I love being in control, having control over what is going to happen. I don’t like the feeling of not knowing the future or what is going to happen with a given situation. It has always been something I have struggled with. I ended my last post with “I am in control” I know ultimately that God is in control of my life and I will get back to that, but as far as my household goes and being able to turn my house right side up again. I had to take control.
My first step in taking control was to remove our in home therapist. She was not helping our progress with Little R and in fact was hindering our progress. I then sent out an email to some friends who had adopted children similar to my little R and I asked to meet with them. They gave me some pointers and tips on how to navigate home life and how to handle a foster child with RAD. I took it all in.
I came home and had a chat with Mike and then we had a family meeting. Things were going to change! We set down some very strict guidelines in our house. Mind you we had rules before but nothing like what we needed to set our house upright again. Little R had all control taken from her. She did not get to choose what she wore, I picked out her clothing. She didn’t get to choose what she ate, what was put before her was what she had that meal. She didn’t get to choose her bed time, shower time, play time. All choices were taken from her. Consequences for her behavior were significant to get her to understand boundaries.
When a child has RAD and fears have affected them they become controlling like Little R. They have to control everything in their lives. Who talks to whom, what they do, what they eat, what they wear, where they sit, what they put in their mouths, ect… If they can control it they will. Even having a tantrum is a way of controlling a situation. When life feels out of control so do they. During Little R’s short life she has moved many times, lost many toys, lost many friends and family. She needed to be in control in her mind, but that control was too much responsibility for a 9 year old to bear. She also wouldn’t trust us to do anything for her and didn’t think the adults could care for her and we had to prove that we were in charge and would keep her safe and would meet her needs and would see to her daily life and she did not have to be in control and could just be a little girl and enjoy life. So in order to show her all of this we had to take 100% control in her life.
Within two weeks of this new routine we started to see major change in Little R. She was calmer, had fewer tantrums and enjoyed not having to make choices in her life. She played more and tantrumed less and started to allow us to parent her the way that we should.
Friends and family who saw us during the summer/fall at times I believe could not understand why we were so stressed and strict with little R. It was all necessary to create boundaries, parental seniority, and establish our places in the family.
The weeks went by and we tightened the reins on little R we saw great progress. She became more loving and kind and accepting. She started to engage Mike in a loving way and even would seek us out for apologizes when she had been corrected for misbehavior. That was a huge turning point for us.
As I thought about why it was that the Control was the key I started to think about it in my life. Like I said, I love control. I hate feeling lost and confused as if I don’t know which way is up and I have a hard time leaving my future in someone else’s hand. I had to learn quickly that everything is out of my hands, it is all in God’s hands. The more control I give God and the more I let go of the reigns the more content and safe I feel, just like Little R with us. The more I trust God for my future and knowing he will always have my best interest at hand I feel content and at Peace, just as Little R started to feel at peace. God knows what we need in our lives far more than we do and in trusting him we allow Him control of our lives.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, NIV Ephesians 1:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. NIV Romans 8:28