Inbox: Adoption of An Abused Boy

The sad part is there are many children with reactive attachment disorder ["No Good Deed," July 17, 2013]. I parent two children adopted from the foster care system diagnosed with RAD. They have many of the same behaviors this boy [in the story] has.

Through social media such as Facebook and Pinterest, parents of children with RAD have been able to find each other. This is one story out of thousands that deserves to be told. Something has to be done to help these children and families.

Many families I know were not given the information they should have been given prior to adopting kids from the foster care system. Whether the Oregon Department of Human Services flat-out lied or just did not perform due diligence in gathering information, it matters not.

Eyes need to be opened about what is happening to children and families throughout the U.S. when they seek help for their mentally ill adopted children.


Thirty years ago, my husband and I had a similar experience. We naively thought that love would conquer all, and that with great effort we could heal the damage done to the 4-year-old girl we adopted.

We raised her until age 18. It took a great toll on our marriage, our resources, our two other children and our families. It was not worth it and I deeply regret the decision to adopt, which was made with the very best intentions.


I cannot stop thinking about this story and the fate of all the people involved. Heather Merrifield is very brave for coming forward to share her nightmare experience.

Even if this article doesn't change anything about the system or about her particular situation, I hope at least it gives her some piece of mind knowing that she may be helping other prospective adoptive parents ask the right questions and recognize the warning signs when a child's mental condition is too severe to be helped.



Wow, this guy Rudy Crew, the superb bullshit artist of all time ["Where Rudy Crew Flew," WW, July 17, 2013]. The only thing this man is capable of is excelling at a level of arrogance; he has raised the arrogance bar far beyond the reach of most mortals.

—"Willie J"


Our July 10 Headout story "Deadliest Pick" contained several erroneously overcautious statements about the dangers of wild berries. Elderberries do not have poisonous cyanide-inducing glycosides, nor do the flowers, though every other part of the plant does. Black and blue elderberries are safe to eat uncooked. Solanum dulcamara can be safely inhaled. WW nevertheless maintains that anyone interested in foraging should consult a published field guide, or purchase berries from a supermarket, established farmers market or reputable U-pick farm.

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