Hi, I'm new here. I've spent the past couple of weeks reading hundreds of pages here, trying to get some insight on what to do with my oldest son, "Fred." Let me describe him. He is turning 14 next month. We adopted him at 4 months. He is just under 6' tall and about 180 lbs. He is brilliant, but lazy and defiant -- so he barely got out of the 7th grade, and 8th grade isn't looking too much better. He can be charming and funny, and he's a very good basketball player. He has an engineer's mind: he can see the whole picture and solve the problem, whether it's knowing exactly who to throw to on the basketball court, solving math equations in his head, or navigating our way back home while I'm driving. Every teacher he's had since kindergarten has suggested that he probably is a genius. But. He lies all the time. He steals from anyone and everyone, constantly. He has used my credit card on the internet without any sort of remorse and takes money from my purse. He is addicted to porn (so we have to be super careful with parental controls) and has acted out on it once. He is disrespectful to his teachers and disruptive in school. He is beyond disrespectful with me, as in, I don't have to do anything you say. Part of this is sexism; he isn't nearly as defiant with men as he is with women. Unfortunately, because of his size, he comes across as very intimidating. He toes the line with his dad, mostly because we all understand that Dad will, in fact, knock him out if pushed too far. He cannot keep many friends because eventually he pushes them too far or steals (PSPs, cell phones, etc.) from them. He tries to be the class clown for attention, but doesn't know when to stop. It's not the end of September, and he's already been suspended from school once for lying and disrespect and lack of integrity, and was kicked off the bus for a week. He is not allowed to be in the school property without supervision because of the stealing. We had a long talk with his assistant principal yesterday, and I am so depressed at this monster we're raising. For her part, the asst principal doesn't think that Fred needs to be medicated (her point of view is guided by her years working in the DYS and DSS setting, and her opinion that black boys are too readily medicated). She did support the idea of an outside neuropsychologist exam, especially after we told her what little we know about his bio mom (complete lack of prenatal care; probably drug or alcohol involvement; three or four older siblings with ADD/ADHD). Me, I'm torn between finally getting on board with whatever medication anyone wants to suggest, and thinking that maybe he's just a bad person. I know that's a horrible thing to say, but there it is. I'm just so tired -- so freaking TIRED -- of being disappointed. I want to be able to trust him. I want him to focus on his education because I do believe he has the intelligence to be a rocket scientist. I want him to get to be an adult without involvement in the crimnal justice system (that's looking more and more unlikely). I want to stop apologizing for him. I want to stop feeling like the world's worst parent. We're trying to feel our way through next steps: counsellor, therapist, psychologist; psychiatrist. Any suggestions you all have will be greatly appreciated.