Here I am again
Unhappy I would really like to have some help here since the professionals seem to not have the answers for me. Background on us...we adopted an older SN child internationally in 2007. She was abusive to my Biological daughter and adults and had many more SN than were told. After sometime we decided to dissolve our adoption and find her a home here in the US. I am so happy to say she is doing well.

Well, after 5 years we wanted to give adoption another try. I felt things would be different this time. We came home with our 2 year old daughter from international adoption and with many many sn than we thought. She is raging terribly and doesn't sleep at all. I am not bonding with her. I am not sure if this is from fear from before, but I am not doing well. Anybody go through this before.
Yes. I believe I have. I would highly suspect while you had your first sn child you developed some (if not a significant amount of) PTSD. *I* denied that *I* could have it for some time until I developed anxiety attacks---even after the child had left. I'd never had such a thing and was totally shocked by it all; yet, there it was....

When your body and soul are used to the CONSTANT trauma from people who are abusive, it sort of sets your brain into a separate mode all its own. Those external triggers of constant manipulation, lying, stealing, sexual acting out cause your brain to go into 'survival mode' and react in a way to help you get through the presentation of those triggers.
Even with therapy, the your reactions can remain. They can/will get better in time----especially with counseling (and especially counseled with EMDR), but they can still come up again. The remedy is knowing when they're coming about and how to deal with them early on.

If your new child is acting out---even with just a glimpse of what your past child had done, it's likely your brain will go to those same techniques it did to survive.

I would highly suggest you talk with a counselor who's dealt with parents of abusive and/or RAD children. A counselor who's licensed to perform EMDR would be the best, IMO.

I wish you well. I personally know this isn't easy to re-live and remedy so that you can go on; but it's possible.
Please feel free to pm me if you'd like.

Most Sincerely,

There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault
OK, I'm sorry. I'm going to be judgmental. I'm an adopted adult (and a birth mother), so I think I have a right to weigh in here. First of all, children offer NO guarantees, whether biological or adopted. You don't know what you're going to get or what issues they may face. And if that's not a risk you can deal with, I don't think parenting is for you (yes, I understand this sounds incredibly jerky, but it's how I feel). Adopted children have already suffered a significant trauma that has taken their natural family from them. Even having been adopted at birth, I don't know a single other adopted child or adult who hasn't been extremely sensitive to abandonment or anything that looks, feels or quacks like abandonment.

I get that sometimes kids present issues that parents are not necessarily equipped to deal with. But isn't the ADULT (parent) the one who is supposed to buck up and find a way? Children aren't a sweater you can return to the store because you decide you don't like the way it fits. And I certainly get that there's a massive lack of resources to help parents who have challenging children.

Personally, I'm not sure how you were approved to adopt again after a dissolution, but again, just my opinion.

If I found out that the family who adopted my daughter changed their minds and sent her back because she wound up being a challenge, I'd be heartbroken. I spent a significant amount of time agonizing over my decision and trying to decide who and what was best for her, and I expect her parents to be just that. Her parents. Forever.

I agree with earlier posters who suggested you seek counseling regarding your earlier dissolved adoption. And please, I beg you, please do not give up on this new child. He/she needs you.
I understand your opinion and that is ok. You are entitled to your opinion. BUT you don't know me and my family. I was seriously looking for help, not judgement. We went through an extensive homestudy evaluation and therapy. Until you walk in a person's shoes or know their story, I guess someone would have no understanding. I would have not understood before this all happened, but when you have a child hurting and abusing another child...well it is hard to witness. I believe that not all placements are the RIGHT placement for all families and when they find the right family it is wonderful. I am a mother and love children, so yes, PARENTING is for me. I do believe a lot of my fear is from our previous adoption and need to work through this. I never said I was giving up on this adoption. I just was looking for someone who might be able to relate and give me GOOD advice.
I'm a clinical social work student, though not in adoption services. I know what an emotionally fraught topic disruption is, on and off these boards. I can understand how helpless you might be feeling now. Many agencies don't properly prepare families to meet their new children's needs, and some even intentionally withhold information. No one can completely prepare themselves for every possible adoption outcome.

