Returning to Balance

Oct 08, 2021

Good Morning from the Mother Ranch!

Whew! What a crazy couple of weeks! Started off with the sting from hell a couple of Fridays ago, Mom's surgery was the next Monday, Tuesday Michael FaceTimed me after a bad bicycle accident (busted lip, bad road rash on his chin, knee, and hand but no broken bones, stitches, or concussion! Yes he was wearing a helmet :-)), and then a couple of hours later we got the scary phone call that parents like us dread, "You will need to find another placement for your daughter."

Those of you who have been around for awhile, know that I actually have two kids, both adopted from Ethiopia. Michael came home first at 7 months old and 18 months later our daughter came home at 4 years old. She has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), stemming from abuse before she ever came to the United States. It's hard to imagine that a child can turn life upside down until it happens to you.

The saying goes, "Hurt people, hurt people." and that is exactly what happened. It was a scary 6 years that she was home. After intensive therapy, we were informed that she could not come home in order to keep the rest of us safe. I already knew this to be true but it was validating to hear professionals say it.

Our daughter has had several placements in various programs where they try to help kids with RAD heal. Each has been in a home atmosphere and she was released from each one with more validation—this definitely was not in our heads. "Severe RAD;" "Compared to the other 5 kids we've raised with RAD, she's the most severe;" and most recently, "Out of all the kids in the program, she is the most severe."

We knew she couldn't come home. It was a terrifying thing to hear she needed a new placement. They gave us two weeks—a week and a half longer than they give most parents. We were in a mad scramble to find options. I'm forever grateful for the friends I've made along the way. I contacted them and posted on the FaceBook groups and within 15 minutes, my friend Amy with RAD Advocates was telling me about an amazing program in Mississippi.

Our daughter has been in a program in Mississippi where the kids are highly supervised to keep everyone safe. This new place is just 3 hours away. It's considered a "transitional program" for 16-21 years olds. The girls are in a supervised home atmosphere still but more laid back. Their goal is to get them to the place where they can launch successfully into the world. Our biggest concern about her current place was that there wasn't really an answer after they turned 18 and on their own. In this transitional program, they go to public school, can have part time jobs on the weekend, have weekly church, have their own rooms, have a computer for school and can earn money that they can use for a cell phone. Everything is monitored, just like many of us do with our kids at home. There is a community college right next door! She will be the youngest in the program at 16 years old, much easier for her to cope with.

She has been accepted into this program and will arrive this coming Monday. Praying she can take these opportunities and run with them and not self-sabotage as she is wont to do. Praying she will be more settled and happy. Praying that this is her last placement before college and that she will stay with them until she's 21. Just...lots of praying.

If you have a child with RAD and are scared and stuck, please reach out. I've been there and can give you a non-judgemental ear and a shoulder to lean on. If you are looking for online support, check out my private FaceBook group called The Underground World of RAD. If you know someone struggling, please forward this email to them. 

Silver Linings to this week!:

Mom no longer has the back pain she had pre-surgery and is getting feeling back in her left leg/foot which has been numb for a year! Michael is healing up well PLUS! his teachers just told us that they would like to put him in 9th grade math and history class (he's in 8th)—OMG!—teachers who SEE him!, and I've not been stung by anything in two weeks! YAY!

In farm news: I'm still debating on breeding a few girl goaties this fall for spring babies. It brings so much joy, how can I not? I'm getting set up for accepting new neurofeedback clients in a couple more weeks and still have plans, now that things have calmed down, of making a cupcake video!

This week's extra blog post:
  Getting Older is an Act of Courage

Most recent YouTube Shorts:
  CUTEST Baby Goats!
A short little slo-mo video with tiny baby goats from our second year of breeding. One of those cute babies is Poppy, who we kept for breeding—you can see him in all his raging hormonal glory below! (He's the tan and white goat.)
  FUNNIEST Male Goat Sounds!
Ah yes, the blubbering craziness that happens to boy goats during the rut!
  Funny Little Border Collie Does This Before Sleep!

Love to all from the Mother Ranch,



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