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Challenging Daughter

I don’t even know if this is the right place to ask, but I am at a point of challenge and frustration.

Our daughter age 20, turning 21 in September has recently reconnected with us. We adopted her at the age of 13. All in all when she joined our family the challenges although in our eyes at the time were difficult in retrospect on a scale of 1-10 were about a 5 or a 6. We experienced lying not taking any responsibility for her actions, blaming everyone else, taking our private lives family matters and telling neighbors often making up some stories as she went along. Melt downs when she didn’t get her way.

18 months ago she wanted to reconnect with her bio family. Due to the unhealthy environment we did everything within our power to keep her from doing so at least until she went to college and had done more life experiences in order for her to grow before taking this big emotional undertaking on.
Prior to her leaving she began cutting herself. She had never done this to the best of our knowledge at least not as far as we could see. The evening my wife noticed the cutting she brought it to my attention and we sat down and talked with her. She indicated it was due to the stress he was feeling. Our options were contacting the police for psychological evaluation, meet with a psychologist or remove her from the home. Now before attacking me, let me finish. We had made a number of attempts to work with psychologists in the past and she would shut us out, so after a year of this we stopped. Why waste everyone’s time and our money. So we knew a psychologist was not a viable option. Since she had already purchased her airline ticket for the end of the month, we thought getting her out of the house to a place she would not inflict pain on herself was the best option. We paid the additional fees and got her on a plane.
She told friends and family we kicked her out, even though we explained our reasoning. Getting her someplace she wanted to be and that was back to net bio family. She lived in four homes in the 18 months she was gone all family, but none of them seemed to really work for her. We communicated with two of the four family members she was staying with and the issues experienced were brought on by her.

Recently we reconnected. We all had a chance to share our hearts and how we felt and feel, with the agreement not to bring it up again, in order to put the past behind us.
We have had two visits on three days and another seven days. She currently lives with her bio parents about an hour away from us. In that time she had a complete meltdown lied to us and encouraged our bio son to back up her lie. We have had a challenge with our 17 year old son after she left. He got into some trouble and was being very rude to his mother and myself after she left. We felt that she may have impacted him negatively and he was acting out for attention.

So where we were once ready to invite her back home we are thinking it is not worth the cost of possibly impacting our son and family in a negative way.
We work very hard to live out an enviromrnt of Grace in our home and relationships, but the thought of going back to an upside down world again is making it very difficult to extend the invitation to move back in.
Do we risk impacting our son to help save her? At what point do you say hey you are an adult and you need to start dealing with the choices you make?
I feel those I need to protect first are my wife and son, before trying to take on her challenges again.

Feeling called to do this, and also praying that things like this to be exposed to us is making this a little more challenging then I had initially thought.

Supportive or constructive comments are appreciated.

Thank you
Frustrated Dad and Husband.


It is very interesting thanks you

Posted by Andycraydoll on Jul 12, 2018 at 2:27pm

it is not unusual for a child adopted at that age with, I assume, a history that was not positive to reach out later as she matures. There is a spectrum of things you can do between nothing and living with you.

I would start out slowly. Does she have a job? Does she want to go to a training school? Perhaps you are willing to pay for that.

Does she want to live with her birth parents?
You could help with an apartment and invite her to Sunday supper until you see how it goes.

She is not going to come back changed without a lot of hard work on her part. Is she willing to go to counseling and work on past issues? You could help her find a place.

Posted by Regina on Jul 12, 2018 at 4:07pm

Hi Regina,
Thank you for the constructive thoughts. We have agreed to allow weekend visits to see if things improve.  If they do we will look at longer length visits with the potential of moving back, though I have my doubts. She says she is looking for a job, due to some medical issues, apparently she has not been cleared to work. Why is it that it seems those that create and seem to thrive on drama in their lives are always on some sort of medical leave. Not to take from those that really are, no offense intended to those in need.
She won’t work on past issues with a counselor because according to her counseling doesn’t work for her. (Always a Red Flag For Me).
She tells us she doesn’t want to live with her birth parents because they don’t treat her like their daughter but more like a roommate. (Her words).

Posted by Bluemonday on Jul 12, 2018 at 5:39pm

Well, this story sadly is very familiar.  I know of two other families going through this.  Both have daughters.  Made up stories to other people who believed them.  Habitual liars, never wanted to go to counseling, blame everyone else for their problems instead of themselves, think that they are owed something, called other people their parents (their birth parents live in other countries) and even went so far with one family to call another woman in the church “mommy”.  The hurt, the pain, the devastation over the choices they have made nearly destroyed these parents.  So what did they do?  Mind you, these girls are your daughter’s age.  They let them go.  They told them they loved them, but they had to let them go and learn from their own choices and decisions, no matter how bad they were.  These parents adopted one child at around 9-10 and the other child was adopted younger.  Do yourself a favor - don’t get your hopes up and expect a lot from your daughter because you may be in for a big let down.  I don’t want to sugar coat it.  You don’t have time for that.  You can love them, pray for them, and absolutely give them over the Lord and let HIM be responsible for your daughter.  She is old enough to know what she is doing.  She knows right from wrong.  She has a lot of issues that only God and those in counsel can help, but it has to be when SHE is ready for it, not you.  If you truly want to help, then lay down the rules.  Don’t enable her to continue her pattern of emotional abuse and that is exactly what she is doing.  She has not hit bottom yet because she knows in the end, you will always be there to pick her up.  That’s fine, but there are consequences to her actions and there has to be accountability on her part if she wants anything from you.  And yes!!! You must look out for your son.  He is priority now because he is still a minor.  His sister’s actions are creating his acting out and negative behavior.  Everything needs to be on YOUR terms, not hers.  If she doesn’t like, then she can go.  She has not shown respect for you and the rest of the family.  When God disciplines us, it is not always with pretty flowers and sweet talk.  Sometimes it is with a two by four.  Just be in prayer and seek counsel for yourself - spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

Posted by snoflurys on Jul 12, 2018 at 9:32pm


Thank you for your wise council. My wife and I have been talking and we believe she must learn from her mistakes. We welcomed her back into our lives, only to show there has been little growth or willingness to make changes. We will love her from a distance and let her learn through her mistakes.

Posted by Bluemonday on Jul 12, 2018 at 10:09pm

Tell her therapy doesn’t work unless she is willing to work and change. people only change because they want to.

I would help her a little. I would think her emotional age is much younger than 19. the tantrums sound like a three year old, the not my fault and nor accepting responsibility is a poor life style choice.

Maybe you can take her out to dinner or lunch once a week or once a month. Find her resources (finishing high school if she didn’t, job training, homeless shelters, food banks because she probably can’t. Tell her when she is ready to change for herself not for you or birth parents you can talk again about therapy

Posted by Regina on Jul 13, 2018 at 12:50am

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