September 2, 2021 - November 30, 2021
My Personal Fundraising Page
OUR STORY OF OUR JOURNEY WITH REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER...2.5 YEARS in foster care...This was too long. This gave my kid an attachment to another family that got taken from him…Yes…for permanency of a family, but our brains are fragile and disruption hurts our brain. This allowed critical years of healing to pass. His biological family was out of his life completely within the first year. He should not have remained in care. 4...NON-HOSPITAL RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS (i.e., wilderness, therapeutic boarding schools, etc.)... We believe that at the core of healing rests not just medications but consistency and feeling emotionally safe enough to heal. We have chosen to pay out of pocket for these programs rather than just continue to try to use medication after medication which brings extra side effects. 5... YEARS IN OUR CUSTODY... We have worked tirelessly to try to integrate this little guy into our life. The more we love, the more he reacts…yes…this sounds crazy (but it only sounds a fraction of how crazy it has felt). His first family damaged so much, that family for him is a trigger. Think about a combat soldier being sent back into a war zone to heal. 6...STATES WE HAVE TRIED TO GET SERVICES FROM... I have connected with people throughout the country raising children like ours. Our states does not have treatment programs specific for kids with attachment issues. I have realized how small our world can be if we are looking for answers. 10...PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALIZATIONS (including short and long term)... These DO NOT work with kids with an attachment issues…they make it worse. The staff change every 3 days and every 12 hours, so there is no requirement to learn to connect. Sadly, when your child is at the point of hurting himself or others, it is the only option we had in our state. This is part of the change that I would like to see…kids to have access to attachment informed treatment. 12...MONTHS OF LOCK DOWN PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS (at different times)... These are never easy decisions to make, but when a child can't be safe from themselves or with others, it become necessary to use different options to prefer life. Kids with attachment issues can sometimes thrive in placements that require no reciprocal relationships. While there are a few options in our country that address these specific issues…ours is not one of them and sadly they run anywhere from $5000-$12,000 per month. 20...DIFFERENT MEDICATIONS (Not including dosage changes or combinations)... This does not count combination changes and dosage changes. It does not take into account the plethora of dietary plans we attempted to follow to allow brain based changes in his life. We have tried off medications as well. 50...Or more BOOKS READ... Research on early trauma is limited, but if someone recommended a book…I would read it. We have implemented all plans that have been recommended or suggested. 100’s...of SLEEPLESS NIGHTS praying and researching options for hopeful healing... This is a very low estimate for sure. There are nights with one kid in a rage episode and many others of the other waking with nightmares from witnessing all the violence. My sleep is a mess—between nightmares of things that have happened, fear and anxiety about all of our futures, and planning…sleep is rough. 1000’s... of HOURS making calls, attending meetings, contacting educational lawyers, advocates, treatment facilities, insurance companies, etc.... If I had known how much of a full time job this journey would have been, I would have kept an accurate record of the time. I have advocated with schools, hired educational advocates and educational attorneys to try to ensure appropriate schooling, interviewed therapists and therapeutic programs, and so very much more. 10,000’s...of DOLLARS spent to heal the trauma we didn’t cause... Alright folks…let’s be real. We want our kids to heal from whatever ails them. I have intentionally not kept up with any dollar amount of this because there would be no limit if healing would come. The discouraging part is that healing is not coming for our guy. 100,000’s...of PRAYERS, HOPES, AND WELL WISHES sent on his behalf... I keep my circle small. So many people in our lives didn’t even know that we adopted let alone the deep struggles that have happened in our lives. People have not seen the holes in our walls, broken doors, my dislocated knee, bite marks and bruises from our child’s rages, countless broken items, hidden and created weapons, and genuine fear that comes from the deep wounds of trauma. Few have heard the names we have been called, the cursing we have endured, the screaming for hours on end. Those of us who know us well, know we are low key, loving, a PBS/G-rated family. This is this child’s damaged brain speaking, trying to reject the very idea of stability and love that we have to offer. Imagine being so cold and stepping in to a warm shower…the water that “should” feel good often stings, so we step away out of that stream of water...it goes against the core of what we all think kids need. A loving family should be what all kids crave. Please know this early trauma that my kid and many others, changes how they interact with the world.. PRICELESS=this kid healing and no other kid having to fight early trauma and no family being left to pick up the shattered pieces caused by that early trauma... The shattered pieces…It’s real. This is hard. There are very few resources for us as a family and our child. RAD Advocates was formed by families who had faced similar journeys. They have turned their pain into passion to help families facing this disorder of Reactive Attachment Disorder. This fundraiser is so they can continue to advocate for change in the system that kept my kid in foster care for far too long, so that they may advocate for changes in the treatment of kids who have faced trauma, so that they may support families who have reached the end of what they know and are tired and often literally beaten up, that they may hold hands of families facing tough choices trying to keep everyone safe. I will move for change with them. So I COMMIT... I will move by walking a mile for every $10 donation given. I will also move my pen and write one letter to a representative at the state or federal level for each donation made. I will move for change for our family and for all impacted by Reactive Attachment Disorder. So I ask you…choose one of our numbers or choose your own. Join with me as we work to change a system that impacts all of us. These kids grow up to become adults that we interact with in the world. Do some research on this disorder; ask me whatever question you want. I want the world to know about these issues, and I want change.