Ok everyone, I think think I'm done answering questions for now. Thanks for the positive comments and the suggested resources.


  • August - Potentially matched with my son.

  • October 21 - Met my son for the first time.

  • November 4 - He moved in.


  • November 16 - Finalized the adoption!

My son has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

edit: Front page? Wow. I didn't expect this much interest. :) I'm answering questions as fast as I can.

edit2: To answer a common question, we are both Caucasian.

edit3: I'm 32 years old.

edit4: A co-worker just asked me. "Which is better, the day you adopted your son or the day you made the reddit front page?" I quickly answered: "The day I adopted my son."

edit5: There have been many comments to the tune of "you have inspired me to foster/adopt". Before you do, be very aware of what you are getting into. My story does not yet have a happy ending. It is possible that there won't be a happy ending. Fostering/adopting an older child is one of the most diffcult taks you can ever take on. You must be willing to help these children without any expectation of a return of your love and you definetely cannot expect gratitude. I am giving my son every opportunity I can to become an adult who is able to do what he wants to do with his life. Whether or not he chooses to accept those opportunities is entirely up to him.

Comments: 1861 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

IAMnotBRAD1359 karma

So basically, your son is totally RAD in an ODD sort of way?

haabda641 karma

laugh Yes. Thanks for the smile.

glitcher21284 karma

Did they teach you how to deal with his special needs? What made you decide to adopt, and why that specific child? Are you glad you did it? How are things going with the two of you?

haabda560 karma

Did they teach you how to deal with his special needs?

I took some training classes and read much about the disorders online. I read through forums at adoption.com in an attempt to get a heads-up on what I was getting myself into. The information helped but it definitely did not prepare me.

What made you decide to adopt, and why that specific child?

I have always enjoyed working with youth. Around age 16, I started working with the younger kids at church and one of the local cub scout packs. I was also a very sought-after babysitter. You had to book me weeks in advance.

As for my son, we were matched after I had inquired about around 50 other kids. Getting past the stigma of being a single male was very difficult.

Are you glad you did it?

Yes. A million times yes.

How are things going with the two of you?

Things are going well. He has improved in his schoolwork and behavior. His fits of rage don't happen nearly as often anymore.

braeica264 karma

I have two adopted sons with RAD and those first couple of years can get rough. You ever need somebody who's been there to ask questions or talk to, drop me a line.

haabda90 karma

Thank you.

icebourg169 karma

What kind of stigma did you experience as a single guy adopting?

Love that you did it, we need more people like you.

haabda509 karma

The most common stigma I encountered was "A single guy who spends much of his free time with kids must be a pedophile." This was by far the most difficult to overcome, even after I was licensed to adopt. My son's social worker told me she was "taking a chance" matching me to my son. My son recently told me the day she brought him to my home, she told him "if he touches you in a bad way, you make sure to call me."

One I encountered far less often was "A man who hasn't had any biological children wouldn't know how to raise a kid."

kristabelle77744 karma

How does the process of "matching" work, and what types of things do they take into consideration?

haabda88 karma

Once you are licensed, if you want to help an older child, you pretty much have to "go shopping" for a kid. I spent alot of time on AdoptUSKids reading about kids. AdoptUSKids and similar websites ask you what you believe you are willing to take on and then present you with a list of possible matches. You read about each kid and then decide whether or not to inquire about them. The kid's social worker then reads your profile and decides whether or not to ask for your homestudy. I they like your homestudy, they will send more detailed information about the kid. Then, if the social worker decides you are a possible match, they form a committee of professionals who decide whether or not to place the kid with you.

apostrophie231 karma

Congratulations! Why did you decide to go that route?

haabda477 karma

Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to adopt an "older" child. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for kids who are stuck in the system.

apostrophie165 karma

That's awesome. You never worry about not being able to handle him correctly?

haabda286 karma

All the time. Did I discipline him too harshly when I caught him smoking weed? Am I too lenient when it comes to demanding respectful speech?

