Lean In? No thanks. “Leaning Sideways” and rethinking priorities worked for me.

What does it mean to have a successful career?  A successful life?

I’ve been thinking about these questions of late, prompted in part by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In movement, and partly by my inclusion as a mentor in our local business journal’s first Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday event.

Does my inclusion as a mentor mean that I am a success?  Does it mean I “leaned in”?  You might be surprised to know that I didn’t feel like I achieved any meaningful career success until I quit “leaning in” and reassessed what it means to succeed.  Career success, as it was defined in my 20s and most of my 30s, is not what I define it to be now.

A little background– I was your pretty typical young lawyer.  Went straight to law school from undergrad, did well, and got a job in the largest law firm in the state.  At that point in my career, I had a traditional definition of lawyer success.  Hang in there.  Work lots of hours.  Make partner in 7 years.  Make lots of money.  So I tried doing just that, and succeeded to a certain extent.  I worked hard.  Proved myself.  Worked lots of hours. Made partner.  Made a good salary.

Life should have been good, right?  I had achieved success as it was defined, in fact, in the way Sheryl Sandberg has defined it. I leaned in, and got my partnership.  Life was as it should be.

Problem is, life sucked.  I was less fulfilled being a partner and making more money than I ever had been in my whole career.  Other people seemed happy, but a bare majority seemed as miserable as me.  Why was that so if we had achieved career success?

As I was struggling with trying to balance all that supposedly wonderful and fulfilling career success with the increasing feeling that I was failing at my career as well as at my other vocation, that of being a mother, I finally realized I had never sat back to determine what I, deep down, would view as success, both in life and in my career.

Once I took a deep, hard look at what I was doing, both with my life and career, it was obvious something had to give, and the “success” I’d convinced myself I had to have was anything but that.  In leaning in, in chasing conventional success, I’d lost myself and any feeling that I was contributing to the world.  I’m not necessarily knocking “conventional success” — some people find fulfillment through that kind of success, and I don’t begrudge them that.  I clearly wasn’t finding it, and something had to change.

This process was harder than waking up one day and saying to myself, “Hey, I don’t care if I’m not a big firm partner any more.”  When you’ve been committed to that goal for years, even having achieved a measure of that goal, it can be hard to admit to yourself that it wasn’t right.

I initially decided that I needed a total career change, one that would let me in the short run devote more time to my family, especially my young daughter.  I set out to apply to graduate school to become a licensed clinical social worker, thinking the short-term break for schooling would give me the time I craved with my family but would still set me up for a measure of success after as a full-time LCSW and therapist.

See the flaw? I was still buying into the lean in, conventional success concept.  I thought I still needed to chase a title, a career to matter.  Funny thing though, how life works out.  In starting to move toward that flawed goal, I gave up my firm partnership and took a part-time job in a much smaller law firm just to keep some income coming in while I sorted the grad school thing out.  When I took this job, I fully expected it to be temporary, just a way to keep our family afloat since I had been the majority of our income.

It turns out having that job, rather than a career or chasing a partnership, was exactly what I needed.  Six months into my new job, I realized that I actually liked practicing law, now that the pressure of attaining the trappings of partnership success were gone.  I even stopped thinking about a new career , suddenly satisfied with my new identity as a mom-lawyer-employee.

I’m three years into “leaning sideways” into my new “career,” and things have never been better.  I’m there for my daughter and husband, so that overwhelming sense of guilt that I’m letting them down has lifted.  I’ve come into my own as a lawyer — I’ve even had my first jury trial as first chair attorney, and I’ve been elected to the state bar association’s board of governors.  I have a fair number of speaking gigs, and may even teach a class at the local law school this fall.  The funny thing is, I would have never felt comfortable being a trial lawyer, speaking in front of large groups (sometimes bigger than 1000 people), or running for an elective office if I hadn’t leaned sideways and given up what was supposed to be the big success– my partnership.

Is everything easy for me now?  Of course not.  It would be nice to have my old salary back.  I won’t pretend that I don’t miss that sometimes.  I’ve had to go back to full-time work to pay for my daughter’s school, but now instead of working full time for the glory and money, I’m working full time for my daughter’s benefit.  That I can stomach, and when I go home tired, I feel like it’s been for a worthier goal than just success as the Lean In types would define it.

