When my husband and I had been married two and a half years, we met a
little seven year old boy named Kevin in the housing project where my husband worked as
chaplain. Although we worked with many kids who needed love and attention, Kevin gained a
special place in our hearts from the first. He was so starved for attention. After a year
of loving Kevin and caring for him the majority of the time while his birth mother was in
and out of jail, her parental rights were terminated and we were given legal custody of
Kevin. Later, we were able to adopt him.
We prayed a lot before the legal custody date, and felt peace about Kevin becoming our
forever son. By then we knew that he had a lot of emotional problems, but really thought
that once he was in a stable, loving environment, he would flourish and do better.
Kevin did do much better in so many areas--he learned to speak clearly, learned to read
and write, set a table, eat with good manners, and many other things; yet it so often
seemed we were taking steps backwards rather than forwards.
We had three birth children in the first four years that Kevin lived with us. The older
Kevin got, the more serious the problems seemed to get, too. When he was fourteen the
rages and frequent running away episodes increased, and we got to the point we felt like
we couldn't continue. It was during this time, that we discovered the term Reactive
Attachment Disorder on the Internet and read description after description of children
that sounded just like our son.
It really did help to know that we were not alone, and that it was not something that we
had done. How encouraging to me to find out that other RAD children yell, scream, hit,
spit on, and cuss out their mothers, too. It was so hard to feel rejected by Kevin time
and time again, and somehow so comforting to know others had been through our pain.
Kevin has been living in RTCs for the last fifteen months. Although our home life has been
so much more peaceful, it has been a hard time as I come to grips with the fact that he
may never come back home or heal from the hurts in his heart. We love him so, and want him
to do well, but recognize that he has such a long way to go.
We are in the process of seeking Dr. Keck's opinion on Kevin and trying to find out if an
intensive might be helpful to him. We hope and pray that if an intensive would be a
beginning on the road to healing for Kevin, that it will work out for us to do this.
Our story is somewhat unusual in that we are missionaries in Thailand. We are open to
moving back to the US if we thought it would help Kevin, but so far have not felt led to
Having this support group on the Net and just being able to realize that others experience
the same type of things that we have, has been very helpful to us..