Luckily, his biological sisters' mother is only a phone call away. She has been a therapeutic foster parent for years and is always there to listen and offer advice. I also have the forums at adoption.com as a very useful resource.

kobedoinwork123 karma

What did you do when you caught him smoking weed?

haabda391 karma

The first time, I put him on 24-hour supervision for a week which severely limited his freedom since hanging out at the skate park and doing things with his friends was contingent on me being available and willing to watch him.

The second time, I put him on 24-hour supervision for a month and the social worker made me take him to a hospital for an intake evaluation. When asked why he chose to smoke pot, he said he didn't really want to but he wanted to "look cool" and saying no made him look like a wimp. He really has a hard time with peer pressure. I told him I would begin randomly drug testing him so the next time he is offered a drug he can so "no, I can't, my Dad randomly drug tests me."

tamar87 karma

Where's his biological mother (and father)?

haabda135 karma

He and his sisters were removed from his mother when he was 8 years old. His father vanished when he was 2 or 3 years old. The state was unable to locate his father.

[deleted]90 karma

Does he stay in touch with his sisters?

haabda132 karma

He does. They live in another state so most of their contact is via phone, texts, and facebook.

We make sure they get to have physical visits but have learned to keep those visits to a few days. They haven't lived together in so many years that after a few days they just start being annoyed with each other.

[deleted]62 karma

Oh that sounds like normal siblings, to get annoyed with each other. Of course, if you can't have them together permanently I think it really is worthwhile keeping the visits short and pleasant to avoid damage to their relationship.

haabda46 karma

Exactly mine and the other parent's thoughts.

angelrosie09071 karma

I've said this to people, and they think I'm joking. Or crazy. Very interesting to hear your story.

haabda149 karma

I know many who still think I'm crazy. Thing is, when my son is an adult, I will probably adopt another one.

GhostedAccount55 karma

Because you adopted him, does that mean he is no longer emancipated? Will you have to pay for college now?

When you eventually fill out fafsa, do you have to put your income on the form?

I only say this, because adopting teens basically means the government will probably fuck over the kid when it comes to financial aid.

haabda141 karma

He was not emancipated when he was a ward of the state. I am putting money away for college should he choose to go. I will have to put my income on the FAFSA.

bunnyblossom49 karma

I've felt the same way since I was a teenager... May I ask, how old are you? And did you consider foster parenting at all?

I'm 24 and I don't think I'll be ready to foster or adopt for at least another 5 years but right now I'm becoming a CASA so I can get a feel for the system.

haabda84 karma

I am 32. I had my first foster child (8-year-old boy) when I was 30. I started the process of becoming a foster-parent when I was 28. I was turned down by the state agency. I was licensed through a private agency and ended up with a state child.

When they found an adoptive family for my first foster-son, it was heart-wrenching. That was when I decided to become an adoptive home rather than foster.

The state gives you some financial assistance for fostering and the children you get will receive Medicaid. If I had known about the Medicaid and financial assistance I would have started the process of becoming a licensed foster home a few years sooner than I did.

stopthelight198 karma

Is he happy?

haabda364 karma

For the most part, yes. He still (and always will) love his biological mother but he struggles with negative feelings towards her. His mother did not do what was required to get her kids back so he sometimes feels like "she didn't love me and my sisters enough to keep us".

He gets angry VERY easily. I rarely see him show sadness. I think when he is feeling sadness he expresses it as anger. I've only seen him cry twice in the 14 months he has lived with me. Once when he was talking about how his mother "didn't even try" to keep him and once when I informed him his behavior had deteriorated so much that his social worker was making me enroll him in yet another behavioral hospital for a two-week stay.

strangersdk75 karma

I wish you the best of luck! My brother was adopted from a similar situation, at the age of 12. Behavior traits are so ingrained by that point it is difficult to help them. From your posts I have no doubt that you will work hard, just be sure to keep it up even if you get tired of outbursts - if you flip out on him even once it could cause a relapse in behavior.

haabda333 karma

The most difficult thing about his outbursts is staying calm myself. So far I have managed it. I am able to stay calm by telling myself that I have to show control so he knows control is possible.

