December 8, 2014 by: Deborah A. Novo I picked up the phone to hear my, then 18 year old son, say, “Mom, you will NEVER believe who I just found on facebook!” I found myself holding my breath as I instinctively knew to whom he was referring. The woman who gave birth to him and to whom he had biological, psychological and energetic ties. It had been well over a decade since last contact. I
December 2, 2014 by: Julie Beem A long time ago in what feels like a galaxy far away, I was a sleep-deprived mom of a raging toddler whose behaviors made absolutely no sense. I was an experienced “good enough” mom — so what was I doing wrong? My introduction to ATN came via a group of adoptive parents on the internet looking for answers for their traumatized children. We didn’t use the word “traumatized” because
December 2, 2014 by: Jane Samuel One night in 2007 I slipped away leaving my youngest daughter – who was well into one of her daily tantrums – in the hands of my husband. Beyond despair I climbed the stairs to my bathroom on the third floor of our house where I hoped I couldn’t hear her screams for her birth mother or her requests for us to kill her, and where my other daughters
December 2, 2014 by: Gari Lister In 2007, I thought I knew all about attachment. We had adopted an eleven year old from a Russian orphanage in 2002, and I had read everything I could get my hands on, so I was well versed in building attachment in older children. What I didn’t understand, though, was absolutely fundamental. I missed so much in my Katya’s behavior — her panic about new places, her fear when
By: Craig Peterson
The right teacher can make all the difference – for every student and especially those children healing from past trauma.
Boy with a Birthday CakeWhen my son Alex joined the family at the age of 10, he hadn’t been in a regular classroom since first grade. His behavior had been out of control, with anger filled rages getting the best of him. After grabbing a pair of scissors off a teacher’s desk and attempting to stab the principal in the neck, he spent a month in residential treatment. Upon his return to school, he was limited to two hours of instruction per day. A beefy ex-Marine stood guard.
November 20, 2014 By: Melissa Sadin I recently took my son, TS, on a mission trip with the church youth group. The group was to spend four days helping to prepare a camp in the NJ Pine Barrens for opening day. It was a challenge for my son because he does not do well with unfamiliar places and he had to sleep in a bare bones cabin with four other boys. He expressed his feelings
By: Craig Peterson
Craig Peterson’s ChildrenI had the best of intentions. I never would have imagined my misstep – the precedent I was setting. After all, I was simply trying to be kind to my two newest sons.
They came to me after a decade of extreme neglect and severe abuse at the hands of their birthmother’s boyfriend. Both endured more than 20 out-of-home placements after being stuck in the revolving door of family reunification.
By: Craig Peterson
Boys with GiftsSince my two sons hadn’t been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder when they were adopted at nine and ten, I didn’t know to look for control.
What I did see was their sense of entitlement.
by: Craig Peterson
My oldest son hated chores. Even the mention of the word set him off!
IMG_1235No wonder. Before being adopted, he was regularly told to not only watch his five younger siblings but also clean the family apartment.
Although he tried – and he did try — his step-father was never pleased with his effort and used the opportunity to beat him before taking his anger out on my son’s mother.
October 30, 2014 by: Kelly Killian As Halloween approaches and children begin to pick out costumes, they pick out a new “personality” to try on for a day. It makes me think of our kids. So often what you see is a mask that they are wearing for the occasion. It is not the true personality of the child. It is the personality they wear for the situation. My son was in out of home