I'm not even sure where to begin....
It feels like I've been in the processing mode for the last 4 1/2 years!! We really thought getting the official diagnosis would be the catalyst to healing for us, him and our family. In some ways, it has brought relief to know that we aren't crazy (at least the Dr. says were not! LOL!) The Dr. gave us her "recommendations" and would like us to return next week for a follow up visit (basically because she wants to put him on medication and we were uncertain about it during the first visit/evaluation). Although her "findings" were no different then the ones we had already "diagnosed" ourselves and have being trying to deal with it still was alot to take in and process. Several days after the evaluation I met with our Christian Therapist and she had a copy of the evaluation and we were able to dissect the evaluation a bit more and she was able to explain the things I wasn't able to decipher on my own (Dr. language! LOL!) This therapist has been a HUGE blessing to me these last months. She has walked me through some incredibly hard, raw emotions/feelings. As we discussed the psychiatrists' observations, diagnosis, and recommendations I was fine. It was when she gave me the Dr.'s future prognosis for Connor that I felt like I was punched in the gut. I couldn't catch my breath and I couldn't stop sobbing. Now I've shed my share of tears in her office, LOL!, but that night it was like there was an ocean of tears that just couldn't, or wouldn't stop. When I left her office I immediately called my dear friend and she talked to me and prayed for me and our family and helped to stem the tide of tears. What did the therapist say to me? What would make me feel like that?
We were told the prognosis for Connor is not good. He has a variety of big diagnoses, with all but one of them, affecting his brain. RAD, ADHD, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Articulation Disorder and the Dr. also suggested there might be possible PDD/NOS (autistic spectrum) as well. Now, my therapist was right in saying the Dr. isn't God, and I know that. She said God could choose to heal Connor tomorrow, next month, next year or never. She told me "Lisa, you've been living in a fantasy world these last 4 1/2 years just waiting for Connor to be "fixed". Now you are at a crossroads. You choose which way to go. One choice is to grieve the loss of the little boy you've imagined, accept this reality, lower expectations and move on or you can continue in this vicious cycle of questioning God, bitterness and anger". As Sean and I discussed it we felt like she was right and that bar a miracle from God (which we've been praying for over all 3 of the little's, every.single.night) that this is how he would be...forever. It was hard to wrap my brain around because I believed God would heal him, heal each of them. I've been holding out for that.....for 4 1/2 long, hard years! It was like the death of hope.
Last night we watched a video from a friend that you are to share with others so they can understand RAD and why we parent as we do. It was a Nancy Thomas video and it was, as they all are, excellent! Anyways, in the video she says several times, that children with these issues can be healed, totally and completely. She mentions a 9 year old boy who stabbed his 2 year old sister to death and is now a healed, whole, functioning member of society! Sean and I kept catching each other's eye and you could tell we were both thinking the same thing......why NOT Connor?! Of course, we still had a flicker of hope that God could and would still choose to heal Connor but without His divine intervention there was nothing else we could do. Trust me, we've tried and tried some more. We've given to there was nothing left. My heart has been broken so many times and I've dealt with mean, senseless comments from clueless people too many times to count. We are in a war here. Yes a spiritual one, but it's also very mental, emotional and physical too. Who knew opening yourself up to a child/ren could cause this much pain?! I'm not going to give you platitudes here and say "I'd do it all over again" because truthfully I don't know if I would. I love my children with all I am and I know we've grown as a family through all of this but I wouldn't have willingly chosen this path. If I knew then what I know now......
My precious friend Dana sent me an email earlier filled with scriptures about God healing. She told me to not give up the hope of Connor being healed, totally and completely and I felt the agreement in my Spirit. THAT is what has gotten us through some intense days, weeks, months and years...the fact that Connor would be a living testimony to God's healing power! I'm sad to admit that I allowed someone else's opinion to overshadow God's. Not to whine, but it truly is hard to keep your eyes focused on those Truths when you are dealing with so much YUCK day in and day out!
So that's where we are right now. We are still processing and praying. Prayers are so appreciated!! Your comments are always a blessing as well however, please, please be kind. Please do NOT tell me we aren't trusting God enough, or we aren't doing enough, or that we chose this, etc. Unless you've walked a mile in our shoes please don't try to tell us how to best parent our difficult child/ren. That does nothing more than add guilt and condemnation to our already overloaded shoulders.
On this same note.....there are many families right now in the throes of disrupting their adoptions because of the issues involved with RAD children. It is soooo sad. My heart is so heavy. Please DO NOT judge them!! Unless you've lived with a child like this you have NO IDEA what it feels like to live on this precipice daily. When you have to monitor your child around the animals because of his/her obsession in hurting them, when you have to monitor your child with his/her siblings because of his/her obsession with hurting them, when you have to monitor what toys your child can have because they will try to stuff them down their throats or wrap belts around their necks, just for fun......these are just some of the issues parents of RAD children deal with. There are many, many more. If you want to help....prayer is always needed!