frugalfran62 karma

Did the hospital stay help? How often did he need to be hospitalized (from your answer it appears to have happened more than once)?

haabda107 karma

Before he came to live with me, he was hospitalized on multiple occasions. Sometimes for months or over a year. Since being with me, he has had one two-week stay at an institution.

prionattack53 karma

What is treatment like for that two-week stay? Does it seem to help, or is it mainly to provide some separation for things to cool down and for his rage to subside?

haabda98 karma

It is hours and hours of therapy. It is following every single rule to the letter so you can be allowed something as simple as watching TV. If you don't participate in therapy, you can't get better and therefore can't get out.

They also gave him a psychiatrist who was the first person to take him off of some medication. It was the psychiatrist taking him off some that gave me the idea to eventually remove it all.

prionattack34 karma

Did you remove the meds under doctor's supervision? Some of those psychiatric meds are really terrible, in side effects and efficacy both.

You sound like an amazing parent.

haabda57 karma

They were not removed under direct supervision. Though I did have a direct line to a psychiatrist and a psychologist had any problems arisen. Taking him off the medications really helped him. He began to improve much faster.

kidNurse33 karma

Can you list what medications he's on?

haabda86 karma

He was on:

  • Clonidine - Bi-Polar and Sleep
  • Abilify - Bi-Polar and Depression
  • Lamotrigine - (don't remember what this was for)
  • Lexapro - Depression
  • Adderall - ADHD

I began slowly taking him off all the non-ADHD medications in June of 2010. He stopped the ADHD medication about a month ago.

[deleted]63 karma

Wow, I can't believe such a young kid was on all those drugs. That's a prime example of why children need someone stable in their lives to oversee these things.

haabda33 karma

I think they gave him so much so he was easier to control in the hospital.

GhostedAccount30 karma

when I informed him his behavior had deteriorated so much that his social worker was making me enroll him in yet another behavioral hospital for a two-week stay.

What does that mean? Was he acting out at home with you? Or was he doing something at school that caused the problem?

haabda74 karma

He was getting into more and more trouble at school. He was refusing to do even the simplest of chores at home. He was disrespectful all the time and didn't seem to care about any consequences. I don't think he believed I would still be there for him when/if he got out. (Past foster homes had told him they would still be there for him when he got out. They lied.)

erinhiggins188 karma

What have been your greatest challenges since he moved in?

In what ways do you think he has positively changed? How is he doing in school (academically and behaviorally)?

haabda592 karma

What have been your greatest challenges since he moved in?

Dealing with his rage. He is about the same size as me and physically stronger. Luckily I am trained in a couple of martial arts that allow me to defend myself from attacks and place him in therapeutic holds.

In what ways do you think he has positively changed?

His rages don't happen as often and when he does rage, they are less intense. He is no longer taking any of the five (yes, five!) medications the psychiatrists had him on while he was in the behavioral institution. Since taking him off the medications (slowly) his behavior has only improved. The fact that I haven't (and now, can't) kicked him out has helped him feel more secure which has led to better behavior.

How is he doing in school (academically and behaviorally)? Last year (7th grade) he barely passed and did whatever he could think of to get suspended. He hated being at school and anything to do with schoolwork. He faked being sick very often. He was in danger of being moved to the alternative school. Getting him to do homework involved threats of discipline and much arguing.

This year (8th grade) he is doing much better. He pretty much gets straight C's. There are even days when he finished his homework at school. He has made A's on some tests and has only been in trouble twice since August. He hasn't faked being sick once this school year.

cartgatherer111 karma

So he physically attacks you? How often does this happen? What usually sets him off?

haabda260 karma

He will punch. He once threw a plate at me when I let him up too soon. I thought he had calmed down but he wasn't quite calm yet.

What has set him off in the past is receiving a consequence for doing something wrong. It is as if he thinks he won't receive a consequence next time if he gets all violent this time. Instead, it just makes him have more consequences.

I also have a new idea that the violence is attention-seeking. Recently I simply left the house when he started escalating to rage while saying I don't want to be around him when he is being like this. Leaving him alone while he was raging was really scary.