So getting back to the Bizwomen Mentoring Monday, sitting there, at the long tables on the “mentor” side, I’m sure there were people who were a little perplexed as to why I was there.  I’m not a partner in a law firm; I’m not wealthy. The thing is, I feel like more of a success right now than at any other time in my life, whether others see me that way or not.  At this point it doesn’t matter to me what they think — I feel like I belonged on that mentor panel.  I’ve forged my own way, and found a life that matters to me.  That is how I define success, and that’s what I told women who talked to me.  It’s not about leaning in, or meeting societal expectations.  It’s deciding what matters to you, and trying to be true to that.

And when my daughter gets old enough and asks for my advice on success, I will pull this out, and explain to her that for a long time I was caught up in what others defined as success, instead of trying to figure it out for myself. I will encourage her to dig deep, and think about what she wants her own life to look like. I will encourage her to pay attention to her vision rather than what people around her tell her success looks like.  If she can do that, she will find it.  And be fulfilled in the process.

Posted in Marriage, Mommyhood, Work, Work-Life Balance (Ha!) | 2 Comments

Critical Whiteness

I haven’t feeling very bloggy lately, but a couple of issues have popped up as of late to jar me out of my writing slumber.  One of those issues is the concept of “whiteness.”

I know what you’re thinking.  This isn’t Stormfront.  I’m not in the Klan.  Why are you talking about whiteness.  It’s just not nice.  We’re supposed to be color blind.  Isn’t that what Dr. King wanted?*

Guess what white people– we are white, and we have to understand what that means if we ever want to truly connect with persons of color.

Being white is not a dirty word.  It doesn’t mean you are bad.  It just is, and it comes laden with cultural baggage and expectations.  Without a critical examination of that baggage and those expectations, you can’t ever be expected to truly engage on issues of race.

Why is this important?  First off, most white people, out of a good intention not to be perceived as racist, have gone off the deep end the other direction.  We see ourselves as race-less, which then becomes a neutral in contrast to persons of color.  When we are the standard, and persons of color are “other,” how can we fully confront difficult and delicate race issues?  We can’t.  We have to admit we are white.  We have a race and culture. [Before a troll comments as such– yes I know race is a sociological construct and not a biological one.  Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  Get over it.]

So if you accept that being white means you have a race and culture, and included in that, a particular filter for how you view the world, what do you do then? You have to embark on a critical examination of how those filters not just color how you view the world, but the people in it.  For me, as I’ve examined my own whiteness, I’ve found that it often includes a tacit, deep-seated acceptance of “respectability politics,” which simply reflects, as noted by Mychal Denzel Smith in The Nation, “the idea that one can overcome racism (or any other form of oppression) by way of your personal actions, presenting one’s self as a citizen worthy of respect as defined by the dominant cultural norms and standards.”  That sounds attractive, doesn’t it?  But it’s just not real.  Look at what happened to Jonathan Ferrell (see previous link). Look at the unrelenting racist abuse heaped on the Obamas.  Racism is deep, enduring, and structural, and black people and other persons of color will be subject to racism even if they, for lack of a less pejorative phrase, “act white.”

How does that affect me and my examination of whiteness?  For one, once I started examining my tacit acceptance of respectability politics, I could start examining other prejudices.  How many times have I dismissed a valid critique because I didn’t like the way it was delivered. Even worse, how many times have I jumped in to give advice to the speaker (usually from a disadvantaged group) to say, you know, if you just spoke to me respectfully (i.e., like a white person), more people would listen.  That, my friends, is unexamined whiteness manifesting as an offshoot of respectability politics.  The demand to be spoken to a certain way before you will listen, even if the speaker if speaking cold, clear truth, seems to be a uniquely white one, a manifestation of white privilege.  It’s also one at the base of this misguided and rather appalling piece that appeared this week in The Nation decrying “mean black twitter feminism” not for its message, but solely for its tone. In other words, black women can only speak to white women if they do it in a tone that makes white women happy.  Think about that for a second.  Not an objection to the actual truth of the message– just an objection that your manner of speaking hurts my feelings.  Unexamined whiteness.  I used to do it to, and now understand why.  I’m white, and I’ve been told all my life I don’t have to listen unless someone is speaking in a manner I deem acceptable.  This has been a huge stumbling block to honest dialogue for me, and will likely be in the future not just for me, but legions of white people.

So what say you?  For my white friends, what do you think are the manifestations of your whiteness serving as stumbling blocks?

*And a final hint– white people who have lifted MLK quotes out of their proper context and use them to promote race-blind ideologies have failed to critically confront their own whiteness.  A first step could be to stop selectively quoting the man and instead reading more about what he stood for.  He was much more radical than today’s white public wants to admit.

