Sad first and update

Over the past year, we have had many firsts with the kids. Until now, they have all been fun and happy. Unfortunately, Matt had a sad first with us.

Our neighbors are amazing. They have loved on the kids since they got back but more specifically Matt. The husband takes Matt fishing and helped him work on fixing up our bikes. At the beginning of the year, their son moved back in with them due to his cancer. This poor family has 4 members, all of which have had cancer. Unheard of, right? The mom and two sons have the same disease three of my girls have. It’s called neurofibromytosis type 1 (NF1). It does many things including increases their chance of cancer substantially. The dad doesn’t have NF1 but he still had cancer a few years ago.

Anyway, their son was stage 4 and his husband had abandoned him so he moved home. They gave him months to live. Then he suddenly went into remission! It was a miracle! Everyone was so happy!

But the happiness was cut short when it quickly came back and didn’t respond at all to treatment. It wasn’t long before he passed. He was only 31 😥.

Though Matt didn’t know.him extremely well, he knew him and is close to his dad. To top it off, my mom was just diagnosed with Breast cancer at this time. They caught hers really early but Matt is really close with my mom and was really worried about her after we lost our neighbor.

We took Matt to the funeral and it was American but a little different. They combined the funeral and viewing so the casket was open the entire time. That really freaked Matt out! To top it off, he saw people kiss J and touch his hands, etc. I guess that is a huge No-No in Bulgaria.

Then we went to the grave sight and back to the church for lunch. Matt was so freaked out that he vowed to never go to a funeral again. I am sure he will at some point, but hopefully it will be a while before he loses someone else.

My mom only needs radiation (no chemo!) and some pills for the next 5 years. They will watch her closely but for having cancer, it’s the best news!

As for the update, Mimi is back home. She caused some issues at Boy Toys house and got kicked out and now Boy Toy says he is headed back to Russia due to it. No idea if that is true or not but it put her in a bad spot. She was offered a place by a friend of ours but there would be rules and she didn’t like them. Plus, her bio grandmother begged her to return home to us. She knows we love Mimi and are trying our best with her. She told Mimi she was so worried about her that it was making her sick. Grandma is Mimi’s favorite person in the world so she will do anything for her.

So Mimi reluctantly returned home. We set boundaries before she returned. The first day was a little awkward, more on her side I think, but she is doing well so far. She had one day she was breaking the boundaries but she later admitted she did it to see if I was going to kick her out and abandon her. Good old RAD rearing up. I was so proud of her for telling me.

We still have out challenges with her but that is to be expected. She really wants her own place and car so we are trying to encourage her to save and when the time comes, we will help her find them (if she ever saves enough lol).

She and I have had some good conversations and I love her even more. She has a good heart. She just struggles with the trauma that was forced on her. She didn’t choose it. We will help her through as long as she let’s us. Hopefully she will begin to heal and trust again.

In the meantime, anyone have any idea how we could help bring her grandma here as she is getting older and has no one to care for her? It would really make Mimi’s year.

Broken hearted

Sorry this is so long but here is the story.

It’s funny how we don’t see things until we look back at them afterward. Even then, sometimes you can’t see anything you could have done to change the way things turned out. I still am not sure. So what happened?

In order to understand fully, I will go back a few weeks. Things have been crazy around home and to top it off, I am teaching summer school and preparing to teach Montessori next year. Combine that with 8 kids (9 including Hubby), yard work, chores, death of my favorite dog, and no breaks, and things aren’t real good. I also have been having severe health challenges. So, a day came that I was trying to do everything and just broke. I couldn’t take all the pressure and needed a break.

My sister lives a few miles from me so I called her and asked if I could stay for a bit to have a break and focus on the training I am completing for Montessori. She readily agreed so I packed a bag and headed over. I NEEDED a break and to take care of myself. I wasn’t functioning anymore.

At the time I left, Mimi was at work and had no idea what was going on. When she came home and found me gone with no explanation, she freaked! She called me very upset. I explained to her that I needed a break and would be back in a few days. She explained that her bio mom had done this many times and would take off but when they would call her, she wouldn’t answer and there would be no food or money for them so they went hungry.

