Today is Alexandra’s 12th birthday.
Over the last 16 months we’ve had people reach out asking why she isn’t in pictures etc. I have also posted a few times about reactive attachment disorder.
Alexandra no longer lives in our home. And she will not return to our home. That’s a powerful statement isn’t it? It’s definitely not one I ever thought I would make.
I’ll try to make this as concise as possible. Alexandra has always had issues…and that’s ok. No child is nor can they be expected to be perfect. We searched for help and continued searching when things didn’t work. We tried every therapy we could get involved with. I’m not going to get into our insurance and the joke of what they cover when it comes to mental health issues.
Alexandra was officially diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) when she was 9. RAD is hard…soooo hard to live and deal with. She was also diagnosed with early onset conduct disorder due to her destruction of property etc.
After her diagnoses she began to get more violent. Yes, I said more. We had many instances where one or all the kids were hurt. Both dogs had been hurt by her. She began really destroying property and making more threats. We continued with therapy. When our insurance wasn’t doing enough we went to the county. I sat in offices crying, begging them to help her, help us. They did. We finally got to where we were doing therapy 4-5 days a week, up to 7 sessions in a week including therapists in our home for hours at a time.
She would tell me that the day I died would be a great day in her life. She would remind me that she was getting bigger and stronger and I was getting older and weaker. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes.
When Alexandra shared her very legitimate plan to kill me (and apparently the rest after I was dead) I knew things had taken a very scary turn and more needed to be done. She shared her plan with one of her therapists and they stepped in. We spent 13 hours being observed in an emergency room before she was admitted to a psych hospital for a week. Her threats to finish the job when she got home, along with the documented history of behaviors, got her admitted to a residential facility.
I drove 6 hours round trip weekly for family therapy sessions. She would either ignore me or she would (and most often chose this) yell, scream and curse at me. In front of her therapist she would threaten to hurt and/or kill the other kids at home and said it was my own fault she wanted to kill me. While there, she treated them as she did us (stealing, lying, disrespect etc). She attacked other children as well. After 6 months they told us there was nothing more they could do for her. The county stepped in and Alexandra was transferred to another facility that was closer. I then spent the next few months driving 3 hours round trip weekly. Her behaviors didn’t change. She began making false allegations against staff and threatening to kill them.
Finally her therapist told me that Alexandra would continue to attack our other children if she came home. Social Services told us that if Alexandra attacked the other kids they would be taken out of our home because we couldn’t keep them safe.
Alexandra was given options. She could do her therapy and work on behaviors. We did not expect perfection but she was not allowed to attack or try to physically hurt the other kids. She had to make attempts to try to do better. She refused. She did not want to live where there were expectations and rules.
The professionals did not feel or believe Alexandra could be successful in what’s considered a normal home environment, definitely not one with other children. Through a lot of phone calls, emails and meetings it was “decided” that Alexandra would not return to our home. Being in such an environment triggers her behaviors and aggression.
We continue to pray for Alexandra. That she heals, that she gets the help she needs. We have told her repeatedly that when she is in a place where she can call without screaming at us we encourage her to do that. We want to celebrate her successes with her and if possible help when she needs it.
I know this is a lot for everyone to read. And before people wonder how we could let this happen I feel it necessary to be very clear.
Alexandra planned our murders.
Alexandra planned to make attempts on our lives until she was successful.
Alexandra physically and emotionally/psychologically attacked her siblings.
Alexandra never apologized for her actions.
Alexandra never said she wanted to come home.
Alexandra never stated she would even try to do better and never made any attempts to show us through her behaviors at the residential facilities.
We are heartbroken over her choices. So today on her birthday please pray for her…for her safety and for her healing.Let's connect!
I live in Charlotte, NC with my family and am working on a memoir about raising my adopted son, Devon.