my adopted 15 year old son is withdrawn, antisocial and extremely quiet. i really need some advice/help? long.?

okay to begin. sorry if this is really long but im at wits end

i decided to adopt a son a little less then two years ago. my husband and i decided to do an international adoption and we adopted a boy from south korea through a religious organization. we had aimed for a younger boy, an infant to 5 years old, but i seen this 13 year old boy and instantly fell in love with him. he was quiet from the beginning but we assumed that he’d warm up once he got adjusted. well now its two years later, he speaks great english (if he’d speak more), goes to school, and knows our entire family.. but we still have problems

at the time we didnt have kids, but now we have a beautiful daughter who is about 5 months old now. she is doing fine but our son (whos name is chin) never adjusted. he refuses to get to know our daughter, he ignores my husband and our family (we have a big family who is really close).

he comes home from school and instantly goes to his room to be on the computer or sleep. he does well with grades in school but he doesnt have any friends and doesnt talk with the teachers. he doesnt like eating dinner with us or going out anywhere with us. its gotten so bad that often times when i ask him questions, he’ll ignore me or just stare at me. we have never clicked like i had hoped we would. he seemed like such a gorgeous and sweet young boy when we adopted him but now hes so antisocial that i worry about his mental state. itd be better even if he’d talk back to me or give me an attitude but he acts so empty

he doesnt seem happy at all and its worrying. he even went to the huge christmas party my family and i have every year but spend the entire time sitting outside, by himself for three hours. i really dont want this to be one of those ‘failed adoption’ stories. i really love him so much, but the anxiety of worrying about him is upsetting our entire family.

im really worried that ill have to commit him to some psychological clinic, get him therapy or even worse. like i said i dont want this to be one of those failed adoption stories. he is after all, my son. even if i didnt give birth to him, we’re not of the same ethnicity, we’re not from the same country.. i still love him.

we are a very tight, loving family and hes a very handsome, intelligent young boy. i dont understand whats wrong or why hes so sad

please please give me some advice. im really lost and dont know what to do anymore.

You are wonderful people to assume the huge responsibility of a teenaged adoptee. After two years of abnormally distant behavior it’s time for professional intervention.
You say his English skills are good so verbal communication isn’t the problem. Please get over your “fear of committing him to some psychological clinic” and seek professional clinical advice soon, before he wastes his best years being alone and/or lonely. He needs an evaluation!
At 13 years of age any child will have “baggage:” Memories, losses, pain, grief, etc. A normally developed child would not be so very distant from you after two years; he is either severely depressed or frightened, or perhaps he has a developmental or social problem of which you are unaware.
I encourage you to take two steps immediately:
1-A visit to his pediatrician/PCP to rule out concerns such as hearing loss or other sensory deprivation, which could contribute to such behavior.
2- From that doctor (or other trusted professional) a referral to have him evaluated by a pediatric neuropsychologist or at least a psychiatrist/counselor, to explore emotional or mental issues which may have been overlooked. There are varying degrees of developmental problems which can remain hidden if unexplored by those who know what to look for!
All best wishes for your continued patience and love for this deserving child, and his sister as well!

It’s hard to say without knowing the details of what is going on with your son. The fact that your son is not doing well in school and is smoking and drinking and talking arrogantly to everyone tells me there is more of a problem than just a stage. I had a little of this stuff from my daughter but she always did well in school and and never got in any legal trouble. My husband passed away when she was 14 so I stayed the course with her. It wasn’t easy, but she’s 18 and getting ready for college so we got thru it. it sounds like your sons problems could be more severe. The fact that he doesn’t talk to your husband tells me you probably don’t do anything together as a family. That’s not good. Your husband may have to change his tune for awhile and try to understand a little more with what’s going on with your son. Try doing something fun as a family where you don’t have to get into any heavy discussions. Just have some fun. You may have to pull tough love if he starts spiriling out of control. It will be hard, but he just might need some heavy duty discipline. Just make sure you let him know you love him. Once the law is involved he HAS to follow the rules. My mom had to do this with my brother when he was 18. He turned out okay. Teenage years are by far the hardest. Not everyone has an athlete kid, valordictorian of the class, but I truly believe there has to be a solid, loving family or person in that child’s life. If that were not true, why do we have some extremely successful people who had to overcome terrible odds. They had someone who loved, supported and encouraged them. If you can’t get your husband to understand and cooperate then you will have do it yourself. Forget the spanking. If you son has issues, that will only create more rage and lower his self-esteem that much more. There are better ways. They don’t spank you in the military. They make you clean toilets and any other dirty job and there’s no way you’re running away! And you get to keep your self-esteem and feel even better about yourself when you’re done!

I’m surprised that as an older child he was allowed to be adopted out of the country, especially one about to deal with puberty! He’s left all that’s familiar with him – his friends, schools, etc. I am going to assume that you are white, so he’s not even living with people who understand his culture. I’m not surprised that he’s not taking well to this. I think he’s had too much trauma with whatever he went through as a child, and can’t cope with the new situation. I don’t know if being around such a big loving family is so much help either because there’s pressure on him to conform to the family dynamics when he hasn’t been raised in a family, certainly not one like yours.

Solution: Get to know him better. Ask him lots of questions. Tell him that you want to get to know him and where’s he’s from better so you are going to contact the nearest Korean centre and get him involved in things he might be more comfortable with there. Even if it’s just to talk to people familiar with where he’s from. Tell him you will go to the ends of the earth to make him feel comfortable and happy.

I also think you should contact a centre that deals with international adoption issues, and get the counselling you all may need in order to deal with the situation better. It’s not good that he’s shutting people out of his life. He should be made to understand that it is not acceptable, actually quite rude of him to do this, and that that behavior won’t be tolerated.

I would even go so far as to create an emotional moment where he might blurt out what really is on his mind. If you don’t know what’s in his head, how can you help him. Anger might give him the voice that he needs to express all that he’s feeling.

I think it would be great if you all went to family counseling. Something is tearing him up inside and he won’t let up. I have been withdrawn myself until I realized things in my past that I thought were “dreams/nightmares” were indeed real and I was done very wrongful by a person close to the family. My mother made me go to a psychologist, the doc and I talked about it, mentioned it to my mother and so on. Anyways, therapy is not necessarily for the crazy it does do wonderous things to real people. I hope this helps and things get better for you.

maybe u can go to a counseling center. I head that there are groups or sessions for adopted kids and their families. have u tried going back to the religious organization who helped u during the adoption maybe they can help u find support groups.

I really suggest therapy there are some really good therapists out there you may have to take him to a couple of different ones before you find a comfortable one he really needs it, it sounds like he is in a cultural shock

he might never warm up to you. He’s thankful that you adopted him, but knows you’re not his “real” family even if you do love him. But know he feels like an outcast, you adopted him because you had no children of your own, but now he feels that you don’t want him as much. The best you can do now is to try and be his friend, not his family. He’ll do fine, by all means don’t commit him, but right now, just be there for him, cause one day he might need you, and then you might just feel the love.

Try maybe talking to him and see if he’s intrested in getting into a sport or playing drums or something that you could encourage and watch him do or sit down and talk to him he’s old enough to understand what your saying be open and honest and just ask him why he’s acting distant and if it’s something you did and how it can be fixed if he’d like to play sports or do something with kids his age

What I find peculiar here is that you fail to mention any details about the first 13 years of his life. At his age, most of his development has aleaft happened. He is who he is because of those first 13 years.

Could you please fill us in on his life so we can better help you?

send him back to vietnam

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