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Monday, October 25, 2010

Thank you for your wonderful comments these past few days, and for entering the contest to win a copy of my book, a weekly organizer and a copy of Renee's CD "The Power of a Purpose-Driven Mom."   It's always more fun to do something with a friend, and I'm so delighted that Renee thought of this.  

I'm happy to announce that "Angel" who posted at 2:53 PM won the gift packet.  I've sent an email, but just in case it doesn't get there, please email me directly at editor@proverbs31.org.

Today I'm going to be more vulnerable than usual.  It's been a rough weekend.

In my post on Friday, I mentioned we are facing hard times with one of our children.  In the past, I've been  cautious to reveal too much about my children.  I vigilantly protect their privacy.  But for some reason, I believe the Lord is calling me to be more open about our struggles with our youngest child, Ruth.

From the outside, Ruth looks like an average child.  If you walked in to the back of her classroom, you  might see her chatting with a friend, reading a book or drawing on a paper.  You'd think she's fitting in fine.

Yet on the inside, something totally different is going on.  If you don't know, our daughters Cathrine and Ruth were born in Liberia, Africa.  Even though we don't know the details about their early life, we know it was unbelievably horrible.  We knew we would need to provide a safe and loving home for both girls to be healthy. 

We've faced most of those challenges with confidence.  We've dealt with health issues, learning challenges, language barriers, low confidence, sibling conflicts, and so on.  Yet we knew we weren't reaching something inside Ruth.  For the five years since God chose us as her parents, and placed her in our family, we've known  something was going on beneath the surface.

Yet we couldn't put our fingers on what was wrong.  Yet every day we were (and are) faced with odd disobedient behaviors, sneaking, lying, things she "found," items missing, and so on.   There is always an aura of unpredictability and untruth about her.  Every parenting tool we've ever used has been unsuccessful in helping her make healthy, loving choices.

We've shared bits and pieces of our struggles with some family members and our church small group.  The hard part about this is the different advice we get.  It's been conflicting, so we just plugged away using the biblical parenting tools that have been successful with our other children.  And to be honest, I'm afraid of the judgment we might receive.  So we've kept much of it to ourselves.

But nothing helps.  And our hearts are being shredded.

Just two months ago, we decided it was time to get some therapy.  In researching the name of a recommended therapist, I stumbled across the website http://www.attachment.org/.  As I read the list of symptoms of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), my mouth hung open.  There in one list were all the behaviors we'd been seeing for five years.  (Except for some of the violent ones, which is why it took so long to identify)

We are now learning a lot about the brokenness inside our daughter's mind and heart.  Sadly, if we had figured this out 4-1/2 years ago, we'd been a much healthier place to help her.  Now, we are all limping emotionally, but with help.

A child with RAD learns early on that adults can not be trusted.  In fact, at a primitive level, they learn adults are dangerous.  So at all costs, they choose their own way, without regard to whether it's the honest or obedient thing to do.  What makes this difficult to treat is a severely reduced conscience. It's not a personal attack, but it sure feels like it. 

Our therapist explained that it’s like a wrong-thinking pathway has been burned into her brain and we have to practice, practice, practice with her until she has a different, automatic response of obedience. No amount of logic helps. It’s infuriating to be so helpless, yet to see how much better her life would be if she would just trust me enough to accept a truth that she doesn’t believe:  she can trust me!

This past week, God revealed a truth to me in this principle.  I'm not so different from my daughter at times.  God is asking me to trust Him, regardless of whether it makes sense to me. 

He's asking:

Do you trust me to take care of you?

Do you believe that you are not alone?

Do you believe that I'll bring good out of this for you?

Do you believe that I knew what I was doing when I asked you to love and raise Ruth?

Do you trust me?  Really? 

I don't know where this whole things is going.  I wish I could say I knew what to do.  But I don't.  So today, I'm choosing to trust God.  Of all my options, that's the one things I'm sure of.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll be more optimistic, but this is where I am today. Wobbling, but planting my feet and trusting my Jesus.

In need of His peace and wisdom,



Allison Morrison said...

So sorry for your difficult time, but how amazing of your family to take these girls in and love on them with the love of Jesus. We are also parents of an adopted child (Guatemala) and although we aren't facing what you are...you never know when it may happen.
Praying for you...

Deanna said...

Thank you for being willing to share the hard stuff. I'm praying for your family.

Tracie Miles said...

Glynnis - thank you for sharing your heart. What a difficult journey God has placed you on, but with firmly planted feet as you mentioned, He will walk you through it and help you see Him being glorified, and your child becoming more loving and trusting. I pray that God will begin showing you glimpses of His power in the midst of all of your efforts to help Ruth. Hugs to you.

Shelia said...