*Thanks to Martha Crawford, LCSW (@shrinkthinks) for inspiring this post with your Twitter stream this morning.

Posted in Politics, Pop Culture | 3 Comments

The automatic defensive response by some adoptive parents when bad adoption stories hit the news…

TAO says it all. I am so frustrated by my fellow adoptive parents.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Silent No More

I’ve been contemplating getting back in the blogging spirit, and had a couple of different blogposts in mind for doing that.  Those will have to wait, though, because something that came across my internet connection yesterday was begging for a response, and helps put how I’ve been feeling lately in context.

That context is I can be silent no more.

I know what you are thinking.  I’m hardly silent.  I’ve been posting on my blog, on web forums, on Twitter, and on Facebook aboud hard adoption topics.  About adoption truths.  But the reality is I’ve been speaking in an echo chamber to people who for the most part feel like I do.  Or at least in the same galaxy.

It’s no secret that I think that most international adoptions are tainted and wrong. That it’s wrong to rip children from their families and homelands.  But what about kids who need homes, you ask?  So many of them would have homes but for the economic incentives provided by IA.  Those who don’t?  IA simply provides the sending countries a convenient out.

Take China for instance. I have no doubt there are children in the social welfare system who are there because they legitimately need families, though those children are a fraction of those adopted overseas.  But so long as white westerners will take those kids off China’s hands, what motivation does China have to address it’s woeful lack of social safety net that leaves children and families without adequate health care and educational opportunities?  IA simply allows China to avoid the problem AND make money in the process.  That is unconscionable.

Here’s what I mean by Silent No More.  My voice is now going beyond the echo chamber of social media.  I saw the following blog post yesterday, and was quite literally sick to my stomach.  Here’s a link to a cached version from when the blog was open:


I would deconstruct the numerous ways this blog post sickens me to my core, but others have beaten me to it, most notably adult international adoptee Daniel Ibn Zayd, whose post you can read here.  Let’s face it, though.  This woman is pathetic and horribly ill-suited to be an adoptive parent, but at least she’s honest.  And she tells me and the world what we know.  Numerous people are adopting via IA for the very sickening reasons she outlines.  And a scary, scary number are adopting using one single “Christian” agency called Lifeline Children’s Services.

Lifeline has gotten an interesting rep over the years.  That agency is a problem that goes well beyond this family.  Lifeline is known throughout the Chinese adoption community as the go-to agency for potential adopters who are seeking to adopt to evangelize a child or to raise their status with God or their church.  Any person who is coming to an agency for such an improper motive is turned away, but Lifeline not only welcomes the attitude, it seems to encourage it. It’s a well-known fact that if you are turned down by another agency, you go to Lifeline.  The blogger linked above?  After her blog post went viral she reported on Facebook that she called her Lifeline rep, who prayed with her about the “spiritual warfare” being waged on her by overseas atheists.  Spare me.

So here’s where I’m silent no more. This blogger is an idiot and a disaster waiting to happen. But she’s the tip of the iceberg.  Lifeline is the problem, and it’s clear Lifeline is not placing consistent with the Hague Convention or the federal statutes and regulations implementing Hague after its ratification by the United States. Children have rights, and dammit, it should be a right to be placed with a family who thinks of you as a human and not an accessory to prove to your friends how godly you are.  Thus, I’ve filed a complaint with the State Department alleging a violation of Hague standards.

The time for the echo chamber is over.  Talk on the internet is cheap.  Unethical practices must stop, and people have to step forward and say stop, and stop now.  Am I laboring under any illusions that my complaint will shut down Lifeline?  No. But if that heinous agency must step back and justify its practices to someone, anyone in authority, and is forced to rethink its business model even just a teeny bit, then it’s worth it.

This is notice to the world.  I’m no longer silent.  I’m no longer speaking just to my friends.  I will be bringing the fight to you.  It will be long and bloody, but my commitment to my daughter makes it worth it.  Now you know.

Posted in Adoption, Politics | 7 Comments

Medical History Should Be a Human Right

The thoughts in this post will be nothing new to all the adoptees out there, but dang it, I thought I’d throw my two cents in as a parent to a child with no medical history.

Access to your family’s medical history should be a human right.  Full stop.  I always thought that at a theoretical level, but it became very real to me this weekend.