I thought: "Will he..." * hurt the dogs or his pets? * hurt himself? * destroy the new TV I just bought? * tear up the house?

It turns out he did none of those things. It was the first time I've simply ignored the raging and I plan to do it the next time.

oalsaker42 karma

place him in therapeutic holds

Aikido practitioner here. I know a lot of painful joint locks but none I find very therapeutic. Could you elaborate a little on this?

wihmartin115 karma

I worked in a treatment center throughout college - basically, these "therapeutic" holds are just joint locks, wrist bends, and pressure points. For at-risk kids who aren't able to manage their own rage and threaten physical violence, they can be necessary.

The thing that makes these processes a little different than martial arts is 1) many practitioners (like myself) aren't nearly as good at them as actual martial artists; and 2) the certification process includes a bunch of psychology (body mirroring, de-escalation techniques, positioning, etc.) to do BEFORE engaging in a hold. We also learn things to say during and after the restraint.

They're messy, though - I hated doing them (violence really upsets me), and they are ALWAYS humiliating experiences for the kids involved. It's just a way to incapacitate someone who is being an immediate danger to themselves, to someone else, or to property.

*Edit: Finished a thought.

haabda40 karma

You did a better job of answering that question than I would have. Thanks.

revmuun131 karma

How is your son doing friends-wise?

haabda169 karma

He does not choose what I consider to be "good" friends. He chooses the trouble-makers and kids with troubled homes. Most of the "friends" he chooses would turn their back on him in a second. I understand. He more readily identifies with them. They expect nothing from him and he expects nothing from them.

Many "good" kids have tried to befriend him. My son turns them down. They eventually stop asking. When he does accept an invitation from a "good" kid, he rarely accepts another. They want to do things like do homework/study together and wholesome activities.

If a girl he likes starts telling him things like he should "pay attention in class" or "stop being so rude to the teachers" he stops talking to that girl.

TaiserSoze109 karma

Do the two of you ever go grocery shopping together?

haabda217 karma

Rarely. He used to go with me all the time but now I know what he likes. At this point, he only goes when he wants to try to talk me into something I wouldn't normally purchase.

Margot2342 karma

What do you guys do together?

haabda117 karma

Boy Scout activities.

Video games.


Chess every now and then.

firethetree40 karma

Does he get upset when he loses in such activities, or is he able to readily accept it?

haabda55 karma

He used to get upset when he lost. Now he accepts it in a more appropriate manner.

ailee43108 karma

What were the challenges with being

A) Male B) Single

as an adoptive parent. There seems to be a significant stigma against both men, and single people in adoption.

haabda114 karma

I answered the "Male" part of the question earlier. As for the "Single" part, I am lucky to have the support of family, friends, and church family who support me. I have many people I can call on for assistance and emotional support.

Recently, I have gotten engaged and my fiance has been absolutely wonderful in helping out with who I will be soon referring to as "our son".

peppermintty57 karma

Does your son get along well with your fiance? Do you anticipate that suddenly having another authoritative figure in the house could be a rough transition?

haabda76 karma

He mostly gets along with her. When she asserts authority he resents and resists it.

It will be a rough transition.

[deleted]18 karma

Ah so you're not single single, but legally single and lived alone until your son arrived?

haabda22 karma

I was single and not dating anyone when he moved in November 2010. I began dating in August 2011.

mcfarlie104 karma

I work with a lot of teenagers with disadvantaged backgrounds and all sorts of emotional/mental/behavioural issues and I just wanted to say thank you for what you have done. If there were more people like you then there would be less teenagers finding themselves on their own and lost at 18.
It is especially important for boys to have positive male role models, ad unfortunately that is usually lacking in their lives. As this is an AMA I'll ask a question: What does he refer to you as - both face to face or if mentioning you to someone else?

haabda157 karma

To the rest of the world, he refers to me as "my Dad."

To my face, it is usually by my first name. Before the adoption was finalized, I told him I wanted him to start calling me Dad, Papa, Father, or something like that. All of his friends call their Dads "Dad" and I want him to feel as "normal" as he can.

