I’m in Atlanta at the Navigating RAD 22 conference with RAD Advocates this weekend. For those of you who couldn’t make it, this is your place for the highlights from the amazing speakers!
Determining What You Have Left as a Family and Ideas to Move Forward
Carrie O’Toole, , M.A., board-certified Christian life coach
Highlights & Take Aways
Carrie is our people and we are her people. After struggling with infertility, she and her husband created a family of two adopted children and one birth child. Their youngest, Sam, they adopted from Vietnam at the age of 3 ½. Their long journey through special-ed, hospitalizations, and multiple diagnoses including RAD ended with relinquishing Sam for adoption into another family. After suffering devastating judgement from the people she thought would support her, Carrie has devoted her life to being there to support other families who find themselves grappling with these difficult situations.
- We’re told all we need is love by churches, agencies, therapists, and our families but that’s not true. Love cannot cure trauma.
- Some families are damaged beyond the point of recovery.
- Moms of children with RAD do develop PTSD.
- We all believe adoption is forever, but sometimes that’s not what is best for the child or the family.
- When considering if your child should continue living in the home you have to think about yourself, your other kids, your marriage, etc. It’s not just your child with RAD. Consider,
- Do you have the finances? Do you have the emotional support?
- How traumatized is everyone in the family, especially mom? Sometimes mom can’t recover from her trauma with the child in the home. It’s very hard to heal PTSD with the child who is triggering you in the home.
- This is true for the child too. If you’ve become the “nurturing enemy” mom, it’s very hard for them to heal in the home.
- Living with a RAD sibling has significant impact on siblings. In partnership with RAD Sibs, Carrie offers groups, support, and curriculum for siblings.
- Parents/former parents of kids with RAD can be amazing respite providers because they understand RAD and we know that kids with RAD won’t do it to us.
Carrie offers resources through Carrie O’Toole Ministries including a faith-based Relinquished Retreat to help parents process trauma and grief related to trauma, adoption, and relinquishment. This retreat is not only for parents who have already relinquished. It’s for anyone who has put their children in out of home care or who is considering it.
Carrie works as a coach, helping other struggling adoptive parents to heal from their own grief and trauma. She helps parents through coaching, her book, Relinquished: When Love Means Letting Go, documentary film, Forfeiting Sanity, the Relinquished Retreat for Parents, blogs, and podcasts.
Find Carrie at Carrie O’Toole Ministries