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The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on July 3, Retrieved June 1, Archived from the original on 6 March Saul, Michael December 22, New York Daily News. Senator from Illinois — Illinois Senator from the 13th district — From Promise to Power Barack Obama: Obama Girl " I Got a Crush As I learned to heal my body and my mind, I searched for answers to one question: What the hell happened to me? At first, I thought there was something wrong with me.

After all, I had a loving husband, a supportive boss, healthy kids, a good income. I started talking to my friends, my relatives, my housekeeper, my doctor, my babysitter.

I wanted to know how were they managing it. Some of them took anti-depressants. Others took anti-anxiety medications. Most of them fantasized about quitting their jobs. They were barely getting by. I had no idea. Like me, they had been putting a brave face on their suffering. Like me, they all assumed there was something wrong with them. There are dozens of self-help books telling women they can do it all—succeed in demanding careers and still be good parents, good partners, and even happy, fulfilled people.

But my experience and that of the women I know tells a different story. I decided to start this blog as a place where I could organize my thoughts and connect with others who are thinking deeply about this issue.

If you have a story about raising kids and working or watching other people do it, I want to hear about it. If you have a wild or brilliant idea for how to make this better, I want to hear about that, too. I have two kids of my own and a stepdaughter on the weekends. I never know if I should say I have two kids or three. I usually say three because there are three children I love and care for on a regular basis. I am a full time working mom I have a daughter who is 5 and another who is 1 and a baby boy on the way.

I wake up at 6 every morning get myself ready, and get the girls ready. My husband usually works 6 days a week and only has Monday off. He also had a to be in work at 6am so he cannot help with the mornings. My 5 year old goes to preschool mon, weds and fri so Monday I get the girls ready for school n the day leave the house around 8: I get home around 7: I go to bed around So weekends r usually filled with me doing something special with the girls and dragging them out to do my errands with me.

My husband is great most of the time.. And inspiring words will help!! I actually just got divorced though. I have a 2 year old, 4 year old and 7 year old. I got approved to go into work around 8: We live an hour away sometimes it takes an hour and a half. I know how that probably sounds. Maybe that would help. I have gained so much weight.

I have no time to myself and if I ever do I use it to clean or run errands. Slowly going mad here too. My life is chaos most of the time. Yesterday my kids were naughty all day and I lost it tho morning…thought I was having a breakdown. We are all sooo busy and tired,its hard, but its how it is. I cant change my life, because of work and kids. I generally feel like a failure at everything. I know how you all feel, I do actually like my life anymore, its just all work. Really, I dont think modern lifestyles are how we are meant to be, but we are stuck now.

My husband works at the same company as me although he has different hours since he is the Manager, when I say different I mean we work at a materials testing lab for construction and his hours can be 8 -5 also or some days 3 AM — 5PM or even as early as midnight starting and finishing.

So then I try to cram spending time with my kids, eating, getting them into the shower all before 8: I am also beginning to get anxiety attacks. The other day I had one so bad it felt like my hands were trying to close up and it was hard to open them! I feel like I am falling behind on things at home and sometimes at work, missing out on school related functions withy my kids and just time in general with them.

My house has gotten so out of order I just want to throw the whole thing away and start over!!! Sometimes I get mad at my husband because he does so little until I point it out, then I feel guilty because he works so much overtime for us! He does help when I ask. Above all I am tired, too tired to think half of the time. Tired of being overwhelmed, tired of being tired lol!

I am only 28 and my back aches I have Diverticulitis now?!?!?! I just want to find a way to balance things, I am still looking for the time to eat healthy and work out I just have no energy! I just need to find the balance!!!!!! Or more hours in the day! I am a 23 year old mother of a 3 year old and married to my husband for just over a year and a manager at a clothing store full time.

I am up from 7: My husband also works full time as a sales representative from Monday to Friday I have to get to work before the store opens so on top of getting myself ready my daughter as well to be fed dressed and ready for day care which my husband takes her to 3 days a week.

