What Residential Means to Us.
We don’t talk about it much, residential. I often wonder how we got here. Sometimes I wondered if we “failed” our sweet daughter( I know we didn’t ). I remember meeting her for the first time at our local Panera. Her nervous reluctant smile and pages of questions for us. I felt that God placed us together, and still do. She was/is so inquisitive, honest and scared. That was the beginning of our Journey.
I know that the brokenness of her past is overwhelming and at times debilitating. The silent struggle that she has within herself, this war that is raging inside of her is overwhelming. The system is broken, the people who are meant to protect you have hurt you. And then you have the family that says I love you no matter what but I do not like your behavior.- but Her mind can not grasp it… it’s more like, yikes not safe- these people probably lying, just wanna get way. This reactive attachment is so real.
So this whole raising a child from trauma, it’s one of the most difficult things we’ve ever done. But I don’t want to be silent about what residential means to our family. Other families are with me, I want to stop isolating and start educating. I have learned more in three months about service than I ever dreamed- more than I ever wanted too.
Like did you know, that you can get case management from your local Community service board.
If your child has Medicaid that they are eligible for the therapeutic day treatment program in your school district.
For us retrospectively speaking , Intensive in-home therapy should probably have been done at the start of our adoption, to help facilitate an attachment assessment. It would have also be helpful for our family to learn each of our own attachment mechanisms and how to best attached to their child.
….If I am honest, I remember reading post, of local families stating their child was either coming home from residential treatment, or they were on their way to residential treatment. I looked at my husband and said “well at least that is not us”. Yet here we are. I still have no idea how to navigate this new world of brokenness and of loss. We are losing a child that wants nothing to do with us. We are over four years into this adoption, And I surely thought if something were to happen it would’ve happened sooner. Our kids cry for her, and they still feel the pain of the trauma that she inflicted on us. To be honest I think we were very naïve about all of it, and we believed if we just LOVED her enough she would know it. But this same cycle of what happened over and over again. Trauma debilitating trauma triggered daily, she would be in fight or flight constantly for months fighting and flighting over and over and over.
Our biological children had no idea what to do; we had no idea what to do, friends had no idea how to help us but here we are. Walking this road, that many don’t speak about. I always said my daughter would NEVER go to a residential treatment facility. If she could just understand how much we LOVE her. But that was unrealistic for me to ask, how can a child know what love is when they have been moved from home to home. How can a child know what love is when they’ve had two failed adoptions prior to us. How can a child know what love is when they are labeled by their behavior and not by their potential. How can a child know what love is when the people who were meant to protect them failed them every single time. Her story is her own, but there’s hundreds of other stories just like hers. There is hurt and pain with inside these sweet precious kids.
I pray with all of me that she would regain insight – but like many of her peers she suffers from mental illness and personality disorders that have been debilitating recently.
How I wish I could make her feel safe.
That’s the hardest part of all of this-
I can’t make her better. She has to want it to.
Oh how we love her. Her brothers and sisters miss her so much. So what do we do now- we show up, we keep loving her. She expects us to move on. That’s what all the others families have done. She is use to restating – we are trying to show her you can go through pain with the same family- we all need healing. With her being older she has more of a say in her disposition, but we continue to tell her we love her no matter what. In the good the bag and the ugly.
Oh- we regret NOTHING and would do it again.