Frustrated with Their Adopted Child
"My husband and I adopted two foster children, and now we're both struggling with the decision of possibly having to send one away. Being a mom is something that I really wanted to do more than anything. I was so excited. Now it's very confusing," Cindy reveals.
 
"Sometimes I feel like I made a mistake by adopting Danielle," Mick says of his 13-year-old daughter. "Danielle's number one behavioral problem is lying."
 
"When Danielle is lying, she's very cold and emotionless," Cindy says. "I feel like her lying has ruined our lives, and I feel like it can get worse if she doesn't stop."
 
The teen has been in trouble with the law for fighting. "The school system has called us almost on a weekly basis," Mick says. The father also has another more serious concern. "I'm very cautious about hugging Danielle. I'm afraid of being accused of touching my daughter, and that's just something that I won't be able to live with."
 
[AD]"She says she hates it here. I said, â€ƤIf you want to leave, pack your bags and go.' As soon as they got to the end of the driveway, I ran to my husband and said, â€ƤGo get them!'" Cindy recounts. "That was our breaking point. I don't want to see my kids hurt, and I don't want to be the one hurting them."
 
"I told Danielle that I called our social worker about putting her back into the system," Mick says, his voice strained. He pauses to wipe away tears. "For me to tell her that I'm giving up on her is just the worst thing you can do to any kid."
"What's your theory of what's going wrong here?" Dr. Phil asks Mick and Cindy.
 
"I feel like she has not dealt with her past," Cindy replies, referring to Danielle. 
 
"I feel that she's angry at her biological parents, and she's almost taking it out on us, that we're going to give up on her as well," Mick adds.
 
"But she's about to prove herself right, true?" Dr. Phil asks.
 
"That's why we're here, because we don't want that to come true," Mick says.
 
"We'll do anything we can, but yes, we have thought about that," Cindy says.
 
"I'm not here to guilt-induce y'all, or tell you that you're bad people for wanting to do this," Dr. Phil reassures the parents. "By the same token, I very much want to talk you out of it."
 
[AD]He addresses Cindy. "What I heard you saying here is, â€ƤDr. Phil, I am emotionally bankrupt. I have nothing else to give. You have wrung it out of me, girl. I don't know what else to do. I don't know where else to turn,'" he says.
 
"I have a little one too that I can't give much to because I'm so afraid she's going to do the same thing to me," Cindy admits.
 
"You're withholding from her. Tell me why," Dr. Phil probes.
 
"I feel like they want to leave all the time," Cindy says.
Mick tells Dr. Phil he worries that Danielle is negatively influencing her younger sister. "Marie is picking up Danielle's actions now " as in the lying " and we're just afraid it's going to go down that same path."
 
"Danielle has a lot of influence on Marie," Cindy adds. "She pretty much raised her."
 
Dr. Phil addresses Mick's concern about hugging his daughter. "You're afraid, because Danielle lies so much, that you're going to get sucked into that, and she's going to lie about you and say that you've been inappropriate with her in some way," he says.
 
"Absolutely," Mick replies. His voice quavering, he says, "I can't give her a hug that a father should give a child."
 
"What do you want to happen here?"
 
"I want to come home and see smiles on the faces of my children," Mick answers through tears. "I'm tired of coming home wondering what drama is coming up next."
 
[AD]Dr. Phil tells Cindy that she seems jealous of Danielle's relationship with Marie. She agrees. "I do get resentful," she says.
 
"So there's a competition going on," Dr. Phil muses. "But you understand, these two are surviving. The only constant that they have had in each other's lives is each other." But he explains to the parents that their daughters have the ability to bond, which is a good thing.