Thank you for being so honest. Please know you are in my earnest prayers. May God provide you with peace, understanding and healing during this time. Please also know that Ruth will continually be in my prayers. That she may learn to know that Jesus is the truest person to ever trust. Adults will let you down, yes, we are only human, but with Jesus we can learn forgiveness and regain trust again. God bless you...

Edwina said...

You and your family are in my prayers. What a calling you and your husband answered in adopting these two precious girls. Those He calls, He equips. And I know He will equip you and your family.


Amber Ford said...

Thank you for being transparent Glynnis. I hope to adopt or provide foster care in the future and to see the ups and downs, the realities, is inspiring. Your family is brave for welcoming these two into your home and I know God will be faithful to bring to completion what He has begun. Praying with you, Amber

Tasha said...

Good morning Glynnis! Thank you for being so honest. I know it must be hard but I know that God would not have you do this in vain. We started revival last night and the evangelist spoke on "Finding the feet of Jesus". Wow! This man is a mighty man of God, as is his family. We have known them for about 3 years and they seem so strong. Well, about a month or two ago, they recieved a phone call. Her 29 year old brother was found dead...just lying on the couch...just died in his sleep...29 years old...not drug or alcohol induced...29 years old. Anyway, that morning the only thing they could do was fall the the ground and scream out to God. He said they stayed down there for a little while until they "found the feet of Jesus" again. That day, it wouldn't help for others to say, "God is a good God", "All things happen for a reason", "Everything is going to be OK"....No, they simply had to "Find the feet of Jesus". They had to pray and call out to Him until they could see Him and trust Him.

Thank you for letting me share. I will be praying for you and your family! Lots of love!

proudgrits11 said...

Glynnis!!!!! My heart goes out to you!!!! Your post brought tears to my eyes and I am so glad that you shared!!!! I will add this specific request to my prayer notebook.
My husband and I were trained in something called "Theophostic," which is a fancy name for basically healing prayers, a way to get to the root of our spiritual (or even LIFE issues), identify the pathway like you're referring to (often a lie of the enemy) and applying God's truth to it. Instant and total healing, by the power of God's truth--awesome!! I have been healed of literally dozens of lies, many of which I didn't even recognize as lies, just beneath the surface, and many from very early in my life.
Anyway, what you're describing sounds a lot like that and, MAN, it is soooo powerful!! The last two years, as I've told you before, were defined by a miscarriage and a season of fear....and going through the process of identifying a wrong belief or a lie, then replacing it with God's truth has been an incredibly painful but FREEING process, and one I wouldn't trade for anything!!
It's amazing, how deep our early traumas can go. While Ruth undoubtedly has a lot of untruth to work out, I believe that this will be a turning point for her and your family and a way for God to bring about amazing healing.
God bless you on your journey and for the courage to change Ruth's life in such a powerful way!!

Hope said...

Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable. I admire your protectiveness of your family & yet your obedience to God's leading.

Anonymous said...


I have such an expectancy of what GOD is releasing in your life at this time. HE is clearly calling you nearer to HIM and calling you to an even deeper level of intimacy with HIM!!

I feel so much like you and I should be having a conversation person to person or at the very least by phone.

I express my ideas best verbally and have to work at the writing aspect but I will do my best here to share some of my thoughts and feelings.

Give it all to GOD. I mean ALL of it, inclusive of your feelings. GOD has a dream for your life and you must give up all of your dreams and expectations to HIM so that HE can refill your cup. Part of the "pain" in this situation with Ruth is the fact that the reality of the situation is NOT meeting or expressing what you had dreamed adopting a daughter would be like.

I have children with special needs and I have heard it said that raising "typical" children is like preparing and taking a trip to Italy. So I prepared for visiting Italy but when I bore my children my plane too an unexpected turn and I was taken to Holland.

You're in Africa right now, living bits and pieces of your daughters past and she is having a hard time adjusting and properly responding to her current circumstances.

There is a journey that you and the rest of your family are going through that is parallel to Ruth's process.

I encourage you to view this process as one of going through "labor pains". You need to give birth, to this girl so that you will have a deeper connection with her. She feels separated from you in all the ways that really count (at this point).I believe it is going to take all of these experiences for you to really be able to relate to this child and there is a ministry that will be birthed as a result of this journey.

May I ask a question?

Are there any children that have gone through a similar process but come out on the other side that you could introduce Ruth to?

Perhaps what she needs to see that GOD can be trusted and can transform lives rather than placing the primary focus on her trusting you and your husband at this time.

I experienced sexual abuse as a child and young adult and it left me unable to trust men. I feared them and acted out behaviors on all levels of life that I thought would keep me safe from having to deal with men. None of this got any better until I accepted Christ for myself and then HE began to help me to order everything else.

I recently had to let go of a friendship that had been very near and dear to me.

Wow, the things GOD has revealed to me regarding the depths of the origin of "why" this conflict arose between me and my friend is astounding and my road to recovery is NOT what I had thought it would be.

