Most of my first posts will be focused on our earlier days with our girl Little R which wasn’t too long ago. It helps me to see how far she has come and to find healing in seeing her growth and the way God moved in our lives in the past 8 months.
I remember distinctly the day that Mike and I sat in friendly’s Restaurant in March 2010 and we read through Little R’s profile and history. I looked up at Mike with tears in my eyes and said “How did she survive? How did this little girl endure all that she went through?” What I didn’t realize at the time is that she did just that, she learned to survive.
When a baby is little their brains are developing at a rapid pace. They learn early on that if they cry someone will come, if they are hungry they will be fed, if hurt someone will love them and if in need someone will meet that need. They get touched and loved and coo’d at and during those times the brain is registering all of that information, and determining that they are safe and the bonding and trust develops for the caregivers in their life.
For some babies and young children when they cry no one comes, when hungry they just continue to be hungry, when hurt no one wipes away the tears or kisses a boo-boo, when an adult is angry there is fear and often then hurt. When multiple caregivers say they will love you forever and then you move away again. These babies and children then close inside themselves and learn to self soothe and survive. They learn that they must NOT trust adults because they are not trustworthy and they close off to feeling love and affection because if they give their hearts they are sure to have it stomped on and that is too much to bear so they harden it instead.
In severe cases these children will develop a disorder called RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Check out the link to help describe this disorder.
Little R was diagnosed with RAD when she was 7. She exhibited and still exhibits many of the symptoms associated with RAD. We are fortunate that she is not a danger to others or animals and is not prone to the more violent side of RAD which is scary. She struggles with being in Charge, Tantrums, Social skills, Trusting adults, Adult authority, respecting self and others, living in her own world at times and many more symptoms.
In the early days of dealing with Little R’s behaviors I remember locking myself in my bedroom and sobbing and crying out to God. “I can’t handle this, I can’t do this, you picked the wrong person!!!!” I was convinced that we had made a mistake and that God had made a mistake by placing this child with us. I spent a long time trying to convince God that I was not the woman for the Job. But, I know that God doesn’t make mistakes so I was just giving way to all myself doubt and fear and as I sat on my floor sobbing listening to the screams of my newly arrived foster daughter tearing her room apart I was reminded of a few verses from scripture that helped me through the early days of raging tantrums and behavior issues.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. I personally did not have the physical strength to hold off a raging 60lb child and to emotionally meet her where she was at but God sustained me and I was able to go there with her and hang in there during the tough times.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight I was floundering and not Trusting that my God would guide us through the storms, but he knew every moment of every day what we were going through, and helped us to sustain during those trials. I needed to be reminded that no matter what we are going through in our lives we can Trust that the Lord God Almighty knows and is guiding our path if we will just allow him to.
So as the weeks turned into months of RAD behavior and daily if not hourly tantrums I needed more than anything to lean on the one that knows my every thought and my future and Little R’s future so that I could be the momma she needed me to be.