I hadn’t even thought about how this might effect her. I had no idea this was her past so I didn’t know it would bring up old trauma for her. I reassured her and told her she could call me as many times as she wanted and even come over if she wanted. I ended up talking to her just about every hour during the time I was there. I wanted her to know I would NEVER leave her like that, but I really needed to be able to take care of myself so I could function and be the mom she needs.

I ended up just spending the weekend with my sister and then was home by Monday evening. I thought all was fine since I had kept in contact with her and came home like I promised. But she never treated me the same. At the time, I had no idea why she was being so cold to me but looking back on it now, I am pretty sure that is why. I think I unknowingly brought back old trauma and ended up hurting her instead of healing. If I had to go back and do it again, I am not sure if I would have changed anything other than maybe texting her to let her know.

As the weeks went by, I would often send texts and messages to Mimi letting her know I love her and miss her since our schedules made it so we didn’t see each other much. We are working opposite schedules right now. She also was spending ALL her time with Boy Toy and nothing with the family. When I would ask her to spend time with us, she would blow me off and refuse. I was hoping she would come around in time. But then, everything came to a head.

It all started on a Saturday morning. I had been talking to Matt about him paying for the gas for me driving him to work everyday and back. It is a 20 minute drive. I also have 4 other working kids I have to drive around so they are all expected to chip in for gas. I don’t charge them for my time or anything and it is so much cheaper than using an Uber or Lyft or something. It also helps the kids learn money management. Matt has no problem chipping in. He would even pay extra if I asked. He has such a sweet heart!

However, Mimi doesn’t think he should have to chip in at all. She doesn’t like our parenting of him and often tries to intervene. She doesn’t like him having any consequences and gets involved where she shouldn’t. I get that she loves him and wants to protect him but he has parents now. He loves us and needs us to teach him and guide him. We have experience and know what he needs.

Mimi called me and tried to argue with me about him paying for it. She wouldn’t let me say a single thing and was being very disrespectful so I hung up instead of listening to her yell at me. She then came into my room where the other kids and I were gathered at the time and started yelling at me. I stayed very calm and simply asked her why she was being so rude and disrespectful. She insisted she wasn’t but she was so far out of line. I tried to change the subject by asking her if she wanted to do her chores (that she hasn’t done in weeks) or pay a sibling to do it for her. Our rules are that you either complete the chores by 5 pm or a sibling does it and you pay them for their time. She has been refusing both. She says she is 18 and doesn’t want rules anymore. We have tried to teach her that EVERYONE has rules, no matter your age. That is life. But she still is dead set she doesn’t need any.

She headed to work but not without texting me about how I shouldn’t charge Richard for gas. I just ignored the text and went about my day. I did talk to Hubby about what happened and he said he would talk to her that night about her not treating me that way. It’s funny cause she was super upset one day that one of her little sisters said something she considered disrespectful to her, cause she is older, and said I needed to teach my kids not to be disrespectful to their elders. Yet she treats her own parents this way.

That night, I headed to pick up Matt from work and that happened to be about the same time she got home. I didn’t think much of it until Boy Toy called Matt and asked why there were cops at our house. He said there were 5. With our history of pranking each other, I totally thought this was a prank. 5 cops is a lot at one place! But then one of my girls called and asked the same thing. I knew then that it wasn’t a joke and started to freak out. Matt tried calling both Mimi and Hubby but neither answered the phone. When I got to the house, I had to park down the street due to all the cop cars. I stayed in the car because Mimi was between me and the house and I didn’t want to see or talk to her. I was boiling mad!

Hubby finally called to tell me what was going on. He had started talking to Mimi and she was getting rude and disrespectful and called me the B word. He grounded her from her phone and she freaked out. I don’t know exactly what happened other than she ended up biting Hubby HARD (I have pics) and then screamed for neighbors to call the police, so they did. They had no idea what was going on so when they called, all the available officers were sent. Two were sent away immediately when they realized what was going on but three still stayed, and the neighbors sat on lawn chairs and watched the entire thing! Seriously, who does that?