Bug started a new medication this weekend.  That should be no real cause for concern, but this certain med is contraindicated for children with a strong family history of heart disease.  Of course we have no idea whether she has a family history of heart disease.   I should have been able to leave it at that and just start the med and watch, but I know that the heart issue is a serious one — the medication would have been contraindicated for me, and rightly so.  I had multiple episodes of cortisol-induced angina as a young adult.   In fact, my reaction to meds that can spike cortisol mimics a heart attack, as I found out when I used a self-injector of Imitrex for an acute migraine.  Not pretty.  I wish I’d had nitro pills on me that day.  So I’m a little over aware of the risks.

I get the same sense of unease every time Bug is on an antibiotic too, also because of my own hyper-awareness of the problem.  I’m allergic to two separate classes of antibiotics.  So  I hold my breath any time we use a new class of antibiotics on Bug.  I’m much more prepared to deal with an allergic reaction than a heart attack in a six-year-old though, so was a right basket case on Saturday when we started the new meds.  

This is what my child has in store for her life.  It’s not just about the annoyance of having to tell the intake nurse 50 times “yes, that’s right, I have no info.”  I know that will get old, but it’s not life threatening.  How many times will Bug start a new medication and wonder what will happen?

Access to basic family medical history should be a human right.  Just one more way adoptees have to suffer in our society.


Posted in Adoption | 6 Comments

A Month of Firsts

Bug has had a big April, one with a lot of firsts for her!

G and I are both baseball lovers, but we’ve been lax in passing that on to Bug.  We got an opportunity to remedy that parental failing when my work gave me tickets to opening day of the local AAA baseball team.  For those who haven’t been to a minor league game, it’s wicked fun to watch ball in the smaller venues AAA ball offers.  Here’s Bug watching and eating her dinner:

June at Bats Game 1

And Bug and me (can you tell it was cold that night?):

June at Bats Game 2

Bug also had her first major dental work, a curse we thought we’d dodged.  Oh well.  Like everything else, Bug made it through like a trooper.  That may be because Momma made the mistake of promising her she could get her ears pierced after the 4.5 hours of dental work was done.  Here she is modeling the new earrings.  She loves them!  I probably have some other First Grade moms hating me right now though– a few of Bug’s friends are asking for piercings now.  I guess I’m THAT mom!

June and her earrings

The very same weekend of the dental work and ear piercings we took the training wheels off the bike.  Within 15 minutes she was riding.  Atta girl!  Momma is a little sad, though– earrings and no training wheels in one weekend?  My baby girl is getting too big.

June riding her bike

Last, but certainly not least, we had another one of the big writing-art combo projects.  And keeping with the theme of firsts, we got through the writing project with no tears.  The art portion turned out pretty cool– Bug formulated a mixed-media collage project with paint, fabric, and flowers.

June's hippo

I’ll try to get back to posting something more topical and substantive soon, perhaps a review of Kathryn Joyce’s The Child Catchers– a wonderfully researched an informative book on an important topic.

Posted in Mommyhood | Leave a comment


We are so, so ready for spring around here.  Daylight savings time started on Sunday, and if you follow me on Twitter you know my whining started at least two weeks before.  Now that we are at the end of the first school week on DST, I can say I’m pleasantly surprised at how well Bug has adjusted.  Still, it will be better once Spring is here for real, we have some sunlight in the morning, and it’s warm.  It’s hard for both Momma and Bug to drag out of bed when it’s cold and dark!

We have been having some fun lately.  At the end of February Bug got to participate in her first Flamenco performance.  I screwed up and didn’t get the whole thing on video, but here’s part of it:

June’s Flamenco Debut

She has the performing bug now, so she did a Cheer/Dance Team clinic last week for K-2nd Grade, and on Friday she got to have her first performance.  Look at this little ham in her cheerleading bow:

June's a cheerleader

And here’s the debut!

June’s Cheerleading Debut

It may have been cold lately, but it hasn’t stopped us from having fun!

Posted in Mommyhood | Leave a comment

Boo You! Legal Edition — Crowell & Moring and their allegations of inbreeding in Appalachia

I don’t blog much about things related to my work life, but I read something on a legal blog that heartily deserved a Boo You! and I couldn’t resist.

