Carrie’s story began with a journey to Vietnam to pick up a little boy she and her husband named ‘Sam’. That trip, she learned over time, was only the beginning of a long haul to learn firsthand about the term ‘reactive attachment disorder’.
“My hope is that this [documentary] will bring awareness…because the system is broken and [the Institute] is the only model I’ve ever seen in the country that works. We need the Institute everywhere in the U.S. and, really, all over the world. ”
The adoption of Sam certainly didn’t go the way she and her family had planned. Things became rocky as Sam struggled to fit into their family. After eight years of therapy, special education, surgeries, prayer, doctor visits, hospitalizations, and multiple diagnoses (RAD, PTSD, developmental delays, etc.), nothing worked. Their family was falling apart. Carrie and her husband ultimately made the heart-wrenching decision to relinquish custody and placed Sam into another adoptive family from their church. “I wish I had known about the Institute for Attachment and Child Development back then,” said Carrie. “I think Sam would’ve been a good candidate here and, possibly, we could’ve reunified our family.”
Even after Sam was no longer in her family, Carrie continued to search for answers. That’s when she found Forrest Lien at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. Six years later, Carrie and her son Brendan are working together to create a documentary about the Institute for Attachment and Child Development. Their hope is to help raise awareness about reactive attachment disorder and provide resources for other adoptive and foster families to help them avoid the painful path they endured.
Carrie and Brendan took several days out of their busy lives to interview therapeutic treatment families and Executive Director Forrest Lien at the Institute for Attachment and Child Development, children who have been through the Institute’s program and their parents, and other specialists. Their goal was to understand how the Institute is different from other therapies and programs for reactive attachment disorder and why it works. Get a sneak peek at what she found in this 5-minute video clip. We’ll keep you posted when the documentary is complete!
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