We picked up Hope from her first adoptive family on August 25, 2010. Nine months ago, today. We were experienced special needs adoptive parents. It wasn’t even our first go around with RAD. So what wisdom have I gained in the past nine months?
- They never tell you everything. Even if they think they are, by the time an adoption failed, objectivity is out the window.
- Rages are inevitable.
- You are the enemy. Everything is your fault.
- Give up age appropriate expectations. Ain’t going to happen.
- Older adopted kids are like elephants. Each specialist touches a part of them and describes that part accurately. The all miss the elephant itself.
- RAD hasn’t changed. My energy level has.
- You do not have to be isolated. You need to put forth the energy to make and sustain connections.
- Special needs, whatever they are, are real. You gain nothing by trying to convince yourself and others that they aren’t.
- Even with special needs, your kids need some exposure to the real world. If they can’t handle it, regroup. You can try again another time.
I am not the same person I was twenty years ago. In some ways it is much harder. I am different. I received an email that told me I had changed and that person, who used to think I was wonderful, no longer likes me. The only answer I have is that I am doing the best I can. Hope is here and will remain here. That will have to be good enough.
“Something’s lost and something’s gained in living everyday” Both Sides Now