Update... Adult Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)... 5th anniversary of estrangement approaching

Hi All!

Think of you often... haven't been on here much 'cause... well I REALLY started to feel the need for my life to become so much less about them.

5th anniversary is fast approaching of what I call the conjoined meltdown of our adopted sibling group. It's hard to count... first estranged Christmas, birthdays, etc... happened before first year was over. This recent Christmas was the 5th Christmas estranged, but August is the 5th anniversary. Some days I count... some days not so much.

We have had progress... for which husband and I are both very grateful for.

daughter(difficult child) reached out about a month ago asking if we'd like to meet our granddaughter. She made up an elaborate lie to reach out. She's a horrible (bad at it) liar... but lying is what she needed to do to leave us... and it appears lying is what she needs to do to come back.

We agreed to meet in a public place. Cute kid(s) both our daughter-difficult child adoptee and her 1yo daughter.

We've had some cordial fluffy conversations. Had a bit of joking around where it appeared for split seconds there might never have been any problems. Had a few moments where she got choked up regarding our family references.

It is is still quite evident she's plagued with "cause and effect reasoning" deficits... it appears that may be her life-long struggle. I'd always known they were there, just didn't have 'the' name for it, (and the scientific explanation) until after their conjoined meltdown. I recognize it so much easier now, (aha!) 'cause it's not that vague "something" that I couldn't quite put my finger on before... I recognize it so much better on this side.

Despite how so very terribly she's hurt us, I'm surprised how much empathy I have for her. You know... 5 years of estrangement... you imagine if reconciliation will ever happen... you wonder what your reaction would be... So far what I've got is empathy... and I'm glad. husband and I are cautious not to be drawn into drama... but we do love our kids, and we have continually been praying for restoration.

It must be so hard for our adoptees to have such a long and detailed history of abandonment and loss... again and again, and again, and again and again... etc...

My babies... before I even knew they existed. Oh if I could go back through time and... yeah... but, I can't. What I can do is love her on this side... as she lets me... and as I have peace to.

I would love to be vulnerable for her in this love... I can't promise to do that... For now, I can't help but be cautious.. and willing.

DS (difficult child) and his wife... still-estranged 5 years almost... just had our first grandson.

I imagine as he holds his son he may be forced to face the "how could they leave me, how could they not fight for me?" as he looks his own child who is already older than he was when he was removed from bio "care."

No contact from him... still... but we have heard through reliable sources he's passed on the two names we'd given him. We take that as a sign there remains hope.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I hope things improve.

Interesting that your daughter had to lie to leave you and now is lying again in an attempt to get in your good graces.

I have heard many times that adoptees face head on their own adoption once they have a child Perhaps your son will see things differently now.

Certainly hope he can get to a healthier place and you can see your new grandson.

So sad that adopting two children has been so very hard.

You are not alone.
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Well-Known Member
I have a 36 year old son with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Has been six/seven years plus since I've seen him. Never seen his children. I have kind of come to think of him as a foster child I raised from age six to eighteen and he took off on us when he got married to a woman who is not very nice. However, he let her do it. It is his decision too. He also came under the spell of a very extreme and odd church that told him he is only Go'd's child, not ours. He is very active in that church and so is his wife. They do not encourage contact with people who do not believe as they do. They don't care if it is your parents or not and I can't fight it. He believes it with all his heart.

He was adopted from overseas, married a woman from there, and is making his home a home of that culture. He came at six years old...too old in my opinion...and never really bonded with us. I think his age and the fact t hat he lived six years in an orphanage overseas did not help matters. He was always stand offish and very independent. Never warm and fuzzy.

I don't expect to see him again and it was heartbreaking and very hard to accept it for about two years, but fortunately my other grown children and husband keep me occupied. I don't even feel as if I know him anymore and any attempt to reach out to him has 100% failed so I stopped.

I hope things do work out for you and your daughter. It is so painful when you love them and they can just let go. Hugs and wishing you good luck.
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Well-Known Member
Our easy child became estranged from us this past Christmas. It's been a hard year of "firsts". Thanks for your insights.