted to say that I too have had family turn when they didn't see the big picture. They dont' live our lives, they don't understand. Words and opinions (uneducated opinions at that!) can really hurt.

    I wanted to offer perhaps a grain of hope??? I was raised in foster care. I was not adopted. Actually I was flung back to my mother over and over. Brief stays. Some as short as a single day before back to foster care. So really, the contact with her was limited to about 3 months over a period of years and years. Yet I wanted her to want me, to love me, to mother me. Nothing could break that determination. I was extremelly spiteful and discarding of the love shown me and the family offered me when I finally was placed in my umpteenth foster placement. They considered me their adoptive daughter. Only because the court stubbornely refused to sever my mothers rights completely was I not eligible for adoption. For all intent and purposes, my fosters did adopt me. They stood by as best they could as I reached out for my mother over and over. While I turned angry and into a ball of pain that was ruining my own life. Boy did I work hard to break their attachment to me. If it wasn't my mother, i didn't want it.

    But .... I grew up. I gained adult insight. I learned who and what my mother was. I can't say I ever really stopped hoping my mother would get a grip and have a adult mother/daughter relationship. however, I knew/know better. And I have the most loving relationship with my foster mom now. I'm mid 30's, and still consider her my mom. She laughs in hindsight at how hard I worked to reject all but my real mother. But boy did she cry alot of tears for me and because of me. Maturing helped me gain the insight I needed. It was a long road for those who did love me. I know they had visions of a horrible future for me and quite frankly, so did I. However it was all caused by massive pain and loss and feelings of worthlessness and abandonment. No amount of love at that age would replace for me what I wanted from my bio mother. It is human nature really. But as I grew up, I saw where family can GROW. Can be created. From those who CHOOSE to be there for us. And voila. A wonderful loving family exists today because she did not give up on me. She did let me go when I ran fast and hard away from her and into a pit of my own stupidity. But she was there when I returned with my arms finally open to her.

    (((hugs))) I hope your story has a good ending.