He has told his therapist he wants to call me "Dad" but that it is difficult for him to remember. So, since I started pushing the issue a little bit, he has switched from using my first name to saying "Hey". I will either ignore him or say "I'm not Hey." It is very slowly working and he seems to like the "game" of it.

cute_addict74 karma

This is just an idea, but what if you suggested he called you "D". It may be easier for him to wrap his mind around, and you might feel closer to him, knowing what it means.
I have never been close to a man that I would conside my dad, since my parents divorced when I was 3. But I think I could have handled "D", if in that type of situation. Best of luck to you both, you're amazing!

haabda48 karma

I really like this idea.

arc_en_ciel97 karma

I've heard such horror stories about RAD - how does his manifest itself in his and your daily life?

Do you see progress since he's moved in?

Does he talk about his childhood with you?

haabda171 karma

I've heard such horror stories about RAD - how does his manifest itself in his and your daily life?

I have heard many horror stories. Luckily he does not have some of the more extreme RAD behaviors.

Whenever he starts to feel more secure, he will do something he considers to be big. He might act out at school, break something, do something he knows is against the rules, or lash out at me verbally. Luckily, it seems like the bigger the outburst, the better his behavior is for days (or weeks) afterwards.

Do you see progress since he's moved in? Very much so. His fits of rage happen less and less often. He is more open to being corrected. His behavior and grades at school have improved.

Does he talk about his childhood with you?

Not as much as he used to. When he does talk about it I try to be a soundboard for him. He doesn't need judgement or opinions. He just needs to be able to talk about it and have his questions answered.

l8051 karma

Do you see those outbursts as demonstrations of trust? Like, the more secure he feels, the more need he feels to test it, to make sure he's not being lulled into a false sense of security?

I can't tell you how brilliant that last bit is. Being a soundboard is ... fucking priceless. It's SO beneficial for him to be able to do that and not feel like you're going to judge or advise him. It also shows him that he can trust you and that you're a trustworthy source of information and opinions when you do give them or when he asks for them.

haabda91 karma

Very much so. Kids who have been through what he has been through will purposely act out. The feeling is "I'm going to reject him before he rejects me."

Being there for them even after bad behavior is what helps them feel secure.

Musclecore76 karma

I feel like I might catch some flack for this, but I'll run with it anyway. It might not even be appropriate, but I'm trying to build an image in my head. What are your respective ethnic backgrounds?

P.S. I'm from Sweden, and the prejudiced image of the USA (There's guessing once again) I may have in my mind, I see you as a caucasian, and him as some ethnic minority.

haabda50 karma

We are both Caucasian.

candre2372 karma

Forgive me if this sounds rude, but rather than beat around the bush...

Did you have to settle for a special-needs child because as a single man, you would not be approved for a "desirable" kid?

haabda110 karma

To be brutally honest with myself. Yes.

Pulp_Zero21 karma

Now that you've been with him for a while, and gotten to know him, would you trade him for a "normal" or "desirable" kid?

haabda112 karma

Absolutely not.

l_thonet70 karma

What was meeting him like?

haabda153 karma

To answer this, I'll post my entry from Livejournal that day:

Subject: I met ****** today!

Before they let me meet [him], they told me he was being punished for acting out so he wouldn't be allowed to leave the facility. I was disappointed but I think it turned out to be a good thing. When [he] walked into the room I could tell by his body language he was extremely nervous. I told him I was anxious too and had been having trouble sleeping because of my anxiousness. I think that helped him to relax a little.

I showed him the photo album I made for him. He had many questions about Rebel, Draco, my house, and scouting. He sounded really excited about becoming a Boy Scout and meeting his new family. During our conversation, we found out that we have many interests in common. We both like gaming, anime, outdoor activities, swimming, and dogs.

