• But, He Spit in My Coffee

  • A Reads-Like-Fiction Memoir About Adopting a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
  • By: Keri Williams
  • Narrated by: Cindy Piller
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

2022 IndieReader Discovery Award Winner

A desperate mother must grapple with impossible choices as her young son with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) becomes too dangerous to live at home, but is only growing bigger, stronger, and more violent while in treatment.

When Keri and her husband adopt Devon, he has concerning behaviors, but she’s confident all he needs is the love of a “forever family”. Devon's hidden history of early childhood trauma quickly takes center stage when Devon throws screaming fits, yanks his bedroom door off its hinges, chases his classmates with a knife, and pushes his younger brother down the stairs and viciously karate-chops him in the throat. When Devon is admitted to a psychiatric residential treatment facility at age 10 and is diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder (RAD), Keri is faced with an impossible choice—Devon is too dangerous to live at home, but he’s not getting better in treatment. Keri must race against time to find help for Devon and keep her other children safe, as he grows bigger, stronger, and more violent.

Based on a shocking true story, this unfolds-like-fiction memoir exposes the dysfunctions of the child welfare and mental health systems and how they fail kids with RAD and their families. 

©2022 Keri Williams (P)2022 Keri Williams

What listeners say about But, He Spit in My Coffee

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Bravo, this story is a must read for adoptive parents.

My son is still young, however we have faced so many of the same trials the author and her family have. The feelings and judgements are so familiar to this adoptive mom. I am so thankful for the courage to share her story to help moms like me feel less alone and not crazy! It has encouraged me to keep fighting and also raise awareness to keep from falling into some of the same harmful traps non trauma informed Therepist set.

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So many similarities to our own story

I put off reading this book because I knew it would hit close to home; and it did. The struggles our families have faced are so incredibly similar… the expectations vs reality of trying to find our child help is so heartbreakingly accurate. I am grateful someone was able to put it into words; in a story that engages the reader and also brings awareness to developmental trauma. If anything, it gives perspective and rare insight into the lives of parents raising children who were once severely neglected and suffering from attachment disorders.
As a mom who’s been there- I am glad I listened to the notes after the story. Throughout the book the mom struggles with “if only we had known sooner and been able to get help earlier” which is something we all struggle with- but my child was diagnosed at 3 and has been in attachment based therapy ever since. Forrest Lien was her counselor at 10 and at 14 she’s still struggling and prefers not living in the family home. We were once told (by a neuropsychologist) that if we get her to 18 without police involvement then we’ve been successful parents. Talk about setting the bar low. She was 8 at the time. The only thing that could have prevented or helped our daughter would be going back to her birth mother’s story and helping her not repeat the cycle of drug use & neglect.

The neighbors, extended family, and countless others don’t understand how we could “send her away” but I will now recommend this book to anyone willing to gain perspective on what raising a child with reactive attachment disorder looks like.
Great narration in the audible too!
Worth the read/listen!!

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She puts into words what most can't say.

I have read a lot of books on trauma, raising kids from hard places, and early childhood trauma. This is the first book I have read where I felt the author actually understood what I'm living through.

her raw honesty is something we need more of. She shows an accurate picture of how kids with RAD manipulate, triangulate, and even self harm in order to get what they want. Leaving their primary care givers to suffer.

Above all else, I think she makes you feel the false hope. You cling to the hope that the next treatment, medication, parenting style, facility, diagnosis, etc. will be the thing that finally makes the difference. Instead, you are left with more hurt and disappointment. Even to the very end of the book you find yourself clinging to hope.

So many times through this book I listened to the words, knowing I have had that same conversation, I've lived through that experience, or I've been that furious that no one would believe me. She captures what so many parents of kids with RAD have experienced.

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Brave and Courageous!

If you really want to understand the mass violence incidents that are happening in the world today, please read Keri’s story which reads like fiction but it is a real testament to what is happening today because there are truly no mental health resources to help those who have been traumatized/victimized at an early age. The system is broken. We need to understand that these horrific incidents are a societal issue that needs attention and action NOW.

Please read and share and you will understand how real this struggle is. We, as a society, will continue to reap the consequences of taking no action to fix a broken system and, instead, we will continue to blame poor parenting, police inaction, weapons, etc. instead of addressing the real issue of having inadequate resources to treat those suffering from mental illnesses.

(Spoiler alert, there is a haunting reference to the MSD tragedy in this book as Keri’s son was born on Feb 14th and turned 16 on the very same day of this horrific tragedy. This really hit it home for me as victims of that tragedy live in my neighborhood. To this day the MSD tragedy has effected everyone in our community and continues to have a ripple effect on the mental health of those that live in the community.)

I’m an thankful to the author for sharing her story to make others aware, as I know it must have been very painful to share and re-live all the intimate details of her life! Vivid and graphic storytelling and, at times, had me gasping!