We have also many pets to feed when we get home I have washing and dinner to cook. Even on my days off I have work to do to prepare for my weeks when I return.

We can live comfortably but still have a million bills and rent and just really getting by. Am 34 years old with a 6 and 7 year boy and girl. Holly, I know you posted this two years ago, but this is what my life looks like too.

We have three biological kids, and our youngest adopted daughter came home when she was 5. I hope that in the two years since you wrote these words, you have seen hope. Heidi — thank you for this post. Yes to it all. Oh my gosh this is me. Dear Rose, I am so sorry for all of your struggles. I have 6 kids, age that I adopted. It has been quite a while since the adoption and now their ages range from I wanted to caution you to be very diligent in protecting the other kids in your home against being sexually molested by your adopted child.

The three oldest molested younger children in the home. The youngest was later accused when he was 13 by a family friend of molesting their 8 year old at a back to school swimming party. I really am a very vigilant, watchful parent. You would be amazed how quickly these things can happen. You never can watch too close. Wish you the very best.

This applies to biological children with mental disorders. Thank you for posting. And thank you for posting this. I feel for and pray for you. Almost 5 years later and still waiting for that to happen! I am not bitter…but it stung very badly. And I wondered who else had adopted and eventually been hurt deeply by the church. How are you doing! I am off to serve the Lord this morning! The body of Christ needs me! I could say so much more.

But it would take all night. Thank you for encouraging others in comparable journeys. Just spread out a bit. I can relate to this very much. You are NOT alone. In our Church we have a team of 6 to 8 now volunteer trained adults who are on a sign up list. If you are bringing any kind of child to the church nursery that you feel needs a one on one for that service special needs, belligerent, visiting etc signing up the week before gets your child a one on one so you can drop them at the nursery , enjoy the service and not get the petty backlash of the rest of the nursery users.

That is how we solved your very real problem. You can also sign up every single week if need be. Your call as the parent. The child workers were just not aware of the need, prepared for the need or understood the need. Our church has a growing adoption ministry that will create a dramatically growing need for the solution you have found.

Thank you for the idea. The sweet little girl screamed, kicked, bit, spit, hit, and scratched on the way to church — but shut it all off the second the car door opened. So thankful that my church chose to help us rather than hinder us.

In 4 year old class my son given a mentor. By 5 he moved to the special needs and was one of only 3 kids. Now in 3rd grade he has merged into a regular classroom with no mentor. Praise the Lord and Thank you church for working with him. Doing the exercise first is very helpful.

My heart goes out to all of you adoptive parents. I am one of the tribe as well. Her website is http: I highly recommend her book, When Love is Not Enough, and any or all of her materials on her website. It has helped us so much and given me so much hope for our future. Good luck everyone and stay strong. I have been to her seminars, read her book, met her daughter Beth and frequently watched the video series, to stay grounded.

I have raised two RAD diagnosed children. One is now 20 and the other She ran away 6 weeks ago and has been staying in very bad places but no one can help bring her home. She does call everyday fortunately. My 20 year old boy has been staying at home for 4 months again to avoid homelessness. I just found out he was also claiming that I was neglecting him and not feeding him. Even as an adult, he plays the pity card and tries to convince others of how bad I am.

When does it stop? At least, he moved out again today after I spoke to several of the people this week that he confided in about my neglect of my 20 year old employed son that was staying with me. Thank you for your words.

I can relate too well. After over 20 years in the same church, members sided with my teen to provide a safe way for my child to derail herlife and hook up with a nightmare guy. They blamed me and believed whatever she told them. I left the church, they barely noticed. They have no idea. Same thing happened here and I had been on staff at our church part time for 10 years. We answered the call. And this is how our church supports us? I just love her. Sorry, end rant…I am just done with the crap and the constant uninformed junk people spew from their mouthes.

I often thot it would be so much easier to deal with others remarks if my daughter had been in a wheel chair! Emotional disturbance led to her being a bully. Honest question— how should fellow church members or aquaintance-level friends talk to a child?