Tomorrow I will take him out to see the airplane but due to the ignorance of some people, I will not be allowed to take him flying because it is considered a "dangerous activity". Never mind the fact that it is safer than driving on a two-lane road. I also plan to show him more photos on my computer and allow him to pick some of them to have printed for his photo album. We are going to try to go bowling or play miniature golf in the morning. In the afternoon, after his social workers leave, we are going to go to the Army Aviation Museum. I don't know yet what we are going to do on Saturday.

Flobulon93 karma

Who are Rebel and Draco? Pets?

Also, judging purely from this AMA. you're a wonderful human being :)

haabda87 karma

Rebel and Draco are dogs. Rebel is mine and Draco is my little brother's. He is a pilot in the air force and can't have his dog for a couple more years. I'm taking care of Draco until he can again.

forza10154 karma

Since I don't know anything about adopting someone, what would have happened to him or anyone who is up for adoption when they turn 18?

I wish you the best of luck!

haabda83 karma

At the "age of majority" they are free to leave their foster home. Some are kicked out of their foster home because monthly payments from the state cease. There are transition programs out there for the kids to take advantage of but they have to know how to find them. Most wards of the state have some means of attending higher education through state assistance programs. All too often once a kid reaches the age of majority, they do not take advantage of the assistance programs offered by the state. For every success story I'm guessing there are multiple sad stories. If a kid doesn't choose to help himself, the state will simply allow him to go (because the state has so many children who it must care about by law).

forza10118 karma

Ah that's unfortunate.

I've read here on reddit that it's much harder to adopt if you are single. Is it true? Does it go both ways for males and females?

haabda29 karma

Yes it is definitely more difficult for singles to adopt. Especially males. Getting over the "he must be a pedophile" assumption is very difficult.

Fishermansterminal49 karma


You have to see the movie Martian Child. Not only is it a pretty good movie but it is so relevant to your situation. I am sure you will love it.

Read to him the giving tree http://youtu.be/1TZCP6OqRlE

You can't go wrong with love..

haabda23 karma

Thanks, I'll try to get Martian Child from Netflix.

lastwind44 karma

I'm pleasantly surprised that they let single parents adopt.

How are you dealing with the RAD and ODD and the generally teen-aged behavior? Do you have a barrage of counselors and programs or do you mostly work with him yourself, if so how? Can you give some specific examples of how you parent a teen with RAD/ODD? Do you talk or do you go through exercises or whatever?

EDIT: found Q already A'd

haabda94 karma

For the most part, I work with him myself. Our most productive talks are at bedtime when he doesn't want to go to bed. I will rub his back and scratch his head while we talk (human, skin-to-skin contact is important for his healing). I think his mental defenses aren't quite as strong when he is tired and I seem to be able to get through to him much more effectively when he is relaxing.

He has one therapist which he sees bi-weekly. At school, they take him out of class twice a week to see a therapist in a group setting who works with him on issues such as "taking responsibility for your actions", selfishness, interacting with peers, etc.

He has a good relationship with his school counselor.

Aye-curumba63 karma

I will rub his back and scratch his head while we talk (human, skin-to-skin contact is important for his healing)

He doesn't mind that you touch him? I don't mean you are touching him wrong, it just takes a lot of trust. This is probably a good sign. I have been abused most of my life and I hate when people touch me (even my SO sometimes).

haabda47 karma

The first time I tried to rub his back he recoiled from the touch. He accepted the head scratching the first time I tried it. Now every night at bedtime he asks for a back rub and head scratching.

MZago143 karma

Not that it's pertinent to your raising him, but are you in a relationship? If you are not, are you dating? Does the topic come up of you being an adoptive father, and what are the reactions you've gotten to that?

haabda81 karma

In August I began dating a good friend of mine. In October, I asked her to marry me. We are getting married in March.

This has caused my son to act out a bit more. He is scared of the change. But, he seems to like my fiance and he adores his soon-to-be-sister.

preguica8830 karma

Do you love him? Does he love you?

haabda49 karma

Yes and yes.

sparklyjesus20 karma

So what are some examples of his behavior when you first adopted him? You said he would start to rage... Did he break things? Threaten you? I only ask because my mother used to be that way when I was younger and I remember her breaking cupboards from slamming them, punching through my door... It can be a terrifying experience and I really commend you for wading through it and still trying to help him on the other side. I'm glad to hear he is doing better! He really deserves someone like you.

haabda91 karma

He would say he was going to harm himself. He had no history of ever actually following through on his threats to harm himself. He had even volunteered his opinion on how "stupid" "cutters" are. He has not threatened to harm himself since this happened...