In the not-too-distant past, that being June 2011, researchers affiliated with West Virginia University issued a study linking mining with birth defects in the coal fields of Appalachia.  This caused a minor furor in the mining industry, and Crowell & Moring, a large DC-based firm which represents various mining interests, including the National Mining Association, decided the topic was ripe for some attorney advertising in the form of a client alert sent to clients and posted on the firm’s website.  In the client alert, the Crowell & Morning attorneys — none of them scientists — took it upon themselves to criticize the study on various bases, most notably as follows:

  • The study failed to account for consanquinity [sic], one of the most prominent sources of birth defects.

First off, if you are going to accuse people in Appalachia of being inbred, for God’s sake spell consanguinity right.

But more importantly, the stereotype of the inbred hillbilly is one of those horrible slurs thrown at the people of Appalachia in an effort to denigrate and humiliate them.  There is simply no greater incidence of so-called inbreeding in Appalachia than in any other U.S. population, yet it’s popularly accepted that people living in the Appalachian Mountains have a high rate of inbreeding.  They are the butt of jokes, and worse.  This is a highly discriminated against population, yet no one cares and takes up their cause because they are just inbred hillbillies.  And in this case, it’s not just being used to denigrate the local population.  The slur is being used to dismiss important public health research, blaming the local “hillbilles” and their alleged inbreeding for their own birth defects when those may be caused by preventable environmental contamination.

Not surprisingly, Crowell & Moring pulled the offending client alert from its website and issued a half-assed apology.  That wasn’t enough for at least one a law professor who, understandably upset by the conduct of the Crowell & Moring attorneys. filed an ethics complaint against them.  That ethics complaint was just recently dismissed, but that dismissal has brought the issue back into the news.

Now do I as a lawyer who has more than passing familiarity with the ethics rules, particularly those concerning advertising, think that this was sanctionable under attorney ethics rules?  No.  It was an utterly ignorant and frankly hateful statement, but not unethical in that sense.  But was this a repugnant appeal to a vicious stereotype, one that is repeated almost daily with respect to the good people of Appalachia?  Yes, and these lawyers should be ashamed.

So, Boo You! Crowell & Moring.  You should know better.  Hopefully now, you do.

Posted in Boo You!, Work | 2 Comments

A Month in the Life

I’m feeling bloggy but I’ve been pretty heavy lately, so I thought I’d do a little lighter post about what’s been going on in Mooga-land.

Life on the professional front is going swimmingly.  I went back up to 30 hours a week at the beginning of the year after 1.5 years of 15-20 hours a week.  It was a little bit of an adjustment at first, but I’ve gotten the rhythm of the week down.  This schedule is a little bit more hectic but it still gives me the flexibility I need to keep sane.  I’m very thankful for such a great employer who allows me such flexibility– I know it’s a privilege, and I don’t take it for granted.  I also found out in January that I got elected to the state bar association’s Board of Governors.  I will take office in July, and if my local bar members stay happy with me, I can serve up to six years as a Governor.  I’m honored that my fellow lawyers have placed their trust in my, and I can’t wait to get started.

Things are also pretty good at home.  Bug is still loving her school and is thriving notwithstanding her dyslexia.  She had a recent major (for a first grader!) research and writing project, and that of course was taxing for her.  The “creative” part was fun, though. Bug was assigned the Royal Penguin, and decided to make a papier-mache version.  Princess, as she was dubbed, turned out great!

Princess the Royal Penguin

Speaking of dyslexia, we’ve hit a serious wall in tutoring.  The tutor has suggested coming to school and tutoring during school hours, which would be a godsend for us as a family.  I’m meeting with Bug’s teacher today to try to get it worked out.  If this works, it would be such a relief.

Bug has been dying for some snow since we got a grand total of zero inches last winter.  I can’t say we’ve had much, but we have had two small snows which gave Bug enough to play in:

Snow Bug 2 2013Snow Bug 1 2013 

Snow Bug 3 2013


Poor Bug has also had mono for (apparently) about six months.  She’s usually just been a little tired, but it’s left her vulnerable to every virus that comes her way.  Last week she got hit by a particularly nasty one that knocked her down for about five days.  She was miserable:

Sick Bug 2013


Luckily she’s bounced back.  Good thing because today is the last day of her afterschool Flamenco class.  Performance is tonight!  I’ll try to post a video if i can get a good one.

So that’s what’s been going on in Mooga-land.  Here’s to the upcoming spring, good weather, good health, and smoother tutoring!



Posted in Mommyhood, Work, Work-Life Balance (Ha!) | 2 Comments

RAD and Normalcy: Is RAD Actually the Normal Response for an Adoptee?