Anyway, the officer talking to Hubby said because she is an adult, we can’t take her phone or anything like that, we have to treat her like a tenant. I pay for the phone. It is under MY name. So, I immediately called and had her line canceled. She can still use it, but not on my dime. THIS is why our society is so screwed up. Parents can’t discipline their kids at all.

Mimi decided we are the worst parents in the world and she wanted to move out. So she moved in with Boy Toy and his parents and says she wants nothing to do with us. We are still allowing contact with her and Matt as that is important. It has been a week and a half and the only contact with us has been brief and only when she wants something from us. She hasn’t picked up her things yet, instead she went shopping and spent more than I spend on all 8 kids for school clothes. Then she borrowed money from Matt and says she can’t afford her phone. She switched her line over to Boy Toys account and didn’t realize how much more it is since we get a family and military discount. I wish I could say she is learning her lesson but many people have stepped up to enable her more. People are acting like we kicked her out. She is currently getting free housing and board from Boy Toy’s parents, a friend of ours is driving her everywhere and has kind of taken over as mom. We tried talking to her and she seemed to get it but then continued.

I have to admit, I was hurt when this friend took Mimi to her first 4th of July fireworks and then posted all about how great it was to see her experience her first 4th. It should have been me, or both of us. I am struggling with feeling like she is becoming Mimi’s mom. Mimi even told her she was. She said she corrected her but she is still doing everything for her. She is taking her to get her drivers license (I have been trying to this entire time but Mimi won’t study or show up for her appointments), driving her to work and back, taking her shopping, etc. Even Matt said she is replacing me with her.

It is very typical RAD to do what is called parent shopping. It means no matter how good or bad things are at home, because they can’t attach, they continue to look for a new set of parents. That is exactly what she has done and with everyone enabling her and doing everything for her instead of allowing her to try to adult and see that she needs us, I worry she will never be independent and never feel like she needs us in any way. I still love her very much and it just crushes me that she has no interest and over something so small!

I knew before going into this adoption that this type of thing had a high chance of happening but it is totally different to actually go through it. It SUCKS! Plain and simple. I just hope that we can some day mend our broken relationship and that some day she finds help to deal with her traumatic past and her RAD and BPD. Sigh. Sometimes love just plain hurts.


This is going to be a bit longer than most as this particular story has been building up over time. I have been meaning to write it for a while but my head hasn’t been in a real good place and that has made it tough to even think about things, much less explain anything.

If you have been following our story for a while, you know that when we picked up our kids from Bulgaria that they were both smokers. It is soooooo common there, especially for kids in orphanages. With Mimi turning 18 just as we got home, we discouraged the smoking but didn’t ban her from it. She is an adult and we wanted to give her as much freedom as we could while still being there for her. Even though it is illegal to smoke until you are 21, she was easily able to find others to buy cigarettes for her. She then decided to switch from cigarettes to vaping. The Vape stores are supposed to check IDs but the vast majority don’t so she is able to easily get the vapes.

With Matt, he is still a minor so we told him absolutely no smoking. He still struggles as it is an addiction but he is a great kid that tries to follow our rules. There was once that Hubby caught Matt with one of Mimi’s vapes as he was trying to show off to his Bulgarian friends back home. Matt felt so guilty afterward and apologized so many times. Everyone makes mistakes so after having a talk with him, we left it alone.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and while both Matt and Mimi were at a vape store getting Mimi a vape, she decided to buy Matt one. She KNOWS how we feel about that but she went against us anyway. She doesn’t like rules and doesn’t think she or Matt should have to follow any. We have tried teaching her that everyone has rules but she just doesn’t understand yet.

