Losing

We all hope it will turn out ok. We will be the ones–long full life, no pain. We optimists.

You have to be an optimist to foster and adopt kids you already know have problems. You have to believe in miracles.

Our belief in miracles went something like this: yes, we know they are tough kids, but consistency, love and faithfulness combined with God’s healing power will help these kids.

My goal was a picture–all my adult (stable, law-abiding) children gathering with their families for thanksgiving dinner.

So you may imagine what a blow to the gut it was to find out our plan hadn’t produced the picture. Our adopted kids hurt our family, hurt our other children. They committed crimes before they graduated from high school.

I still remember the old me, the believer in the miracle, the picture….

Part 1 of 2

4 thoughts on “Losing

  1. Optimistic… and then courageous. I was thinking yesterday about your FB posts regarding child sexual abuse, and the secrecy that surrounds it. I was thinking of telling my daughter that she never has to be afraid to tell me anything, because I HAVE COURAGE.

    I hope this is true.

    But you never really know until you’re put to the test, do you? I remember first thinking about your story several years ago, and my mind did toy with the idea, “Oh, maybe it wasn’t so bad–let me look for evidence that it wasn’t so bad.” Of course, it clearly was. But I have to admit that I did want to look for a less-serious interpretation of events. That’s not exactly courageous, is it. But now I have a role model. Thank you, EL, for speaking up LOUDLY and courageously.

    • I am grateful for your patience with me and also for your honesty. I also wanted to believe it was not that bad–“playing doctor”

      Part shock…part agony. It took time to ferret out the story and that is not the whole story. He was 15 and already had 10 confirmed victims.

      Ugh. What people hide causes more harm than what we expose–like a wound left to turn deadly or exposed and allowed to heal.

      I tell the story so the next mom will know she is not alone and perhaps be a bit quicker on the draw than me:)

  2. Yes, you pretty much are my only role model in this regard. A massive public health campaign that demystifies and destigmatizes being a sexual abuse whistle-blower would be so effective, providing the public many exemplars for how to act. It could directly address many of the misconceptions about abuse–we’d have worked out the kinks of our thinking before being confronted with a real situation.

    I remember a commencement speech given at a graduation ceremony by an American who was the chief executive (whatever his title was) of the London Tube during the early 2000s bombings. The quick and effective response by the authorities to that attack was credited for saving the lives of thousands. This executive said that the reason why the response was so effective was that everyone had practiced and practiced and practiced how to think and what to do in such a (hypothetical) situation, so that it was almost habit, almost routine. Less time was spent reasoning out a variety of plans with varying levels of efficacy. That part had already been done.

    Couldn’t we do something similar for child sexual assault? Address all our bumbleheadedness in advance?

    • Amen!!! We have to debunk stereotypes and simply say–this person is not safe with children.

      Give a an abuse survivor the freedom to speak out and you protect potential victims…

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