Disclaimer:  This is certainly not a new topic.  I don’t want to pretend that this post represents any kind of brainstorm on my part– this topic has been bandied about for a long time in adoptee circles, and has a deep, thought-provoking expression here at Transracial Eyes.  Rather than just reblogging adoptee posts or linking, I did think there was value in expressing my thoughts about this topic, and addressing it to adoptive parents.  So here we go.

Reactive Attachment Disorder, or RAD, is a huge topic in adoption circles, especially among wary prospective and actual adoptive parents.  When reading Yahoo! groups and web fora, it would seem that prospective adoptive parents fear RAD more than a diagnosis of fatal cancer.  Yet with all that discussion, there’s little understanding of, and empathy for, the children who have this diagnosis.  Parents act as if the children are wild animals to feared, to be broken and tamed.  Some even talk about how “the devil” has their child.  They compare their kids with the “good” adoptees, the ones who immediately attached to their adoptive parents.  Who were eager to please.  Who strove to fit in.  The ones with RAD are messed up, are broken, are wrong.  The good adoptees are the model.

Let’s think about that.  What if instead of an adoptee we think about a child who has been kidnapped.  We’d expect a kidnapped child to resist, to fight.  If the child didn’t actively fight and resist, if the child were to begin to identify with the kidnappers, we’d say the child had developed Stockholm Syndrome.  We’d treat the child who complied as mentally ill and dysfunctional.

I know what you are thinking.  It’s not fair to compare adoption and kidnapping.  Are you so sure?  Think of it from the child’s perspective.  At least in our case, our unsuspecting child was ripped unceremoniously from her loving long-term caregivers, people she recognized as family, thrown on a train for five hours, then dropped in the laps of strangers who didn’t look, act or smell anything like what she’s used to.  From her perspective, how is that functionally any different from a kidnapping?  It’s not.

So, using that analogy, and understanding the trauma that adoption inflicts on the adoptee, why is RAD seen as such an abnormal reaction?  Why do we stigmatize children with RAD, say that they are possessed by Satan, inflict abusive therapies on them?  Why do we lionize the “good” adoptees, the ones who submit?

Here’s the important message: I’m not trying to argue that our kids with RAD d/xs don’t need attention from mental health professionals.  Of course they do– they’ve suffered huge trauma, and they need help resolving that trauma.  What I am telling adoptive parents, especially ones parenting children with so-called attachment issues, is we have to shift the focus.  We have to stop treating the RAD reaction as wrong, dysfunctional, and as something inherently broken in the child.  We have to stop trying to dominate and control our children.  We have to stop trying to resolve trauma by inflicting more abuse.  Daniel Ibn Zayd at Transracial Eyes hits the nail on the head:

“Much of the RAD diagnosis is focused not on the adoption itself, but instead on the child as manifesting an “illness” that needs to be corrected via a variety of therapies physical and psychological that I believe would constitute torture if performed on prisoners of war, as defined by the Geneva Convention.”

Put another way:  Our kids have suffered trauma simply by virtue of being adopted.  Their reaction to the trauma is normal, but they need help learning to process and cope with the trauma.  The parental element of that process is unconditional and patient love.  Unfortunately, many “attachment professionals” treat our children as abnormal and as little better than animals.

For example, if a child’s trauma manifests as anxiety surrounding food (i.e. food hoarding), we are told to lock up food, put alarms on our child’s bedroom doors, and deprive them of food on demand.  In other words, inflict more trauma surrounding food.  Prisoners are entitled to food under the Geneva Convention, yet alleged mental health professionals advocate depriving our traumatized children of food in the guise of therapy.

Think about that.  How does depriving a child of food, putting it under lock and key, do anything to resolve a child’s trauma?  All you are doing is inflicting more trauma.  That’s asinine, yet adoptive parents do this — and worse — every single day across the nation, all in the name of “fixing” their child.

Adoption creates trauma.  That is fact.  When you remove a child from his or her biological parent, whether at birth or later, the child suffers.  RAD seems to me to be a totally normal response to that trauma. Instead of viewing your child as broken and in need of fixing, first empathize with that trauma, then look to help your child cope.  And I do mean cope– you can’t take the trauma away.  It is there, and won’t go away.  Love and empathy are the answer, NOT additional trauma.  Reject dominance and trauma-inflicting therapies.  It’s not easy.  I won’t pretend it is.  When your child is raging, patience and empathy can be hard.  But it’s what’s right.  Choose love and empathy.

Posted in Adoption | 37 Comments