Question:We adopted our 16 year old daughter when she was five. She had been removed from her home after being sexually abused by her biological father. She seemed to thrive on our love for many years, and seemed to have a happy childhood. Now these issues are surfacing again. She's petrified of boys, and says she never wants to date. And she won't let my husband come near her anymore, which breaks his heart. Any suggestions?
Your daughter is very fortunate to have been blessed with two such wonderful and loving parents as you and your husband. As much as we want to wish the past away, she will carry the past with her all of her life. My experience in the world of both adoption and abuse is that the issues will periodically surface and then sometimes go dormant for a while. Since your daughter is struggling with her past abuse and now any healthy, physical touch from your husband, it probably means her emotional, physical and even intellectual development has changed dramatically over the past few years. She will now need to deal with her pain from this developmental stage in her life. Don't be surprised if she will need to go through the issues all over again as an adult, with marriage and then again when she has her own children which will bring more painful memories of her traumatic childhood.
I'm not sure how you have helped her in the past, but I would recommend that as a family you make a decision to get family therapy. The scripture says, "Where there is no counsel the people fall but with the multitude of counselors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14) Seek a loving counselor who understands the traumas of abuse and they will help you and your daughter enter the next level of healing and wholeness.
As for your husband, you are right. It is a painful situation and I think as your daughter deals with this issue again, one of the positive changes will be better relationship with her Dad who loves her and wants the best for her. Let's face it. In her formative years the male she called daddy, victimized her. She will struggle with trusting men and frankly, she will struggle with the loving father image of God. Be patient. Before freedom often comes pain. She is fortunate to have you both as healthy role models.