Clearly it is hurtful to say over the top surface nice things, but what else could be said that would be helpful and not rude? We adopted Three kids ages 11, 14, and 15 at the time 3 years ago and they are experts at saying lies and acting so sweet to people at our church, family, neighbors, friends, etc.

Even when the kids are grounded and not allowed to have visiting time at church, they are to sit and wait for us to leave, other people will approach them and start engaging them in conversation without asking. We look like tyrants because we come and stop the conversation and remind them that they are in conversational lockdown because of the way they were speaking to us or acting before we arrived at church.

We cannot get our church to understand that these kids are not what they seem to be. Our church has been so helpful to me in similar situation. Thankfully our elementary pastor is also a foster parent and was raised in a home that had foster kiddos. They have helped me enormously. Setting it up that way makes it good for the whole class to learn as well as helping my son. Since I am single I am so happy they can help me on this journey. But mine is a talker and a sensory seeker so might not work on attachment kiddos.

I have seen my best result when fostering by just being open to listening. As if beauty trumps the trauma. You hit the nail on the head! They had no clue, but thought I was the bad one. God did use the years of hell to grow my faith though. Finally someone who understands. Tears of bewilderment, you get it, you all really understand. I am a dad of a older traumatized adopted daughter. After 11 years, we are still learning.

We gave our adopted daughter a heads up two weeks ago, she was showing no signs of a meltdown, so we decided to just go with it, hoping she was finally healed. Many times it is directed towards my wife, but this time it started with me, then to my wife and daughter. It went on and on for the rest of the weekend. Next time family visits, we have to book her a hotel room and keep her separated from the family.

Living this and have lost family, friends ect. However I see improvement in my child!! Can I get and amen?!?! And will continue the course… Thanks for Saying what everyone else is afraid to say!

I hate that I am jealous of whatever that means. I daily ask for him to miraculously give me love for my daughter. My relationship with him brought me to her. I try to love and forgive my crazy neighbors. I love would die for! I thought that would be the easiest part. My heart is broken for orphans. I mentally, emotionally and physically ached in pain over the wait for this child.

I cried an innumerable amount of tears and prayed the same for her. I WANT to love her. I can completely mentally understand why she is exactly the way she is, but I am numb. How do you teach attachment to a child you have no desire to attach to? My husband gets me and all of this and for that, I am so thankful. I resent those comments. I want rainbows and unicorns and pretty bows on all of it!

I am also thankful for a recently awesome doggy adoption. I love him and he loves me! I believe God gave him to me maybe to help me to know I, at least, have one successfully attached adoption. Heidi, thank you for your solidarity and bold honesty!

I am very thankful for that, but the battle is still there in a more passive way and the majority of it is aimed directly at me. I want to talk with you in person over a cup of coffee, to weep with you, and to share the weight of your burden!!! I remember clearly people would tell me how adorable my child was, and he really really is…and I would just feel completely numb.

I had no typical motherly delight in their admiration of my child. Yeah, he absolutely hates me. And I think I might feel the same way. I was in shock because I knew bonding would be gradual for him, but I really thought it would happen much more quickly for me. And I started to truly see the depths of my depravity and what my sin did and does to God…and He loves me anyway.

He loves me unconditionally. And He did so infinitely much more to redeem me than I did or could ever do for my son…and I rejected Him. I continue to push Him away. But I want to tell you, like heidi said, we know there are no guarantees, frankly, with any of our children, but I want you to know, things have gotten better for my son and I. Still hard, but God has given me glimpses…opportunities to see that my love for him has grown.

And I still struggle a lot of days to love someone who shows little to no attachment back. But there are many days that I fail. Keep going, keep praying and laying all of your burdens at the feet of our Heavenly Father who knows all too well exactly what it is to love those who only hate in return.

And know, you are not alone!!! My daughter attached to my husband right away and I just let that be. However, it is getting much better and I am becoming very thankful for her and my love for her is growing in waves.