So, Matt took the vape and started vaping. He felt so guilty that he actually ended up giving himself away with the way he was acting. It didn’t take long for Hubby to catch on that something was up and find the vape on him. Matt felt so bad that he called him and told me everything. He said he was terrified I would never trust him again. He also told me that a few days before, I had said something about trusting him and he felt so guilty that he almost told me then but I had been stressed and he didn’t want to make it worse so he decided not to. We did talk about the loss of trust and that he will have to earn back our trust. He promises he won’t vape or smoke and is working to earn our trust back. He really wants to do well and wants us to be proud of him. I don’t think he has any idea of how proud we really are of him.

We had a very long talk and then he was grounded for a week. When Hubby grounded him, he laughed and just didn’t handle it real well so Hubby added an extra week. Honestly, I thought Hubby went too easy on him. I consider vaping serious and know that if any of the bio kids were caught vaping that their punishment would have been soooooooo much worse!

Matt took his punishment pretty well but Mimi thought we shouldn’t punish him at all. I was actually upset because I thought there should have been a consequence for her for buying it but Hubby and I needed to agree and with our current schedules, we never see each other and hadn’t been able to talk about it. Me keeping it in wasn’t a good idea but I didn’t know what else to do. At this point, Mimi was spending every second she was awake with Boy Toy or at work so I couldn’t talk to her either. It just was a bad situation all around.

I did send messages to Mimi telling her I missed her and wanted to spend time with her but she just kept pushing me away. I have no idea why. All I can figure is that it is due to her RAD as kids with RAD almost always take it out on the mom. We did occasionally have time together and she really seemed to enjoy it. That’s why I was so shocked with what happened next. Part 2 coming soon.

Post Adoption Report #2

In Bulgarian adoptions, there are 4 total post adoption reports requires, one every 6 months. We just had our second one and it was actually in person.

I thought it went extremely well! Both kids said they feel very attached to hubby and I. Matt is very attached to his siblings but Mimi is struggling a little more in that area. I expect that is due to her BPD, not to mention RAD, due to the hypocritical nature of BPD.

They both said they have made friends at school and home and are happy.

When you adopt a child, you don’t (or at least shouldn’t) expect any gratitude. It’s not the kids fault they were abandoned. They are the ones that were plucked out of their lives and into another country and culture (in international adoption anyway). They were taken from friends and bio family (which they may or may not know but still want some sort of connection to). They often will feel too much hurt to even feel love much less gratitude. Many kids have so much hurt that all they do is cause hurt for others cause it’s all they know. The pain is just so deep! And that isn’t their fault! Who can blame them?

Yet, both of our kids have expressed gratitude. During the post adoption visit, the social worker asked if they were attached to us. Matt leaned over and hugged me and said I was the best mom in the world (I’m not crying, you’re crying)!

Then, later on, she asked if there was anything else the kids wanted to add. Matt then said he wanted her to tell Bulgaria that he is so very happy and that he is so grateful to be here. He wanted them to know that his dreams are coming true and he is happier than he has ever been. 😭😭😭

What more could a Mama ask? These kids are so amazing and a dream come true! We still have our challenges and days I am pulling my hair out, but I have seen enough adoption in my life to know how lucky we are. They make my heart feel so full. They are truly my babies and will be forever!

Police Progress and Prom

Mimi has been spending most of her time with Boy Toy and her brother since she got home. She has grown weary of just the guys and wanted some girl time. Prom is coming up and Boy Toy asked her to go and she agreed so we decided we were going prom dress shopping. I have never really had the chance with my oldest daughter as Prom was never really her thing. I have to admit, I enjoyed it. The funny thing was, she fell in love with a wedding dress. She wanted to try it on so I let her. She totally fell in love and wanted to buy a $1500 wedding dress to hang in her closet. She wanted to take out a loan and get the dress. To hang in her closet. I laughed and reminded her that there are other things she wants to spend her money on and they make much more sense.

We then went to the mall but with Covid, only Macy’s was open. We checked but they really didn’t have anything even worth trying on. She kept trying to get me to go back to the wedding place and get the wedding dress. I told her we will go on Saturday and do some more looking and find the perfect dress for much less than that!