He was angry about having to go to school (or something like that). He had a big knife to his throat. He said he would kill himself if I made him.

I said: "Wow, that is really going to hurt. Plus, I think your survival instincts will kick in and make you stop. But, not soon enough. You are going to be really bored in the hospital healing for weeks or months. Plus, you'll be on suicide watch."

Son: "I don't care!"

(At this point, I decided to take a BIG risk. But, I was 90% certain it would turn out the way it did.)

Me: "Would you please do me a favor then?"

Son: looks at me quizzically "What?"

Me: "Could you go stand in the bathtub when you cut your throat? It will make it much easier to clean up the blood."

Son: throws down the knife in disgust

At other times, he would pick up a knife and threaten to kill me. I would look at him, tell him I love him, and that I am not afraid of death because I know where I'm going when I die. (All while ready with my self defense techniques in case he actually did try to attack with the knife he was holding.)

He stopped threatening harm to himself and threats of killing me when they simply didn't work for him.

scrash18 karma

Are you wealthy? How old are you?

haabda19 karma

I am solidly in the middle of middle-class. I am 32.

BoydParham18 karma

Hello sir. I worked for a psychiatric hospital in a child inpatient unit for crisis management, working with kids who had similar diagnosis as your son. I really just want to say thank you for choosing to adopt one of these children. My experience with working with these kids showed me they are a little rough around the edges, but are amazing little people on the inside who just need consistent, reliable affection and attention from an adult. You are fighting the good fight and I hope that things work out well for both you and your son.

As far as questions, how are you talking to your son about drugs and sex? Is your son on any medications? Do you plan on adopting again?

Thanks a lot!

haabda24 karma

How are you talking to your son about drugs and sex?

When he brings it up (which is often) I discuss it with him.

Is your son on any medications?

Currently he is not. We are trying school without the Vyvanse (ADHD medication) at his request.

Do you plan on adopting again?


thesqlguy15 karma

Most of these questions seem to be able the challenges and issues, but have there been many moments of great happiness/joy/bonding between the two of you so far?

haabda48 karma

  • Taking him for his first flight.
  • Taking him fishing in the gulf when he got to see and play on a beach for the first time.
  • Him helping me propose.
  • Hearing that he was getting a new cousin (my niece). My sister made him feel special by telling him first.
  • Telling him he passed the 7th grade and didn't have to go to summer school.

Vooxie13 karma

What was your first meeting like with your son? Did you meet any other potential kids up for adoption? Do you find it harder to raise him being single? Has it helped in any ways? How old are you? Are you currently dating anyone? (I ask this because I'm curious how your son takes it, are there attention or jealousy issues or anything?)

How wanted to add, you sound like an amazing human being and your son is very lucky to have you. Great work for making the world just a little bit better!

Edit: I see you answered one of my questions.

haabda29 karma

Did you meet any other potential kids up for adoption?

No. The social workers only want you to meet someone you are pretty sure you're going to adopt. Imagine the emotional damage it could do to a kid to be told "someone is coming to meet you and might adopt you" and then after meeting that person you are told they decided not to adopt you.

You might be thinking, "then just don't tell them the person might be adopting them". That doesn't work older kids. They are smart enough to know this stranger is a potential placement.

Do you find it harder to raise him being single?

I don't know. I have only ever been a single parent. I imagine having a partner to help is extremely helpful. I am starting to get a taste of dual parenting as my fiance becomes more involved in my and my son's lives.

Are you currently dating anyone?

Yes, and I asked her to marry me last October. We are getting married in March. I know my son is scared of the change and sometimes jealous of the time I spend with her. But, I think overall it will be a good change for us.