When we really make a choice to love someone as a believer we love them beyond "reason". A lack of trust will always create distance in a relationship and sometimes we must disconnect emotionally and allow the person that is demanding space, the time to grow to be able to accept the love that we have in our hearts to share. I know that love is NOT a feeling but a reality and an aspect of our GOD's nature that HE is imparting to each and every one of HIS people.

Ruth most likely does not really love herself and it is difficult for her to accept your love right now but GOD can reach her at the point in "time" where her injury and pain originates from. I know that HE can, because HE did this for me! Since "time" is only a tool in the hands of our LORD, HE can collapse it and bend it at HIS Will.

I believe it is the environment that Ruth is in, inside your family with all of that WORD going forth that is drawing all of the toxicity out of her.

When we are cleansing, things always look worse for a time, as GOD has to draw all these things up and then out.

My heart and prayers are with you, your family and Ruth.


Anonymous said...

I am reminded again and again and again that God knows exactly what He is doing! What a timely post. Thank you for being obedient to the prompting of the Lord to share a piece of your private life in order to encourage someone else in their (my) journey. Our daughter has just been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder and I have felt like we are the only ones dealing with this...and then I read your post. Our situation is a bit unique in that my daughter's birth mom was killed a few weeks after she was born. I met her dad and we were married when she was 2 years old. She had a disruption in the bonding with her mother that is so necessary for a healthy concept of self and for a healthy trust of adults. Her and I have had an extremely difficult time over the years. She is 17 years old now and we are finally understanding what is going on with her and we are finally getting some help. I used to think she was just strong-willed and now we are finding out that wasn't necessarily the case. And it's difficult because with RAD the more you come close to these kiddos to offer love the more they push away and get angry because they have such a mistrust of adults.

I will pray for you. We both know that God sees what we are going through and He is there to comfort and encourage us along the way. He also wants the very best for our kiddos. We have to remember that.

Amy in Minnesota

Leigh said...

Glynnis, my heart aches for you! I can't imagine how difficult this is on you and your husband, as well as your family. GOD is a good...not good...GREAT GOD! He is carrying you through this trail! "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zep 3:17 God brought me to this verse yesterday and I think it might help you today. God is so pleased with what you are doing to help your daughter Ruth! He is singing songs about you and Ruth in heaven! Just know that the Lord will see your through this. I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

We should never be afraid to share our struggles as Christians...that's how God is glorified! And it is how we are able to help each other. It helps create a supportive community that will help you and your family deal with Ruth's struggles. I pray for you and your family as God works through this situation for you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why you named your daughter Ruth but lets remember who Ruth was in the bible. She showed absolute,complete "trust" in her mother-in-law when she stayed with her and spoke the words we all love to quote in Ruth 1:16-17. I am claiming that same "trust" for your Ruth and for you as her Naomi. God bless you and thank you for sharing from the heart. I will be praying for you.

lisasmith said...

praying for you today, Glynnis. For you and Ruth and your whole family. I pray Ruth would see that she's truly found family and a home she can trust with you and mostly a God she can trust. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed your post lately. I think it is because you are truly sharing from the heart. So many times we are so guarded with what we share because of fear of what people will think of us. We need to be able to share our struggles. Thank you for sharing from your heart. Praying for you and your family. Your daughter is so blessed to have you for her mother.

LisaShaw said...


Thank you for sharing the journey you have been on with your precious daughter Ruth. Many of us have children (young or adult) that we've faced private struggles with -- afraid to share -- afraid of judgment and rejection. The concerns and struggles may be different but they are real with each situation and when they concern any of our children it's often very painful so I'm praying for you as you and your husband and family walk this road with your daughter prayerfully and carefully.

I TRUST GOD completely is in the midst and giving you all what you need to parent her in the ways she needs.

Now that you've shared, I will, among many others I'm sure, be praying for that sweet child of yours and for all of you.

Much love!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Glynnis for sharing about your daughter. It helps me to know there are wonderful, capable parents that struggle with parenting children that have had very difficult circumstances in their lives.

Dawn said...

Another blogger suggested that I come read this post because I have a RAD child who is well on the path to healing. She thought I might have some advice. It sounds like you are doing great finding an attachment therapist. That is one of the hardest steps. I would also suggest reading or viewing any of the books/dvds of Nancy Thomas. She was a life saver for us in the early days. Also building a circle of friends, family and teachers that understand and will support you in front of her and behind the scenes is vital. If you can find a RAD trained respite care provider so that you can have a weekend break that would be great too, but only if the provider is RAD trained. The whole idea is to make a "steal box with velvet lining" to surround your child in. In other words, to make her world filled with love, structure, boundaries,and most everyone that comes into contact with her knows "her number". There is hope. My prayer are with you and you are welcome to contact me if you wish.