As for school, the bullying situation has not only continued, but become worse. This boy keeps whispering terrible things to her where no one else can hear. She tried to record it but his friend saw her and warned him. She can’t seem to get any real help with the situation.

Then, last night, she came home from work and asked me to come downstairs and talk to her about something. While she was at work, she started to receive some Snap Chats from some fake account that were saying some terrible, sexual things to her. She is positive it is the same kid but we have no proof. She was scared and crying and decided to call the police.

Matt was actually excited to see the police. He LOVES police cars and is very much like a small child with his excitement with it. When the officer came to the house, he was just bursting with excitement. It was so cute to see! After the officer spoke with Mimi, he said he wanted to charge this kid. Mimi became very excited and said something about money. I was totally confused until Boy Toy laughed and said, “No hun. Not that kind of charge.” She was thinking of charge like you charge a credit card. She thought he was going to have to pay her money LOL. When I explained what it really meant, she was disappointed, she was really wanting that money. I honestly don’t have much hope anything will happen due to not having evidence. She refuses to change schools because she doesn’t want him to win or think she is scared.

I admire her resiliency and determination but she shouldn’t have to go to school every day and deal with this. It isn’t right. She has already had so much trauma in her life! How is she supposed to continue healing when people like this keep hurting her? It makes me so angry!

Anyway, just before the officer left, I asked if Matt could see in his car. Unfortunately, he had to dash off to another call but promised he could come back another day and let him see.

This morning, my husband came home early from work before the kids left for school. As soon as he came in the house, both Matt and Mimi ran up to him and gave him a hug. It reminded me of when the other kids were little and would wait by the door until daddy came home and then run up to give him a hug. Matt told him all about the police car. He was still so excited. It definitely seems that the kids are attaching pretty well. It is just amazing to see! We are really so blessed to have these kids in our lives!

Worth the trouble

As you already know if you have been following our story, it has not been an easy one, especially where Mimi is concerned. She has deep hurt that comes out in her behavior. But we have been seeing huge improvements!

Hubby and I took a trip for our anniversary. My parents came to watch the kids and do the running around (5 working kids with no one with a license yet, my parents are saints). When we got back, my mom (retired therapist) notice the subtle things Mimi was doing to reconnect. Not only was she the first to hug me, but everywhere I went she sat by me. Seems small but means more than meets the eye.

I noticed after that that she is now also going out of her way to spend time with me. She is talking to me more, spending more time at home, and even getting along much better with the kids. We are really building a good relationship.

One of the areas we have seen huge improvement is her anger issues. I don’t remember the last time she lost her temper! Even with kids at school. There is a group there causing problems for her and just being mean. They are flat out bullying her. Instead of reacting like she used to, she went to her admin. She kept herself calm and is handling it properly. She also called me and let me know what was going on. A few months ago, I never would have imagined that, especially so soon.

The last couple of weeks has really been proof of why we went through everything we did to adopt. I feel like they are both attaching well. They have so many opportunities now and are learning about and building healthy relationships. These two kids are so worth it! They are amazing and we love them so much!


Though we knew Mimi has Reactive Attachment, another diagnosis has come to light and surprisingly, fits even better! That diagnosis is Borderline Personality Disorder.

I had heard this diagnosis in reference to other people before and even know a few with it but I really didn’t know much about it but the more I learn, the more I agree with it.

BPD is typically caused by unmet needs and trauma that cause the brain to work very differently. What appears to be complete selfishness, is actually BPD. Though this diagnosis helps us understand her much more, it doesn’t fix the problem and actually predicts challenges for her and anyone that loves her for the rest of her life. She can heal and overcome it but it is very difficult and takes her wanting help which as of now, she doesn’t want.

So, at this point, she has alienated all of her siblings including the little ones that have done nothing. She admits she doesn’t want a relationship with any of them and all because she said they have made mistakes and that’s not ok. Nevermind that she also makes mistakes cause we all do but really, they don’t fulfill her need of being the center of attention at all times so she has cast them off.

