1190. It is during this crucial period of brain development that a child can be scarred significantly. ~Debi Grebenik

Last night I asked for prayers for my sweet grandson who has been hospitalized with what they are calling Reactive Attachment Disorder. He was adopted at birth from an orphanage in Guatemala, but due to the red-tape involved in an international adoption, it was six months before my daughter and her husband could fly to Guatemala, pick him up from the orphanage, and bring him home. He is 14 now and the last two years he has really struggled with the fact that his mother chose to give him up for adoption. Sadly that has led him to some very harmful behaviors. At the bottom of this page is a URL link to an article about RAD and why it happens.

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Sometimes there is an invisible raven
That will fly low to pierce the shell of trust
When it has been brought near to ground.
When he strikes, he breaks a bond of faith
That should be built quietly in the beginning
In the rhythm of tried and tested experiences.
With one strike, the shelter is down though
And the yoke of truth turns to black falsehood
And puts poison in the garden of memory.
Now the heart’s dream turns to requiem,
Offering itself a poultice of tears
To cleanse from loss what mustn’t be lost.
Through all the raw and awkward days,
Dignity will hold the heart to grace lest
It squander its dream on the lies of a ghost.
For often torn ground is ideal for seed
That can take root disappointment deep enough
To yield a harvest that cannot, will not wither:
A deeper light comes to anoint the eyes,
Understanding opens wings in the heart,
In a subtle radiance of countenance:
The soul ready now for its truest birth.
~Edited and adapted piece by John O’Donohue,
offered up as a prayer for my hurting grandson


Sadly this is the way this sweet boy is feeling at the moment:
I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children… ~Psalm 69:8  ✝

27 thoughts on “1190. It is during this crucial period of brain development that a child can be scarred significantly. ~Debi Grebenik

  1. Natalie, I understand what you guys are experiencing more than you can imagine. As the adoptive parent, I was extremely naive about all the psychological factors involved. Love, faith and time all help on this painful road. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a shame that he is suffering so. I hope it isn’t coming from the words of new friends. Children can be so cruel at times. Growing up, I had two adopted cousins and the boy was close to my age and when in our teens one of his worries was that my Aunt and Uncle could give him back any time they got tired of him. Have no idea how he came up with that but it weighed on his mind a lot. I pray God takes your young man’s worries away so he can enjoy a life that is a lot better than what it would have been had not for Nikki and Chris taking him to their hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • His birth mom had a daughter and then she had an affair and got pregnant with our Alex and so gave him up for adoption. Now she has reconciled with her
      husband and they have another child. So he is torn up because she’s kept everyone but him. And then because he spent six months in the orphanage and never really bonded with anyone there are parts of his personality and brain that didn’t develop the way they should according to the doctors. Thank you for your prayers! He is such a sweet little guy and I just hate that he’s hurting like this and so unable to trust anyone! ❤️😘


  3. That is so sad. I don’t believe genes has anything to do with family. I think only love can make up a real family. I mean genes and DNA is only about matter, not about the soul at all. There is a single lady who is also a famous actor here in India who has adopted two little girls, she tells them that while other girls are born from their mummy’s tummy, they are born from their mummy’s heart. I think God always has a plan, and that adopted children are meant to be adopted by their adoptive parents. I have a story on my Tales from the fairies site about adoption, your grandson is a bit old for it, but maybe you will enjoy it. I’ll give the link.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I know you were adopted. We’re leaving early in the morning to go to Colorado so I won’t be able to get any emails until I get back. But if you want to text me you’re certainly welcome to do that. Thank you so much for your concern and your prayers sweet Julie❣😘


    • You’re so right Wendy; this is why it has hit him so hard among other things. His birth mother had a child and then she had an affair and got pregnant with Alex. The husband had left and she didn’t have the means to take care of herself her mother and her older daughter so she gave Alex up for adoption. Since then she in the husband have reconciled and they have another child. So he questions why he was the only one of them that was not worth keeping. And then because he had to stay in the orphanage for six months he just never bonded with a mother figure and so they say that there’s a lack of development in his brain that should be there and as a result he doesn’t trust anybody chain not abandon him again. It truly is a very very sad situation. He is the sweetest little kid and I just hate that he’s hurting like this! Thank you for your concern, your prayers, and your support❣😘

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fear of abandonment is a heavy burden to bear. I’ll pray that Alex is drawn to the Burden Bearer Who will heal him and help him know he is loved and cherished. This is such a heartbreaking story, but I know God’s heart is even more concerned and attentive to Alex than any earthly parent’s could be. ❤ Your grandson is blessed to have an adoptive family that won't give up.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Natalie, being a teen can be a struggle, and being an adopted teen can be even more confusing. It sounds like your grandson has plenty of love surrounding him. Talk to him about his heritage tell him the truth, gently and also write the following down and give it to him.

    Not flesh of my flesh nor bone of my bone,
    but still miraculously my own.
    Never forget for a single minute,
    You didn’t grow under my heart but in it.

    I hope he reads this every day, let him know he is loved and safe and will not be abandoned. I hope this helps and I will keep you all in my prayers. xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • We have been continued to do all of these things Patricia. Alex’s birth mother had a child already and then she had an affair and got pregnant with Alex so she gave him up for adoption. Now she has reconciled with the husband and father of her first child and they have a third child so in his mind he just doesn’t understand why he wasn’t worthy enough to be kept. So he has serious trust issues about abandonment no matter how much we tell him that we love him and that it won’t happen he has these trust problems and that comes from him being in the orphanage for those six months and not bonding with a mother figure and saw part of his brain has as they say holes in it and that’s where the problem lies. So he’s in for a lot of therapy and hopefully we can get him through this. He is just the sweetest little kid. Thank you for your prayers and your concern and your support❣😘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I will continue to pray also. That young tiger is going through a dark tunnel and I pray that he will find the way to reconcile and accept that he is truly loved by his adopted family. But most of all I pray that he will learn to accept and love himself.
    Shalom aleichem,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Natalie, sending love. I’ve been in this ‘reply’ box for fifteen minutes thinking of solutions, but there is no magic balm … except perhaps time and the constancy of love. I know a boy here who was able to visit his Inuit birth mother and culture every four or five years. He feels welcome in both worlds, both families. Again, sending love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great! Sadly Alex’s birth mother is not open to seeing him. But the good news for now is that he’s being treated by therapists familiar with this RAD syndrome and he’s already responding and doing better! So we’re continuing to pray for healing for this child of God‼️😘


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