Roller Coaster

Photo Credit: Jeremy Thompson

Riding a roller coaster with my brother is one of my favorite childhood memories. Whenever we could, we stayed late at the amusement park; as long as no one waited in the queue for our seat, the coaster operator allowed us to ride again. We rode so many times we lost count. Once, we even rode in the rain, drops pricking our skin like thousands of tiny needles.

Thanks to amazing guts of steel, we never puked. (I consider this a point of personal pride.)

Hubby and I choose to ride a different kind of roller coaster. Again and again. Every. Single. Day.

Sometimes the coaster is fabulous; other times, the ride makes us queasy, but we opt to stay on.

The summer of 2016 included a few twists and surprise dips but generally kept us smiling and laughing with hands in the air. We thought we’d turned a corner; both the girl and the boy seemed happy and well-adjusted. Together, we camped, traveled, sang along in church (what we lacked in pitch, we made up in enthusiasm) and did everything “regular” families do.

The kids weren’t perfect—and neither were we—but most of the time, we just enjoyed being together. Hubby and I finally exhaled and let go of the “this can’t last” feeling.

I often joke with Hubby that “normal” is just a setting on the dryer, but I won’t lie…it was nice to feel normal for a while.

After so many steep climbs and drops, riding our coaster around gentle curves was a welcome change.

Then the summer ended.

Dark storm clouds gathered. The coaster dive was sharp, deep and straight through a painful downpour.

We aren’t sure of the triggers, but every October for the last six years—right after Halloween—negative behaviors spiked sharply in both kids. In 2016, they didn’t wait for October. As soon as school started, they both had an immediate personality flip. By November, we had plumbed our expertise and found ourselves hitting bottom. They didn’t respond to any consequence, positive or negative.

His behavior at school spiraled out of control.

Her Reactive Attachment exploded into full bloom at home.

The roller coaster fell into a series of spirals and drops, and life flipped from “normal” to “triage” without warning.


About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'm determined to give my kids the chance they deserve. Adoption isn't always easy. I promise, you're not alone in this. Join me at - we're in this together.

Posted on November 21, 2017, in Adoption and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. You are not alone. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the correlation between the love for rollercoasters and the rollercoaster on the home front. I hope the ride gets smoother for you and easier with time and here’s hoping this is just an acting out phase your kids are going through

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading. Actually, this has been ongoing for almost 7 years…we adopted siblings with trauma. We knew it would be tough, but had no idea what we were getting into. In the end, I’m confident it will all be worth it…but this year has been an especially rough ride.


  3. I’ve never dared think of going on a roller coaster and can imagine how not fun it is to be on a roller coaster with the kids. Honestly, there is no formula for bringing up children and all that I can tell you is that these days will also pass…. Hang in there and enjoy the ride!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully expressed analogy, Casey, though I’m sad for you that the ups didn’t last longer x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Survivors Blog Here and commented:

    Finally, I remembered to reblog… 🙂


  6. Wish I could give you a great big hug!! I will hug you with my prayers! Anxious to read more though it doesn’t sound like it will be pretty!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good to hear from you again. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’ve missed you guys. XO

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so curious to hear about school-not-school and how it’s going.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha, you’ve just given me a blog post title!! 🙂 Unbelievably well at the moment; she burned through 6th grade math in two months. I ordered the 7th grade math, and while waiting for that to arrive, we checked out a link the publisher sent me ( for pre-Algebra. SHE ASKED if she could try it. The kid who used to say she hated math…and the one the elementary school had convinced me had a math learning disability. Nope. She just needed someone to explain it a different way. She’s doing well on the pre-Alg so we might just stick with that and see how it goes. Eventually that’s a post to write, but at the moment I’m trying to get the rest of the crazy out of my head…she’s doing pretty great, but the boy…not so much.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That’s awesome! I love when someone realised that they CAN do math! Wish it happened more often with my students. 🙈 From your last post it sounds like the boy is really struggling. Will keep praying and reading whatever you have time to write. ☺️

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks so much. Yeah…it’s been hard to even think about writing it, but it’s time. Last night I went to bed wishing I could just stay in bed all day and never get out, which is my big red warning signal that I need to write, so I started today. UGH.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Speaking of writing…when are YOU going to start again? You’ve got some great stuff to say, yourself. 🙂


  8. I know how you feel on this, I’ve had a while load of things going on and it really wears you out.
    How are you doing?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much for including my post!


  10. Thanks so much for including my post!


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