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Can’t seem to shake the sense of all not being well in my world. Because it’s not. And hasn’t been for 11 years. Since the adoption.

Our normal is not normal.

It’s not normal to wonder if there is any sign of conscience in my son. He can fake it with the best. He doesn’t rage. He can be polite when he wants. But I look at him as if he’s a perfect stranger. And I feel bad.

Because I am who I am somehow it feels like it’s my fault. I should try harder. And feel more empathy and compassion. I should be able to look beyond the exterior to the wounded child.

The truth is I really wonder sometimes if he’s wounded. I get all that in utero stuff and the first few months bonding stuff. But we got him at 15 months. Yes, I KNOW there are kids adopted at birth with serious RAD. I get it that B kept our home from being safe for four years until she left. I get it that it took six more years for his secrets to come out.


I just don’t know what to do with IT.

Nothing changes. He can sit for days in his room. Treats me like I’m punishing him whenI send him out to play. Talks in a monotone. Argues that he IS working day and night.

And I fear. Terrible, overwhelming fears of what will happen when he turns 18. Will he be okay? Will he just be promiscuous and a drinker or will he be an abuser and worse? Will he abandon his kids? Will he ever marry? Can he hold a job?


God, hear my desperate cry. I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how to love him any better. Any harder. Any more.

I don’t know how to play this game and not let him win. Because if he wins we all lose. Winning to him is getting what he wants. What he wants is not healthy or satisfying or fulfilling or lasting.

I don’t know where else to go. Tim and I don’t even talk about it because, really, what are the options? The only thing to do different is put him in public school. Save my sanity and the constant trampling of my heart. Me withdraw from his pain. Not allow him in to wreak the devastation that B caused.

I believe hope is the answer. I believe God is the only way. I just don’t know what else is required and needed of me.

I can’t fix my son. That reality rips my heart apart.

I can’t count on him being the prodigal sheep when he wanders because I’m not sure if we’ve ever meant anything to him. I don’t know if he has any single sincere emotion or belief that there is good in the world.

My only hope is Jesus.

What is HIS hope? If he has none, what does his life look like?

I understand letting your child go, believing and hoping you instilled values and memories and sense of family when they are adults. My daughter is marrying soon. My oldest son is going to college. I struggle through the letting go process.

But my youngest son is a child. Do I let go now? Or do I cling to hope and muddle through and pray and trust? Is this normal God’s normal? Is this God’s will? I can’t even go there because all I see are clouds and uncertainty with no peace.

After 11 years have I lost all compassion, insight, wisdom? Am I so traumatized and beaten down that I can’t even see the path, much less the way to go? I truly don’t know. So I’m back to:

All is not well in my world.

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  1. I am so sorry to hear your heart is hurting!! I’m here with you, for you.

    You truly are not alone.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am so sorry that this is your reality right now. I so get it. I thought you might like to read this. It has been helping me.

  3. I think one of the hardest things all of us deal with is the wondering and the guilt of not being able to fix it. So few people get how truely scary it is to live with a hurt child.

    My heart is breaking for you and with you. 🙁

  4. (((Marty))), I’m so sorry. I know what it’s like to be in that place. No, we can’t fix our kids. We aren’t superhuman. All we can do is love them and pray for them and hope they will open their hearts to receive it. Sometimes that happens, and it is amazing. Sometimes it doesn’t and it breaks our hearts. Praying for you all, Marty. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM.

  5. Thanks for posting your struggles. It helps those of us who also struggle to know we are not alone.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  6. I am so sorry. I understand. As I was reading your post I could not help but think that I feel for Marty. Just know that you are not alone.
    We just went away for 2 weeks to visit family and my son was his superficial charming self the entire time. As soon as we got back in the car- FLAT.
    Just be consistent and patient. That’s the best. You are amazing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have only just found your blog, so my comment may sound silly as you may have already addressed this issue, but your son has some strong facial characteristics of FAS. Have you taken him to a doctor for a diagnosis. It won’t change his bahaviour, but it will give you access to more services if he has a medical diagnosis. It will also allow you to let go of some of the guilt and frustration because you know that kids with FAS have different brain structure that can’t be changed and that accounts for much of their behaviour. If it is FAS, he is not just a hurt child, he is a child with a brain structure that does not allow him to function “normally”

  8. Anonymous says:

    Only just found your blog, so maybe you have already addressed this issue, but your son has fairly strong facial characteristics of FAS. Have you looked into a diagnosis based on physical and behavioural characteristics as well as whatever history you have access to. I have worked with FAS kids. They do not process the way you and I do at all. Their brains are very different in the way that they function. Cause and effect mean little to most of these kids, (so yes, you can sit him in his room for days and he will never “get” how that is linked to his behaviour and it will not change his behaviour the next time). Some of the kids I worked with who are now adults have full time workers to help them function in the world. It is hard for the world to understand these kids and adults particularly because they are often very “cute” in both their looks and behaviour,(when they are out in public) so we have a hard time understanding why they act the way they do. I hate to say it, but if your son does indeed have FAS you should prepare yourself for some very challenging teenage years,(yes even MORE challenging), hormones and FAS do not go together well. Get a diagnosis if you can, although FAS can’t be treated, a diagnosis will help you access services that might otherwise be unavailable to you.

  9. I. So. Understand.

    It is So. Very. Hard.

    I am walking such a similar walk … adopted 3 siblings … had to find a new placement for the oldest sibling (after discovering abuse of younger sister). 2 children still with us (plus 4 of our bio.). 1 is doing well. Not fully attached, but doing well. 1 seems to have her heart wrapped in concrete.

    We have NO IDEA how to break down the concrete walls that she has erected.

    Thankful that we have this online community. Don’t have any idea what I would do without all of my “Bloggy Friends”.

    Praying for BLESSiNGS upon you in the coming week.


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