February 16th, 2008
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Categories: Behaviors

Reading Nancy Spoolstra’s post about the tragic college shooting deaths this week, I was just thinking and wondering if we’d also find out that the shooter was adopted. I only say that, in my paranoia, because of stories like this that have become all too prevalent and my second most violent kid will come to visit us this upcoming weekend. The most violent one returned home in December but has improved.

These thoughts stress me out and I spent the entire day outside weeding and thinking about how I will handle his visit. He’s been in treatment for nearly seven months and has expressed a huge desire for home and family. He may not ever have all that he needs in order to function properly in society but compared to some other folks where he is, he’s nearly normal. A ridiculously laughable comparison, but it is the only one that the therapists have to work with in making their decisions. Financial cuts though are the main reason.


I got him mental health services then trying to keep him out of the juvenile justice system, I don’t know if I only delayed the inevitable or if we could possibly have a success story here.

We’ve gotten our sixth dog recently, we have acreage and 20 some kids still at home. and this silly puppy, a terrier mix, has certainly served his own therapeutic purpose here as he is curious and delightful, plus bright enough to outsmart a houseful of traumatized children nearly every single day.

I even resorted to spelling the sentence, “Let him go out to the bathroom,” as the puppy quickly figured out that meant he was leaving the party so he would take off and hide. My kids either can’t spell that fast, or used this as yet another control issue with me thus resulting in puppy poop as a natural consequence, a concept I’ve been working on for decades around here.

So between my own horticultural pursuits and my children’s animal therapeutic interventions we’ve had a calm day today. I’ve come inside to look at the news on the computer, to blog and to continue pondering adoption issues as I’m still so obsessed with these topics, still constantly struggling to find answers.

Artwork and Photo Credit Lily Bodie

3 Responses to “Older Adopted Children and Violence”

  1. ernest says:

    Not sure whether he was adopted but on today’s CNN interview with his girlfriend, the shooter was sent to a group home before and he was cutting himself.

  2. patty45 says:

    hi Cindy, I have read many of your blogs and been inspired by them. I wonder if you can spare the time to think about our family. We have two adopted kids, our son was adopted at 12 and is now 16 and our little girl at 6 months, she is now 2. Our son has been acting out against our baby girl, last week, he dragged her by her arm, the other day picked her up by her head and she was terrified and the most frightening, he has at times got an erection while holding her.

    We are quick to take her off him, and about to start therapy with him. He genuinely seems to care for his little sister and is proud of her. But we are beginning to be really frightened of him, we can never leave them alone, so home life is a nightmare. We have put so much love and care into our older son, we know he is jealous of his little sister but this is tearing the family apart. We really try and show him as much love as possible.

    How should we try and speak to him about these issues. We know he was violently beaten as a child, and also now believe he may have been sexually abused. Our extended family really loves and cares for both kids. We feel like we are hiding a dark secret from them, they would be mortified. Our baby girl now cries when he approaches her. We are frightened to speak to a counsellor about his sexual behavior as fear our baby girl with be removed from our care. As she is at risk. Thanks, any help would be great, Patty

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