I believe she makes our family complete, even without my husband and I believe our adoption story is a success story, even though it is far, far, from a fairy tale story. There is so much more growth, compassion developed and dependence on God in the hard stories. Reading your post nailed it! My sweet friend is going through that right now… Her son was always compliant strange, had to be taught to not stare that kind of stuff but nothing really large until now… he has moved out and he is scary…come to find out it was all a lie…He has always hated his mom.

He complains how she made him pick up his shoes etc. It is sad watching her heart break. Knowing she has launched 3 kids before and this one the RAD is finally really showing itself.

He is totally wrecking the younger kids still home also who have been adopted. I just wanna hug her every week and say.. I made it my ministry to support my friend no matter what she had to do.. My kids have learned to have compassion and be a safe place for this family… My eyes were opened… I too thought just love them enough..

You are not a lousy parent. You are a deeply challenged parent that can only do this work through the deep, deep love, mercy, and grace of God. When I was in a hospital waiting room because my child was being put on a psych hold and refused to have me in the room, God took me to passages in my Bible about all of those who rejected him. I guess I should not expect better. When they are awful to me, I ask the Lord how he puts up with my sorry attempts at love for him.

I guess they treat us much the same way we treat God. It leaves me in awe of his grace towards us. After all the years, if I could do one thing different I would work harder to allow myself a life and identity more apart from these kids. Do not neglect yourself. Spend some time with people that remind you that you are normal and valuable. This is a marathon life and we live like it is a sprint.

I added in stuff for him, Scouts, music, art, library, going to livestock shows, etc. He absolutely could not stand for it if I did something without him.

He started setting up situations where he thought I might get upset with him, like claiming to be gay. No, I just told him 13 was too young to be having sex, and we discussed it more. He told everyone that I beat and screamed at him! He complained to school counselors and made them call Childrens Services, but with not a mark on him, they never bothered to call us.

He jumped on that! Bottom line, CPS traumatized him again, isolating him from friends and family, moving him from foster homes to a group home, and finally to a relative he never knew where his mentally ill maternal grandmother also lives.

I completely agree with you and applaud your ability to recognize and accept the reality. Having grown up in a large family of all girls it never occurred to me that I might not be able to conceive. I was much more selfish than some of you. I simply wanted to be a Mom and raise children with my then husband. God is the miracle worker not me. Adopted at 4 yrs, now a teen. We are distant and superficial. She no longer lives with us but the damage is done and will ripple and wave for eternity.

Am in the same situation. My adopted daughter is no longer in my home but the damage she has caused will linger for a long time. We are in a really terrible place and not sure what our options are…. Emma, we did attachment therapy.

It helped a lot. I feel our relationship is superficial too, but I realize it is the best she can do. I just keep keepin on, knowing I am doing and have done my best. I have had to work through the resentment many times over, maybe just try to keep it at bay! I am thinking of you and pray you stay encouraged. Quey, he is a child, but the truth is, unless you have dealt with the crap these kids throw on us every minute of every day, it really is hard and if these were not our children, we would have been able to walk away from such a toxic person.

So yes, feeling resentful is a very common and even yes, normal, reaction. I think we need support networks of experienced parents who can counsel each other during the traumatic times. We have another teen moving in with us this week and I feel so much better equipped than when we began this journey. Anyone have any ideas on how to set up peer counseling? I have 2 Korean adopted children from a few months old.. I have been abused, ridiculed, hated, raged at my entire life with them.

My daughter constantly defied, argued controlled every situation. I changed in to this pacifying, unsure and tentative mother. My daughter lied to my sister and her family and now they believe I was the cruel uncaring one. Both children have detached from me. My son is withdrawn, mute nearly, dabbling in drugs and street life..

My daughter is at uni trying to study but all consuming, attaching to any one who comes near and at the same time no one. I have had no contact from them, that has been determined by me. If I organise anything they will endeavour to change it or not turn up. I am a teacher and work with children.. I hide my story,pretending everything is ok, hiding myself away.. I feel trapped in this weird world. I wish I had known about RAD earlier.. I could have changed this..

