Sunday, November 21, 2010


We use labels everyday, for all kinds of reasons. Labels make it easier to find things... like the correct spice for a recipe. Labels make it easier to organize things and easier to understand things.

Then why is it so scary when someone puts a label on your child?

This happened to me many years ago, when my oldest was just a preschooler. I started hearing the acronym ADHD quite a lot; and indeed, in kindergarten that label was applied to my son. There was a sense of relief that there was a name to his difficulties, and also a sense of panic that this was going to affect him for the rest of his life. Well, it has. Some of the effects were from the ADHD itself, and some were from the label that he carried with him through school.

The other day, our therapist referred to my daughter as an "attachment disordered" kid. Obviously this is no surprise since we have been going to therapy for months. But somehow, hearing it out loud like that really shook me and brought back those same feelings about my child being labeled. That horrible feeling of not knowing if everything will be alright.

It's scary.

I don't know if it will be alright or not. I don't know that many people with adopted children at all, much less internationally adopted attachment disordered ones. I do know that ADHD was hard, and it's still hard... but my son is wonderful and I love him very much. I don't fear ADHD anymore, it's just part of my son's make-up and something we have to work around sometimes. "Attachment disorder" sounds very scary to me right now... but I love my daughter and I hope that we can work as a family to give her the security she needs to open up to us and love us back just as much.