Are you currently in individual or family therapy? I don't know what your family situation is like, but it sounds like you might be shouldering much of the emotional burden of the adoption process yourself. A family therapist might help your family distribute the load more evenly. Someone experienced with special needs and/or adoption would probably be best here. Depending on your location and finances, you might even be able to receive free or low-cost services.

How long has it been since she came home? I'm sure you already know this, but an initial adjustment period is perfectly normal for both you and your child. Don't feel that you have to be perfectly bonded right from the start. Not immediately feeling a deep love for your new arrival doesn't make you a bad parent or a failure. If you're making an effort to respond to your child's needs, count yourself as a success. Most of all, make sure that you get the emotional care that you need. It sounds like you could use a professional to help sort out some of these feelings.
I just read your post and feel terrible for you. My son was 2 1/2 when I first took him as a foster/adopt placement. He has a diagnosis of RAd and was quite a handful-raged terribly- sometimes for hours at a time, destroyed everything he got his hands on, smeared feces on our walls, etc. That was almost 8 years ago. Today he functions well, and looking back, I don't know how I hung in there some days. If you ever need someone to talk with, please pm me.
Tantruming and raging seem totally normal for a young child who has just been moved to live with strangers in a very new environment. We adopted domestically (foster care) and our 3y.o. had awful tantrums for the first few months. He desperately wanted us close to him, but pushed (hit, kicked) us away at the same time. It was hard, but we had expected it to be. We were prepared to work like crazy at this relationship for many months, if not years, without seeing improvement. Now it's been just over a year and he's doing amazing! He's very sweet, affectionate, and well behaved (not perfect, but who is?).

I'm sorry you're having a rough time. Keep working at it and it will get better! It's great that you've already used therapy to work through some things; play therapy has really helped us bond as a family.

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted!
Do you have an update?
Is everything OK?
How did you find a home for SN? Our family is going though the painful decision to disrupt but don't know how to do it. The adoption agency suggested another agency in a different State that provides those services but nobody has come forward wanting to provide a home for our daughter. Help!!!
Dear Information_needed, My husband and I do respite for families that are in need! We have also adopted twice. Sometimes a parent needs time to think, to refresh, to get some breathing room! I am here if you would like to talk. You can reach me at
tishavsec at outlook. com

Hang in there! You are in my thoughts!!!!
Dear Adoptive Parents,

You are invited to take part in a research study about the experiences of adoptive parents in the United States who have adopted a child from outside of the United States and who later experienced dissolution/disruption of the adoption. The study aims to investigate how adoptive parents experience dissolution/disruption of an international adoption and the effects of dissolution/disruption on adults and the family. The results will help to design better international adoption practices as well as counseling practices offered to adoptive parents who experienced dissolution/disruption of an adoption placement. The interview is expected to take approximately one to 1.5 hours.

Eligibility: Women and men who have adopted a child from outside of the United States during the last 26 years (after 1989), who have later experienced dissolution/disruption of the adoption, and who are over the age of 18 years of age.

Benefit to You: Your will have an opportunity to speak about your experience. This will help us to better understand how adults experience dissolution/disruption of an adoptive placement, to identify gaps in existing adoption practices, and help us to develop better approaches to helping women and men transition through the adoption dissolution/disruption process.

To participate in the study, please contact the primary investigator to schedule an interview:

Olga Hayes (Verbovaya), MSW, ABD
School of Social Work
University of Texas at Arlington
phone: 405-326-2144

Information gained in this interview will be completely confidential. That is, no individuals will be identified in the results or reports that come from the study. If you questions about participating in this study, please contact the researcher directly via email or phone: Olga Hayes (Verbovaya), MSW, ABD, mail:, phone: 405-326-2144.
Please note that this study has been approved by the University of Texas at Arlington Institutional Review Board (IRB# 2016-0499).
Your time and efforts to better understand how adoptive parents experience adoption disruption/dissoluton are sincerely appreciated and will help to establish better adoption practices and make a difference in the experiences of other adoptive parents.

Olga Hayes (Verbovaya)
School of Social Work
The University of Texas at Arlington

Note: If you do not qualify for this study but know someone who might, please feel free to forward this message to them; however, we also ask that you keep the content of the message intact so that adoptive parents have all of the necessary information regarding the study. Thank you!
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