Thursday, November 15, 2012


so...the last few weeks have been a bit crazy at the patten homestead.

not the good crazy.  (if there is such a thing).

i'm talking about the chaos crazy.

and really, it's nothing new for us.  for the past two years we have seen and dealt with behaviors from our six year old daughter that we never expected to see from her.  it finally got to the point that we scheduled a psychological evaluation for her to find out what we were/are dealing with.

and this is what we were told...she has cognitive and emotional delays and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). not a huge surprise to hear her diagnosis but it still felt like a punch to my gut.

in layman's terms...our sweet daughter in her confusion about life and adoption and our family brings chaos.  and it's not her fault.  i'm learning, it's not her fault.  because of the environment she was in before we brought her to our family, her brain functions differently than a "normal" child's brain.  so she functions from a place of not trusting.  anybody.  especially me.  her mom.  and the behaviors she exhibits are to push me away.  now i know many of you have seen her and me together and would probably argue that she doesn't seem like she's trying to push me away.  you're right.  in public she is the sweetest girl in the world.  she wants to hold my hand, give me hugs, kisses, be by my side all the time.  it's a completely different story when she's home with me.

i could list all the behaviors we see at home but i won't.  1) it will be a long list.  2) you probably will have a hard time believing me, if you're not familiar with RAD.  so i'll spare you the details.  i do welcome questions from any of you who want to learn more about RAD and the effects it has on the child and the family.  of course, when she's not in ear shot.  {smile}

why am i telling you all this?  well, it's therapy for me.  and because i used to be one of those mom's who would look at a misbehaving child and instantly think it was the parent's fault.  now i don't jump to that conclusion as quickly.  i used to think that psychological evaluations were for "crazy" people.  now i see them as a helpful tool to better understand what's going on in someone's brain.  i used to think respite was for adoptive parents who can't control their adoptive child.  now i see respite as a safe place for my daughter to go to so the rest of my kiddos can live in some peace for a few days at a time.

God has not only answered my prayer, "give me Your eyes for my daughter, please Jesus."  but He's also opened my eyes to see things in a less judgmental way and in a more compassionate way.  i've spent too much energy trying to figure out why people are, do, say, behave the way they do.  instead i'm called to love them in all their mess.  after all, isn't that what He's done/doing for me?  loving me in all my mess?  yep.  He is.