Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reactive Attachment Disorder

I had never heard of Reactive attachment disorder, or RAD, before my mom told me about it.

Children form their attachments in the first months of their lives. If a child is neglected and abandoned those first crucial months, they learn that for the rest of their lives, they can't depend on anyone but themselves. This results in reluctance to bond, or even outright distrust of adoptive families.

It had never occurred to me that Evan might not like me. I had always pictured me giving her a smothering hug when we first met, and her sitting on my lap and watching princess movies with me, having tea parties together. All the things that sisters normally do. I never once thought that Evan might not like me at first.

I have to admit that when this thought first occurred to me, it felt like someone had just kicked me in the stomach. Evan might not like me. My sister might not like me at first. I felt tears come to my eyes as I thought of her refusing to talk to me, refusing to hug me, afraid to trust her big sister.

So I pray now that Evan will know without a shadow of a doubt that her big sister loves her. Her big sister would die for her. Her big sister would do anything to make her happy. Her big sister would beat the crap out of anyone who messed with her. Her big sister is here to love her and protect her, and won't ever let anything happen to her.

I hope that Evan knows that. I picture her going to sleep in a cold, orphanage crib, shivering without any blankets. Lonely, and not understanding why no one comes to take her home like the other children. I pray that God would send an angel to her from me. An angel that will lay a blanket over her little shivering body, and stroke her hair, and give her a kiss, and tell her "I love you, Я люблю тебя". From your big sister.

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