We Did It!
It wasn’t easy, but yes, it was worth it. There were some good times, but there were also plenty of days (most days, actually) where things were so stressful and so intense that we could barely breathe. There were also many times we honestly didn’t know if we’d make it.
But we did. We weren’t always graceful, it was never sunshine and roses, and yes, there were times (too many times) that could have made a sailor blush. However, we survived the experience…and we lived to tell about it.
So, what exactly am I talking about?
We have officially reached the end of our journey in actively parenting our children who suffered from Reactive Attachment Disorder, FASD, CPTSD and a whole lot more. Both our trauma kids have reached that lovely age of 18 and have ventured out into the world to make their own way in life.
Holy buckets of (whatever you want to put in that bucket)! What a ride it has been!
It’s been 16 years, almost to the day now, since we were declared parents of two adorable, but terrified little boys we fell in love with on the other side of the world. Our daughter had already joined us the old-fashioned way eight years earlier and she was there with us the day we became a family of five.
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It didn’t turn out like we thought it would!
Like every other adoptive family out there, we had hopes. We had dreams. We thought what we could offer would be enough. It was…and it wasn’t. The pain, heartbreak, and constant daily stress of raising kids who have experienced early childhood trauma is intense! Oi, yoi, yoi!
None of us are the same people we were back then. Nothing in our life looks even close to what we thought it might. We have, however, learned more than we ever wanted to know about trauma, mental illness, survival amidst stress and chaos that defy description…and now we’re learning even more about healing and recovery!
Our Story Has Mixed Results
Many, many people have asked what it was like for us to get our kids with FASD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and Complex PTSD through high school and off into the big world. The short version is that the last few years have been insanely hard. If you’ve followed me for a bit, you probably already know that things got to a point where I had to pull back and practice what I so often preach. It took everything we had just to survive and get through it.
The truth is that our trauma kids also didn’t just move out this week. It’s actually been quite a while now. We’re still actively recovering from the experience. I’m just finally now to the point where I have enough bandwidth myself to come back and share and keep helping others along this path.
It wasn’t all in vein, though. We’ve had some highs and lows, some literal miracles I will be forever grateful for that made a huge difference for one of our kids, some devastating heartbreaks that will never fully heal because they’re the price we pay for love, and a great big curveball we never could have seen coming.
I made a rather candid little video to share our story and offer some updates of where we’re all at now, how they got there, what I’ve personally learned about healing along the way, and I’ve also included links to and information about a program that literally saved our son’s life.