The difference is, many of these families are still holding on. Some are holding on because they are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Some because they simply don't know what else to do. But most because they know that if they were to let go, find this child with RAD another home, even though they KNOW it would be the best thing for the child AND for the rest of their family, they would be SO harshly judged, that they wouldn't be able to take it. Those who HAVE made the VERY brave decision to place their child in another home, whether it be for respite care or for adoption, are left to pick up the pieces of their lives. The child with RAD is able to move on almost seamlessly. Most of the time they have not formed a bond with the family anyway, but the emotional turmoil for the rest of the family left in his departure can be devastating. Not only do the family members need to heal, but they have to face the ongoing scrutiny of extended family members and friends... "Where IS he? HOW is he? Do you MISS him? How could you just get rid of him?" And they have to decide how they're going to answer that. People on the outside just can't understand that this really was a decision made out of LOVE and not selfishness or cruelty.
I can promise you that these families who have chosen to disrupt did not set out with this in mind. They did not spend MONTHS (sometimes even YEARS) putting together a ridiculous amount of paperwork, raising a ridiculous amount of money, all the while falling in love with one outdated picture and a few lines of information that is most likely false just to turn around and say, "You know, this really isn't working out for us. We're going to pass him off to another family." No. That's not how it works. Every family I've met who has disrupted or handed their child over for respite care has done so ONLY as a last resort and in the VERY best interest of that child and their ENTIRE family unit. It's a painstaking, heartbreaking very personal decision that is never taken lightly. When a parent gets to the point where they realize they are NOT able to provide the level of care their child needs, it's a very surreal moment. The truth is that sometimes love is NOT enough. It does NOT heal all. Not when you're talking about a child who spent years laying in a crib in an orphanage and spent his first years of life enduring unknown trauma. There are some families out there that are absolutely equipped to handle children with RAD. And there are others who are not. And I think it does the entire family more harm than good when some families hold on in fear of judgment as their entire family continues to fall apart.
So, what spurred this post? Here's a question that popped up in my comment section today. I've been thinking about this all morning. There have been other comments too that have fed into some of what I have said, so please don't think this whole post was spurred on by you ;). I'm going to try to answer this as honestly as I can without sounding too harsh and please know that my original answer in my head was MUCH more blunt.
"I was wondering how you are doing with missing Kellsey? Has it been hard on you? Also, are any of the kids missing her more than others, or have they just adapted back to the way things were before she arrived? Do you feel that Kellsey will remain permanently with your mom sInce she's doing so well in the calmer environment"