I am currently reading the book, “When your daughter has BPD” and here is an excerpt from the book that explains what the other kids are living…

“In families where the child with BPD is not an only child, the sibling can be profoundly affected. The relationship between a child with BPD and her sibling is extremely complex. This is because it is highly unstable. BPD causes individuals to see others as utilities—tools to serve their needs. How they treat others at any given time depends on what their strongest needs are at that moment and may shift frequently. The two constants are that the child with BPD must always be the center of attention, casting a shadow on the sibling, and must engage in competition to be treated better than the sibling.”

“The other dynamic between a child with BPD and her sibling is constant competitiveness. Individuals with BPD constantly compare themselves with everyone else, so it is not surprising that a sibling is a primary focus of this competitiveness. The child with BPD will generally compete for anything and everything: attention from others, access to goods and services, preferred bedroom, choice of restaurants, position at the dinner table, and so forth.”

“Of course the child with BPD is not always antagonistic with her siblings. If she perceives the sibling as a source, or potential source, of attention or other gratification, the child can be supportive, affectionate, and friendly. However, this differs from other alliances in that it is based on idealization. This means that the positive regard will last only as long as the sibling continues to comply with all of her demands. Naturally, this is not sustainable, and as soon as the sibling disappoints the child with BPD, the mistreatment toward the sibling will most likely resume.”

BPD also explains her constant breakups with boyfriends. If they aren’t giving her all the attention in the world and everything she wants, even when completely unreasonable, she breaks up with him. An example from yesterday was when she was upset with boytoy cause he was working but she wanted him to leave in order to spend time with her. She didn’t want to wait until after work cause then it would be cold. WE all know if he left then he would be fired and then wouldn’t have the money to spend on her that she expects. It is a no-win situation for him. But to her, it is totally reasonable and even expected. She also got upset with him cause there was a red hair on his sweatshirt that had been at our house for days. In a house full of redheads. But she wasn’t taking that and was dead set he is cheating on her. He never would. But BPD gives her her own reality and for the rest of us, it is impossible to appease her.

I am trying to teach the other kids about BPD in hopes they will be more understanding but at this point, they are just done with her and counting the days until she moves out. But with her completely unrealistic expectations of everybody, I don’t know if she will ever really be able to build a real life for herself and I am terrified for any future children!

Broken relationships

Life is hard. Adoption is even harder. Especially when you are talking about older child adoption. Sometimes things go smoothly and others, terribly wrong. I know some that worry for their lives. It is scary what they deal with every single day. For some, it has ruined their lives. We are very blessed that this isn’t the case for us.

But, it’s still tough. Mimi really struggles with relationships and unfortunately, our other kids feel done with her. They are tired of the selfishness and hypocrisy. They are tired of her constant anger and I cant blame them. They don’t under Reactive Attachment or trauma brain. We tried to prepare them as best we could but they are just kids.

And poor Matt. He feels the same way and tells me he is done with her but he loves her, as he should. She is the only bio family he has left. He is her last connection to Bulgaria. He insists he is done with her but I know better. He will always have a special place in his heart for her. It tears me up to see him torn this way. It isn’t fair to him or the other kids but it also wasn’t fair to her to be abandoned. The trauma she has suffered isn’t fair to her.

So what is the answer? How do you handle it when she is being completely unfair and rude to the rest of the family? How do you love someone that just keeps pushing you away while also being what the other kids need?

I love this girl so much but she is really testing us! And she doesn’t want help. She doesn’t want to get better or have relationships and we can’t force it on her. Had we gotten her younger it might have helped but we don’t know. We don’t know if she will ever come around or what damage to relationships will be done in the meantime. She could move out at any time and never look back. We just don’t know. We may go through all this pain and difficulty and still be rejected. We might just have to be ok knowing we gave her a chance, even if she throws it away. Hopefully she won’t, but it’s up to her.

In the meantime, we will do all we can to love her and teach her. The rest is up to her.


When youbare in the trenches, sometimes it is hard to notice any growth. I have been that way with Mimi. I amnso frustrated most of the time with the constant anger and broken relationships that I wasn’t seeing all she had become in such a short period of time. Until she pointed it out to me.

