I don’t know about the rest of you, but I struggle with my ideals and beliefs and the reality of my life. I know what the Bible says, to cover everything with love, love your neighbor as yourself, etc. But when a kid is raging and impossible to reach those ideals seem to go out the window. I have trouble lining up my beliefs with the reality of life in the trenches with RAD kids. I do believe God can do miracles and heal these wounded hearts. But He also gave us free will and each of us makes choices each day to move forward, sit still or lag behind. My kids are healing. We do have “normal” days when life is just frustrating not debilitating. I know there has been discussion on whether a person can be healed of RAD. My kids want to know when they will be “normal” while still using RAD as an excuse for every bad choice. My belief is that they can have a “normal” life with the ability to make choices more logically and based on their belief system. But I think RAD will always have an effect on how they think, react and believe. It’s like telling a person with only one leg that they can be healed. They will never have two “normal” legs but they can learn to live their life with what they’ve been given and even thrive. But don’t tell me that they won’t live every moment with the fact that they only have one leg. My hope for our RAD kids is that they will choose to accept the life they’ve been given, realize what happened to them is not their fault, and use their experiences and challenges to believe they were made in God’s image. M and S are 11 and 12 and I see progress. But as we start loosening the boundaries and they begin living in the world as “normal” kids (ie. friends, feelings, hormones, disappointments, expectations) every day becomes an opportunity to put what we’ve been instilling in them into action. I don’t know what heartbreaks and triumphs lie ahead. I just know we’re still here, fighting the battle for their hearts, taking small steps forward and often a few back, praying constantly for wisdom.