Question: Older Child Attachment. ..oh yes, that again! The ever present question with adopting older children. Please, give us specific strategies that worked for you in attaching as well as examples of conversations that you may have had with your child that may help others!
To be able to pay for M.'s stay, we had to pull all the equity out of our house and sell my cute car that my husband had bought for me for my birthday. Needless to say, I WAS NOT feeling happy or loving. I was downright angry! Now M. was taking our money! Hadn't we already spent close to $40,000 on her adoption and getting her out of Romania??!!! Now, not only had she messed up MY family but she was draining us financially!
"I had adopted her hadn't I? Didn't I give everything to make her life better? Hadn't I sacrificed my wants and needs to fill hers? Wasn't she ungrateful?" "Yes," He replied, "But you are doing it all by yourself, and without love, it is NOTHING." At that point, I wept, I told God that I didn't know how to love, I repented for my sin. For my sin of unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, selfishness, anger and pride. It was then he took me on a path to healing my heart. It was a long path and and it was a hard one, but little by little he cleaned me out and started teaching me about forgiveness, about HIS Love and about being unselfish.
During the ten months that passed, I watched as all of my other kids blossomed and healed. Life got better at home. As for M. we were in weekly contact by now and it seemed she had progressed enough in her behavior to bring her home. During this time I also discovered Dr. Bryan Post's book, "Beyond Logic, Control and Consequences." This book totally changed my thinking and made more sense to me than any other book or therapy I had researched. It is based on a verse in John, in the Bible, "There is no fear in Love". Then in April of 2006 Duane and I flew to Montana to see in person, how M. was doing. Our plans were to bring her back home with us if we felt she was ready.
We found a Nurtured Heart Therapist in town and began seeing him weekly. This helped Duane and I tremendously. M. continued to worsen. She lost down from a size 8 to 0. She looked ill. She acted as if she hated us. There was no talking to her reasonably. She was 14 by now. She kept threatening to run away. She became more distant the more we tried to love her. We prayed and prayed for direction and then we made the heartbreaking decision to send her to a Christian group home in AL where we could retain custody of her but where she would feel less threatened by being in a family . It seemed as if she just couldn't handle living in a family setting where she felt obligated to bond to us. I was heart broken. Again, I felt as if we had failed with this child. I mailed in the application in September through Duane's office, but it never got put in the outgoing basket. Duane then brought it home, thinking it was mail for me. I then tried to mail it again and our post woman never picked it up, so I finally took it to a mail store and mailed it. A few weeks passed and I never heard any thing from them. Unknown to me, it had gotten lost in the mail. (We later discovered this when the Home called us in January. Things with M. were worsening and all the kids were beginning to show signs of stress again. M. had earned herself at least 11 weeks of grounding and we had tried to motivate her, by offering to take off a day for every good attitude or deed she did. Instead, she would deliberately add a day. We contacted several people for advice and prayer. We knew M. 's problems were rooted in spiritual matters. We were disappointed with their help. Then Duane and I got together, prayed and dug into the Bible, asking God to deliver our family and guide us. Man had failed us. We were hanging on by a thread. We knew of nowhere else to go. God told both of us to Fast and Pray(We had to look in the Bible to figure out how to do this, we had never done it before). We thought we were fasting over her but what happened is that He drastically changed us and made us incredibly thirsty for Him. ("Seek you first the kingdom of God and these things will be added to you.") Approximately, Six weeks passed and it was now November. I approached Duane about what I felt God was telling us to do. Now I was anxious about telling him this idea because Duane is such a person as justice has to be served and if you don't follow the rules , you serve the consequences.