GOD’S GIFTS ~ and birthday gifts!

The crock pot is heating up and the smells are filling my house with sweet apples and barbecue sauce. YUMMY!
There is also the smell of birthday cupcakes baking in the oven.
It’s been a busy morning here in my house. I’m trying a new crock pot recipe. I’m new at this slow cooking stuff. But I’ve decided it works better with my schedule.
I’m cooking
You can click on the link for the recipe. I threw everything into the crock pot and now I get to enjoy the wonderful smells as I go about my day.
The birthday cupcakes are for Daughter #1.
The LOML and I met our adopted daughter two months before her second birthday. The orphanage staff brought her into the room where we were waiting to meet our new daughter. She was a chubby little Asian beauty with jet black straight hair cut into a bob with bangs. The caretakers dressed her in the prettiest dress they had. It was bright yellow with black polka dots and black lace around the collar.
When she saw me, she lifted her arms to me so I could pick her up. She kept one eye on the strange man sitting next to me (the LOML!).
After the introductions of her and her new one year old sister to their new parents (us), we got to bring them both back to our apartment. That day and for the next two weeks, we got to “bond” with our daughters.
We knew, being the experienced parents of four boys, that there was something…..off with Daughter #1. She was very charming, very attention seeking, and very manipulative with everyone. She did not accept the word “no” EVER! We butted heads from day one.
Well, Daughter #1 had no idea who she was messing with!! My Irish descendants would have been very proud of me. I was not budging on any power struggle I had with her.
I knew at some point she would understand who the boss was. Well, it’s seven years later and she STILL doesn’t know who the boss is!!
When we brought her home, the power struggles got worse. We didn’t know what to do. Everything we used with our other kids would not work with her. She would dig her heals in even deeper.
This is when we started asking God “WHY?” We did exactly what we believed God told us to do in adopting these two beautiful girls and welcoming them into our home. Why would He give us a child who wouldn’t accept our love??
I started doing some research. I found a checklist for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) which is where a child does not form the bonds to a consistent caregiver within the first 24-36 months of her life. The important parts of bonding ~ eye contact, safety, warmth, having needs met, cooing, touching ~ that help form important parts of the infant’s brain do not exist. It prevents the child from ever forming important bonds and  relationships.
1) Is unable to give and receive love
2) Is oppositional, argumentative, defiant
3) Is emotionally phony, hollow or empty
4) Is manipulative or controlling
5) Has frequent or intense angry outbursts
6) Is an angry child inside
7)Unable to cry about something sad
8) Avoids or resists physical closeness and touch
9) Cannot be trusted
10) Has little or no conscience
11) Is superficially engaging and charming
12) Lack of eye contact on parental terms
13) Indiscriminate affection with strangers
14) Not affectionate on parents’ terms
15) Destructive to self, others, and property
16) More disobedient toward mom than dad
17) Cruel to animals
18) Steals
19) Lies about the obvious (crazy lying)
20) Is impulsive or hyperactive
21) Lacks cause and effect thinking
22) Gorges or hoards food
23) Has poor peer relationships
24) Preoccupation with fire, blood, violence
25) Persistent nonsense questions or incessant chatter
26) Inappropriately demanding and clingy
27) Sexual acting out
28) Bossy with peers
When I read this checklist, I was shocked that Daughter #1 had all but three of the symptoms!
WOW! What to do now? It took us a bunch of years to find a therapist who specializes in RAD in our area. But we are now on the road to forming those parts of our daughter’s brain that did not form the way they were supposed to.
The “normal” parenting skills that we used on our other kids have been changed for her. They just don’t work.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that she is nine with a developmental brain of a two year old.
We have to remember that her anger is a mask for other feelings that she doesn’t know how to handle.
FEAR is her main feeling…fear of love, fear of not being loved, fear of abandonment, fear of not being abandoned, fear of punishment, fear of not being punished, fear of being invisible, fear of being seen.
What a tortured nine year old soul!!
It’s a long and difficult journey but we as a family are stronger for it. We have been taken out of our comfort zone and our character has been stretched. We’ve lost friends, been judged, been ostracized.
BUT…through it all we’ve become a closer, stronger family who relies on God for every single minute of every single day. I think that’s what God wanted us to learn all along. We don’t know why or how but HE does that is all that matters.
Happy Birthday to our beautiful Daughter #1
She is beautiful, smart, funny, and has the best memory of anyone I know. She knows every word to every song she’s ever heard. She knows the name of everyone she’s ever met. She’s amazing!
Happy Birthday Sweetie!
If you’re interested in talking more about RAD or adoption please contact me. I’d love to talk with you. If you’d like to read our adoption blog click here.Linking up to Don’t Mess With My Tutus Thirty Days of Thankful

Love y’all,Linda


  1. Linda,
    You have the biggest heart!!! And God knew that! He chose you all to be her parents and family.Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have prayed for you and for C from day 1 (before day 1 actually 🙂 Your dedication is inspiring and your love for God’s own heart so evident. It’s been an honor watching you journey this path…say Happy Birthday from Lily and the Lauffers (we celebrated our 20th anniversary today!!)

  3. Hey Lovely girl happy birthday… Few people celibrete there birthday with internet I am the one from that few, actually I like to shear all things which good in my like and every birthday are becomes memorable from me on this birthday I get lots off surprise birthday gifts from my family. thanks to all and linda for shear a pleasant post.

  4. OMG – you are an angel – her angel to be exact! God knows what he is doing sistah, sometimes it’s just hard to hand it over to him! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this beautiful story at 30 Days of Thankful! I know that your story of struggles and triumphs will be a blessing to others as they have been to me!

    In Christ,


    • Thanks Jen~ I hope people who read our story won’t be afraid to adopt. I want everyone to know I would do it all again because my daughter deserves to be loved and taken care of. I believe God created her to make me a better person. He’s still working on me!! Thanks for reading! Love, Linda

  5. God gift and birthday gifts. Very good post