* SHOCK After a brief honeymoon period, full of excitement and
idealistic dreams, one has the realization that his child is
unhealthy. Even when parents have been told of their childs past
behaviors, many do not understand the full realm that the
accumulation of those behaviors entail until after they have
experienced life with that child. One may have feelings of
bewilderment and numbness.
* DENIAL Denial protects our emotional well being from shock. One
may make excuses for the childs behaviors such as: the child didnt
understand my instructions. He/she needs more time to adjust. I am
expecting too much too soon. I probably didnt perceive that
* ANGER Outrage towards the obstinate child, biological family,
Child Protective Services, court system, or anyone who played an
intricate part in causing the damage to their child. One may also be
angry at their spouse for lack of support or even certain family
members for their lack of acceptance and understanding. Often these
feelings of fury are surprising to the person experiencing them.
* DEPRESSION Anger without any solutions can lead to feelings of
isolation and despair. One is emotionally paralyzed. One many feel
as if he were an outsider observing the stranger within his own
household. Conversations with friends seem shallow and frivolous.
Support is needed.
* PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS OF DISTRESS The most common symptom is the
preoccupation of thoughts directed towards the child. No matter how
hard one ties to think about something else, the unhealthy child
always dominates his mind. Other symptoms of distress can include:
ulcers, headaches, nervousness, lack of sleep, shortness of breath,
digestive problems, lack of appetite, or uncontrollable eating.
* INABILTY TO RENEW NORMAL ACTIVITIES The RAD child will not
permit the family to pursue their routine activities without
turmoil. Parents may also find that their marriage is suffering from
lack of quality time with one another. Many are without babysitters
who are capable fo managing an emotionally disturbed child.
* GUILT FEELINGS One feels guilt for his lack of parenting skills
in not being able to bring about the proper results in his child. A
parent may also feel guilty for his feelings of ambivalence towards
the child, and wonder what is missing from his own character that
causes him not to feel more bonded. A deep examination of ones own
role in the relationship eventually leads to forgiveness of self and
* GRADUALLY OVERCOMING GRIEF The decision to take action either
by disrupting or finalizing the adoption. Either way, new hope for
the child and ones homelife begins. If finalizing, techniques to
control the childs behaviors are administered, adjusted, and
emotional counseling usually begins. Parents emotional equilibrium
* READJUSTMENTS TO NEW REALITIES Acceptance and willingness to
invest in a whole new reality. A reality where you are stronger
because most of our parenting skills, relationships, and inner
resources have been thoroughly tested.