Samuel needs a smaller family that can provide a loving home. Samuel turns 14 in June. We adopted him and two other unrelated boys from his same children’s home (both less than a year older than him) in December 2013, while we lived in Bolivia. Pretty quickly we realized we could not treat Samuel the same as his new brothers in his grade level. His developmental level was completely different. Throughout the years since then, he has been diagnosed with a number of issues and a psychiatrist has tried a different medication since January 2018 to help him function better. We finally have a male therapist who has been a huge blessing to all of us since Fall 2017, a great listening ear and support for both Samuel, us as parents, and my parents, who are currently providing Samuel with care.
We were given a psychological report, January 2018:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, unspecified
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social Phobia, unspecified
- Major Depressive Disorder, single episode, severe without psychotic features
- Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, predominantly inattentive type
- History of trauma (victim, perpetrator)
In early March 2017, it came to light that our small daughter had been experiencing unwanted touching off and on by Samuel for a couple of weeks. We immediately took him a couple of blocks away to my parents and contacted authorities. During the investigation and trying to arrange therapy for him and our daughter, Samuel continues to live with my parents and their two daughters (one with Down syndrome). He acted sweetly there, a side of him we had never seen, like a guest. We were tentatively working on reintegration into our family life when our oldest daughter stated she experienced unwanted touching right after Thanksgiving. We came to the painful decision that we could not provide the type of family or supervision Samuel needs. His therapist was surprised and said he rarely has re-offenders. We just don’t want to keep “trying” to have him here, and risk potential problems for Samuel or the rest of our children.
Samuel’s favorite thing in the whole world right now is fishing! He goes off to fish at a neighbor’s pond whenever possible, often with a brother. He also adores cats, and he did a good job caring for them at our house! He loves watching movies and doing quiet things in his room like playing legos, drawing, or constructing houses for his two beloved cats. Occasionally he plays basketball, but generally he is a quiet, shy, introverted child—especially in public. He has become my mom’s helper in the garden and bagging leaves in their big yard, often asking what else he can do.
Other than a few months of ESL at our local public school, Samuel has been homeschooled. He is currently doing well at the end of 5th grade. With lots of support and repetition, going at a slow pace, he can make acceptable grades. He has taken piano lessons from his aunt and enjoyed that. His therapist and one of the psychologists strongly recommend sending him to school so that he can work on his fears of being around and talking to people.
We feel that Samuel would do better with a quiet, slow, fairly predictable life, both in terms of noise volume and schedule. Part of this could be due to the culture he was used to in Bolivia. He has always desired to be an only child, to soak up the attention he never got as a baby and young child. He should at least be the youngest child in the family. He could do very well in a small family who has the proper expectations and knowledge of his difficulties prior to adoption!
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