This post was initially written two years ago, never published. I added on at the end to update it a bit.
Been there, done that. Not with RAD, but with similar reactions to particular stresses.
No one talks about this in the foster parent training classes. Which is why I share about it here so much, not to scare people out of becoming foster parents or adopting from foster care, but to educate and empathize. When I first went through these symptoms, I thought I was going crazy or something was very wrong with me. It was not the smooth going everyone else seemed to experience and talk about.
This is a point I have to remind myself of daily, when I have to take a different parenting approach from all the other parents around me:
“One wouldn’t think a child so young would remember.
But they do.
Yes. Always. Even when you might forget, or need a calm day/night, or when you just want to have a quick, calm grocery shopping trip.
Recently we did something which would have been impossible for the kids to tolerate a few years ago, or even last year. Maturity has helped us reach this point, as has consistancy, and help from people smarter than us sharing different parenting methods. It is always encouraging to see a kid achieve a new level of ability/maturity.
There are times when I am jealous of “normal” parents, ones who do not have to walk their kids through harder parts of their pasts. Then I realize I would not be who I am today if I had not also gone through times which were difficult for me and required me to take a hard look at myself.
“In my case, we had to stop living the drama that came with being foster parents… we were living them every day with foster children we were caring for. “
Among other reasons this is why we did not become foster parents again after our move out of Small Town. The stress and anxiety keeps coming. Even without a constant string of kids coming through; it would take months after a placement left for life to get back to “normal”.
For now we help support other foster/adoptive families with tangible gifts. If I can do something to make their lives even a bit easier, why wouldn’t I?