Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The good news-Sunshine and dry weather has returned to Oklahoma, if only for a short time. We spent the afternoon making the most of it, playing soccer, throwing frisbees, shooting the rockets, doing sidewalk chalk, and flying kites. The kites were definitely the highpoint of the afternoon.

Just chillin'! Nathan was thrilled to be old enough to fly his own kite. Once he got it flying really well, he just laid back on the ground and smiled. Every couple of minutes, he'd give me a big smile and say, "Mommy, flying a kite is really entertaining, isn't it?" Rosie had a great time, too. It never ceases to amaze me how patient Noah is with her. He happily shared his kite with her, helping he to fly it, and then letting her fly it alone. After having been told approximately 20 times that she must not let go, when Noah let her hold it alone, she let go. In the high winds this afternoon, the kite was instantly gone. And, bless his heart, he didn't say a word or make a single sad face.
Thankfully, we had a kite from Favourite Auntie Keri that Noah was finally big enough to fly, so we brought it out. It was promptly dubbed "The Shrimp".
The Bad-It has been a rough week. The last two months have gone really well. Not perfect, but we were finally seeing a real improvement in Rosie's fierce competition against Nathan, the vomiting at will, and some of the rougher aspects of helping Rosie come to terms with the effects of being an orphaned toddler and the hardships and coping mechanisms that resulted. It really felt that we were nearing the "light at the end of the tunnel". But, Rosie has used the last 8 days to make it very clear that this is not the case. We are most definitely "back in the trenches", dealing with compulsive lying, near-constant whining, excessive excitability, lots of superficially charming behavior with non-family members, extreme competition with her nearest brother, constant demands for attention, manipulating behavior, and on and on and on.
The Ugly-Well, actually, all of the above behavior is ugly. It is tiring and angering and difficult on the whole family. And, as most people outside the family are shown a very different, very endearing side of Rosie, most people have no idea what it's really like right now at home. Having reached a real low-point this week, I was able to arrange an appointment and spent an afternoon on the phone with a counsellor. After talking at length, she believes that we are dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Now, this IS NOT a positive certain diagnosis. That would require more time, face-to-face interviews, and testing, but it was what I had become increasingly convinced we were dealing with, and it was both frightening and somewhat relieving to hear someone else actually say the words.
Thankfully, it isn't all ugly. There is good in there, too. Good-Rosie shows some disturbing signs of RAD, but she also shows many positive signs of attachment. The counsellor felt that there was no reason that Rosie shouldn't make excellent progress and a fully "recovery", for lack of a better word. Good-We were given some excellent information, along with direct contact information for a couple of the best therapists in the world who treat the children and families dealing with RAD's fallout. Good-We have been given several new books to read and DVDs to buy that will help with knowing how to deal with Rosie. Better-It was great to talk to someone who understood what was going on and knew what I was feeling without me even having to say it. She was a fellow Christian, who along with practical, "do this"-type advice, also gave sound Biblical wisdom and encouragement. And then, she spent a long time praying for Rosie and our family. Best-It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3: 22-23 We are NOT facing this alone. Rosie is not facing this alone. We will not be consumed (trust me, that earlier this week I thought I just might....) And, His compassions are new every morning.
I won't go into specifics about how we're going to approach this just yet, as frankly, we aren't sure. For now, we're focusing on lots of prayer, lots of love and touch, consistency, and ensuring that the boundaries are very clear and unchanging. While I had already done a fair bit, there is also a lot more reading and research in my future.
Will you please join us in praying for Rosie? From her birthmother to us, she had 5 different "homes" and caregivers in the space of a year. In at least two of these, she came into them not speaking the same language. For anyone, this would be a very difficult thing. In a very young child it can result in real difficulty being able to trust and form normal attachments. While Rosie has made a good start to this, there is obviously work to do.There is nothing that Satan would like better than to use this to harm her and us. But, God's plans for her are good, as are His plans for us. Please pray that God will work in her heart and mind to show her how much she is loved and give her the ability to trust us completely, and then to learn how to live and interact appropriately in life and relationships.

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