I was frustrated with her again because all of her sisters keep complaining to me that she gets mad at them over things she herself does and they are tired of it. Typically, I can’t talk to her because it becomes a huge argument. So, I usually make hubby talk with her because she listens more to him.

She said something during dinner about how mad she was that some kids at school told Matt to put his phone away but when he did the same thing to those same kids a few days later, they got mad and freaked out. She was really upset about it so I thought it would be the perfect time to point out that that is exactly what she has been doing to her sisters.

During our discussion, she completely denied it as usual so I was becoming aggravated. When she asked why the girls don’t talk to her about it, I said cause we are all scared to talk to her because she gets so upset any time we do.

This is when it happened. She pointed out to me that she no longer freaks out the way she used to. She doesn’t run away the way she used to. Her anger is much less. When she told me how hard she had been working on it, I knew she was right. She isnt perfect but none of us are. She came from a very hard place where most would turn into terrible human beings and instead, she is working on being a better person.

I told her she was right. She has grown so much in the past 6 months and I wasn’t even noticing! I told her I was so proud of her and all the growth. Instead of it ending in a huge fight, I think it all ended well. Now I see the growth and know some ways I can work with her sisters on being more patient with her. We need to focus more on the growth and less and how far she still has to go. I do that with my students so why not my own daughter?

Our kids teach us so much. No wonder I had so many. I have a lot to learn!

You never know

Isn’t it interesting to see how differently people react to similar situations? On paper, it looked to us like Matt would have been most likely to have attachment problems. After all, he was abandoned 5 different times! He had been selected and told he was being adopted only to be abandoned.  The last time was after 3 years! How could you trust anyone after that?

Yet here we are with Matt being very attached, happy, and really just an easy kid.

Mimi, on the other hand, is exhibiting just about every symptom of Reactive Attachment Disorder, minus the worst ones of cruelty to animals and the innocent. I have no worry about her going there and I am so grateful! But that doesn’t mean this isn’t hard. The only one she seems to have bonded at all with is hubby. That is pretty typical RAD as well.

She struggles in all of her relationships.  When she is dating,  it is totally normal for her and her partner to break up and get back together a million times. She thinks that is totally normal. And she is great at making them think it is all their fault even when it was 100% her! Then they come back begging forgiveness with gifts and it starts all over.

With relationships in the home, it’s tougher to watch. She gets very angry over tiny things and instead of talking to the person about it, she stops talking to them or yells and tries to attack them. We typically don’t know what we have done when she starts giving us the cold shoulder or yelling at us. Usually it ends up not only being something small but something she does as well. It confuses the kids so much when she gets mad at them over something she does. They have been raised to not do that and don’t understand why she would. The other kids have gotten to where they just feel done with her, including Matt. They feel like they are never good enough for her and nothing they do will ever change that. I can’t blame them as I often feel the same way.

Mimi has been showing most of the typical signs of RAD including not liking the mom and trying to convince people she is mentally unstable.  We have been starting to see this in action and even though I knew it was very likely to happen, it still hurts to go through it. I am the one that wanted to adopt. I worked 80 + hrs a week while in school full time in order to pay for it. I did all the paperwork. The list goes on and on. Yet, it’s hubby she loves.  Her brain doesn’t see the things I did. Her brain just feels the trauma and reacts as such. Her brain is trying to protect itself and since she has been hurt by every single mother figure in her life, it is protecting itself from me. I know I am not going to hurt her but her brain is convinced I will.

So for her, what that looks like is shutting us out. She wants constant attention from hubby though. Things like the video below are common:

Even when we are watching a movie, she will stand in front of him and demand attention. She did it in church today. She just randomly decides she wants attention and demands it like a toddler, but only from him. The rest of us only exist if she wants something from us. We are really hoping that will change in time but with her already being 18, I worry we won’t have enough time to help her heal and if we don’t, that isn’t good for her future and future relationships.