I sensed something was wrong early but we were not informed about it.. It feels its too late now and I have to let go to survive.. I have no partner and no family support.. That quote and this one sum up my relationship or lack thereof with my daughter: My daughter was 4 when she entered foster care, adopted just days before her 5th birthday, and is now 11 years old.

I know exactly how you feel, resentment for what our adopted son put us through, unbearable. We adopted at 3 andwas hell ever since. We went through so many theapists with no help, actually they helped us more than him. All I can tell you is you cant fix it, I never could.

God understands, loves you and ur child. God bless you warrior. Some of the kids especially those with reactive attachment disorder who have a disorganized attachment style will NEVER be able to truly have healthy, secure relationships true attachment.

I think the best you can do is be the best damn caregiver you can possibly be and hope that the child will accept you in that role. I hear your words. You may never feel love for her. I heard you, More importantly, Most importantly, He Knows. And, He will give you what you need to make it to the other side of the heart-pain that is so obvious in your words. Just so you know, we fostered a boy for 10 months when he was 4. We had his siblings too 2 and 1 and we deeply loved them, but he was so difficult, and I mean a new level of difficult, and I never felt love for him.

We did not get to adopt, because he want home to his mom, but we are fortunate, and get to see our former foster kids whenever we want. Can I be painfully honest? I never truly am dying to see him. Commitment to him all these years is love. We have adopted 2 others since then and thankfully I feel love for them, but it is nice to know, I can say I love him, no guilt. You are an amazing person, keep on at it! I totally understand your pain in not being able to attach. She had split personalities for us and for others.

I have finally been able to realize what a burden has been lifted from me in not having her with us. We fostered children and adopted 3 along with 2 birth sons. I know we did what we could for them all and my heart feels good. God does bless us with others to love to help out weigh those unlovely ones.

Prayers for your situation as well. I know you want those feelings of love for your child and I pray it does get there. But what you have already done for this child IS love. You may not feel love, but your actions for this child ARE love. Love is not a feeling, but a commandment and action.

It is putting the interest of another above the interest of self, and you have all done it and continue to do it. I am not capable of providing a home to a child such as you describe due to my own issues related to childhood abuse, my issues are too great and healing too incomplete. May the Lord bless and keep you. Thank you, I needed to hear that. Have two adult kids with rad along with other things, then when a third became explosive we just had enough, 7 years fighting through and trying to survive the rad behaviors was too much, the child only got worse,when her refusal to eat or drink became life threatening we did what be thought was unthinkable, we found her a new family, we dissolved our adoption, we split up twins.

Love in action, no one felt it but it was all done out of love. This sounds like something we are struggling with now. We have lived the nightmare for 3. My partner does not love either but fortunately is willing to adopt the older sibling with me, but we are considering letting go of the younger one if possible.

He has turned our life around degrees and not in a good way. It breaks my heart to think about letting him go because he does occassionally call me mom and he seems more connected to me than I am of him.

However, it may be better for him to go somewhere else where someone can truly love him. Would die for my own biological ones?

I have blamed myself over and over and over for not being the type of Christian that I know I should be—love like Christ. How can I love like Christ??????!!!! I keep trying and keep failing so I keep praying desperate prayers for help!!!!!! I think a couple comments just above yours really hit the nail on the head.

Love is an action. Every time you serve that child, every time you place their needs above yours, every meal you make, every need you meet… that IS love. We are known by our actions, not our feelings… so I am sure that you really are doing much better than you think you are. So you might have to think in terms of being the very best caregiver you can be. Like the best baby-sitter you would love to have for your kids.

Being kind and caring and aware of their needs…. I could have written every single word you wrote. I have no answers obviously but I know, I know, I know. Surviving what you are going through now. I sometimes wonder if we should have taken his advise and honestly think our adopted son would have done much better not living with a family.

