Where did you adopt from?
One from China, the other U.S.
How old was(were) the child(ren) when you arrived home?
10 months and 7 weeks respectively.
What behaviors did the child exhibit and when?
Our daughter began showing some RAD tendencies starting at age 10 years old. She starting acting out by watching inappropriate adult content on cable when we were sleeping. We found out when we got the cable bill and were shocked. We also have ongoing issues with lying and some stealing. Our daughter is otherwise a very sweet and highly intelligent child.
Our son showed developmental issues at around 8 months of age. He wasn't developing on time as other babies his age. We had concerns from the start because his first mother didn't care for herself and used recreational drugs and drank some alcohol.
How long did it take to work through them and how?
It's a daily process. Our son has special needs due to his learning disability. He has ADHD and is oppositional defiant. It can be very draining. We set firm boundaries, enforce household rules, and remove privileges. This works to some extent however, our children will push their individual agendas.
Our daughter was in counseling for year which helped somewhat. It's important to find a therapist skilled in the area of RAD, institutionalized children and adoption related issues. This is not an easy task and it can be a very expensive.
Our son is taking Straterra to help with his attention deficit. It has helped him and he's able to focus better but it's not perfect.
- Both parents need to be in agreement on discipline
- Seek a professional evaluation from a child psychologist
- Reach out to other adoptive parents for support
- Have support of family and friends. It's important to get a break from time to time.
- Seek family counseling if necessary.
- Let the teachers know of difficult behavior issues. If necessary, have your child evaluated for special education services. If you suspect issues, don't have a wait/see attitude. The sooner your child is evaluated, the sooner he will receive services.
- Have a reward system for good behavior; catch your child being good often.
Carrie Craft, About.com Adoption / Foster Care, says:
What great advice! Catch your child being good, and if parents notice an issue, seek help quickly. I completely agree that when seeking counselors to look for those skilled in adoption issues as well as familiar with RAD and institutionalized children.
Sunfluer is very passionate about adoptive parenting and it shows in her work. I'm very happy that she took the time to speak about her parenting experiences, as up until this point, I have only seen her jewelry designs and know her through her work.