Saturday, February 9, 2008

Our Duty, Our Delight

I just received this letter from my friend, Jenny. Really convicted me about our true purpose:

"Mom, why does our neighbors' Mom and her boyfriend act goofy like
this all the time?" Gabriel asked me yesterday as he impersonated
them.

"Because they are on crack son," I explained.

"I can understand why those kids want to come over all the time, it's
so dark over there and so light over here. It's the difference
between Jesus and no Jesus," Gabriel said as his eyes got very wet.

Brad and I have been praying about what Christ would have us do for
our neighbors. There are 7 people living in a tiny 2 bedroom
apartment upstairs and 8 people squished into a one-bedroom
downstairs. The older kids are taking care of the younger ones while
the adults get high; there is neglect and violence. Social services
may or may not make a positive difference, the love of God for sure
will. One of the little girls broke down weeping at the prayer
center a couple weeks ago, interceding for her lost family. Whether
across the street or across the ocean, there are orphans everywhere
in need of the Father of the fatherless.

There are countless scriptures about the necessity of caring for the
poor, the imprisoned, the broken, the helpless. It is our business,
it is our duty, it is our delight. The more impossible something
looks in the natural the better the scene is set for God to show up
with an impossible answer.


9 comments:

TeamBettendorf said...

Excellent post. Just don't let the kids in your house or they'll accuse your dh of molesting them and you'll end up with a CPS investigation.

Diane Larson said...

Thank you, I needed that. We are so struggling with what to do next in our adoption journey. We are waiting for a referral at AoH but with all the rumors about the agency and Liberia as a whole we have no idea what to do. (Jenny's sister-in-law's children go to the same school as my daughter. We actually called her husband with some questions before we applied with AoH.)
Thanks for the encouragement. Our battle is not just here on earth is it?
Diane

Lisa said...

What a beautiful family!!

I know we would never be able to adopt internationally and am so impressed by those who do. We've adopted all of our kids from the foster care system. Is there a big difference in the issues you face with the children? I'm on a yahoo group for parents of kids with RAD and at least half of the kids are adopted from overseas. Is this a coincidence? It just makes me wonder what the overall differences are. The kids here have been drug and alcohol exposed and that accounts for life-long learning/conscience issues which is scary for us? Just my two cents.

Ginger said...

Lisa, why do you say you would never be able to adopt internationally? For most people, it's the cost. Have you read our adoption story? God provided everything we needed.
RAD happens to institutionalized children. That means children who grow up in orphanages, in daycare settings, or who are left in a crib with a dirty diaper all day and a cookie. It happens in foreign and domestic adoptions, but a lot of times in domestic cases it is called "ADD/ADHD" instead of it's true name - Reactive Attachment Disorder.
Our three were very fortunate. They spent only a year in the orphanage' prior to that they attached to family members. Because they had formed attachments as babies, they are able do it again. They have successfully attached to their new family.
Babies who don't attach to anyone, because they are in an orphanage, or because they are neglected by bio family members, develop attachment disorders.
I do agree that FAS/FAE is a scary thing. Babies withdraw from drug exposure and most times show no permanent effects. Babies exposed to alcohol, however, have permanent damage.

Amber said...

The first time I ever head about RAD was when Paul and I were taking foster classes. We happened to be in a great class that didn't sugarcoat things and tried to prepare us as best they could for the issues we might face as foster parents. God took us to China to find our daughter though, so we haven't ever done foster care.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_attachment_disorder "RAD arises from a failure to form normal attachments to primary care giving figures in early childhood. Such a failure would result from severe early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers between the ages of six months and three years, frequent change of caregivers, or a lack of caregiver responsiveness to a child's communicative efforts. Not all, or even a majority of such
experiences result in the disorder.[1]"

RAD isn't just for Romanians or foreign orphans. Experts seem to agree that it is caused by neglect and by calloused caregivers. That sounds like so many childcare institutions here in the US doesn't it? Let's imagine a child goes home from daycare where he's been cared for by
someone who makes $8/hr and spends the day texting her friends, to a mommy who's worn out from working all day, given her best to others, and means well, but can only manage to give her kids cereal or mac & cheese while they watch TV so she can relax. That child is a prime candidate for RAD, just as an orphan in Liberia or anywhere else. It could just as easily occur to kids whose mom spends all day blogging or reading blogs and message boards and parks her kids in front of the tv and throws them a granola bar here and there. So I am not picking on any particular demographic when I talk about the source of RAD.

My point, I suppose, is that RAD seems to be caused by the quality of care and bonding, not the location of it.

I've heard great things about a book that helps families overcome RAD: “Help for the Hopeless Child: A Guide for Families”

Lisa, I would encourage you to never say "never". You don't know what plans God has for you. I had no idea that our daughter was in China, but that's where God sent us. If God brings us a child, He will give us all we need to handle that kid’s baggage. We don't need to fear one
particular type of baggage more than another. The grace to deal will ALL of it comes from the same place!! PTL!!

Ginger said...

Very well said, Amber. Thanks for your input!

Donna Barber said...

Love Jenny! Great friend of mine too.

Angela said...

I have been so encouraged by Jenny's family :)

Thank you for taking the time to post about RAD. I believe there are alot of misconceptions regarding it.

God bless...Angela

Annee said...

Jenny is my friend too. She sure is well loved.