Sometimes God answers prayer slowly and sometimes all at once. Everything you just said is me. I completely get it. I thought I was the only one. Thank you so much for sharing this. I honestly thought I was the only one out there who struggled with this. I so needed you to write this. Thank you for your courage, Thank you, thank you. I know exactly what you are feeling. Every ounce of my being wants her out of house. But I have to add, after 3 and a half years of hatred toward me, she was nice to me yesterday.

I have been where you are. I still am in many ways, because love with trauma is so very different from love without trauma. What I have done, and what my excellent therapist also did with me, is remind me that love is what you do, whether you feel it or not.

If counting up the time and commitment and willingness to suffer, I would have to say that I had favorites, and they were the children from trauma. If counting up the easy relationships, the fun interactions, the warmth of deep affection, I would also have to say I had favorites, the children who were able to enter into deep mutual relationships because they began life in a stable family. Now that there is more distance, it is sometimes easier to be able to affirm that because of what they lived, they have done what made sense to them.

Who in their right mind would open themselves up to the kind of pain and rejection with which they started their lives? And because they started that way, it is part of who they are, not a conscious decision.

For them to accept me would mean for them to live every moment deciding to live opposite to their most basic instincts to keep themselves safe. When your first parent is not safe, it is so so hard to find a feeling a safety from any other parent. And when you are angry at that first parent, the person who absorbs that anger is the next parent. So they make sense.

But I make sense too. For me to feel love in the traditional sense for someone who instinctively pushes me away with all that is in them, also is living contrary to instinct and to self preservation. After this many years of the things we have lived with, I experience panic episodes somewhat regularly when anticipating a visit or conversation, even when I know that it should be a simple and safe event.

My body is used to not feeling safe and it reacts with anxiety to the trauma I lived with. Love for someone who brings that kind of anxiety is rarely warm or cozy. It is choices to treat with respect and to stay in some kind of relationship that is safe for everyone, and sometimes it is even choices to not be in relationship.

We have to give grace to them for what they have suffered, and also give grace to ourselves. Willingly suffering IS love in the most meaningful sense of the word. I have parented four older adopted kid from traumatic backgrounds.

Three are young adults out of the home and we have one at home that I actually have to be locked away from for my own safety and my husband has taken up as sole caretaker for him. You hit the nail on the head with my experience with any contact with my adult kids.

I minimize my contact with them, little to none. Sick of listening to the poor me long monologues dotted with how their woes are our fault. They remind me of the Israelites shaking their fists at Moses. We had everything we wanted and needed in Egypt. Too much to identify with on this post and amongst the comments. We need to make an actual support group with one another. Just the feelings of care, identification and solidarity here have buoyed our spirits and brought comfort and grace to all of us hiding with our skeletons in our closets binging on wine and chocolate, feeling alone.

We are obviously not alone. I can so identify with your post. My daughter, age 20 and living on her own for two years because we gave her the choice of not smoking pot in the house, or find yourself another place to live. And so what if she made all those mistakes as a teen, why should she have to keep on paying for them, how dare we adopt again instead of taking care of her, etc…Manipulative guilt, so know how that feels, but choosing not to play any more…you made your choices, deal with it.

I will love you, but I will not enable you any more. Dear just surviving over attaching — I think, dear person, that you have the wrong word for LOVE in your mind. LOVE is an action. Do you feed that child? Do you provide every opportunity for that child to heal and to grow? I bet you do. That, THAT is love. Love is a verb. Love can be a feelings, but feelings come and go. The love you feel for other children — and your dog — is both the verb and the feeling.

The love for this child is only the action. The feeling part — it may come, it may not. Do I still buy him new clothes along with his brothers even though he destroys them on purpose? Do I make sure he has a good lunch in his lunch box every day, that he has well fitting clothing, a warm coat, shoes that fit, boots in the winter time, eats balanced meals, make sure he drinks enough milk, brushes his teeth, combs his hair, gets his hair cut, takes baths….

Those are actions that are love.


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