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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Helping Rescue The Damaged

In my experience, you don't have to look hard to find a damaged person. And though the story of each damaged person differs in its specifics, many share one trait - they were raised by people ill-equipped or unprepared for raising others.

An ex-colleague of mine who is near my age decided to adopt a damaged six year old about three years ago. As she described to me her child's incremental progress, I struggled to keep my composure and couldn't escape one thought - what an enormous responsibility it is attempting to help heal another human being. But if people like she and her husband didn't take on these challenges day after day, how many more damaged adults would each of us routinely encounter?

My ex-colleague is as modest about the important work she is doing as another woman I've recently become acquainted with who has fostered several children. Either or both might even be uncomfortable I'm singling them out. But I have no doubt these two people I'm honored to know (and many others like them) deserve the accolades. If more of us followed that lead, the damage we see all around us might slowly diminish.

1 comment:

  1. Pat, I am flattered by the press time, and have indeed learned that only by coming out of my modesty can I help to effectively spread the word of the beauty of foster care. The baby currently in our care requires nursing care for 16 hours a day, and I have watched him become a silent foster care spokesman to all the wonderful people in and out of my home daily, not to mention his numerous specialists and the office and nursing staff in each of their offices. To be accurate, he even makes an impression on the various employees of supermarkets, libraries, the kids' schools, etc... To watch the word spread has been overwhelming, and to be the one who can answer the questions has become a responsibility with which I would have never thought I could be trusted. With a diagnosis still pending, but medical reports not pointing toward a long life expectancy, this child will most likely not live to become a damaged or healthy adult, but the lessons he has to teach me and my family, and the many others who care for him, far outweigh the discomfort of long sleepless nights and numerous diaper changes that I would not have to endure if he were not here. We, and all who know him, are blessed by his presence in our lives.

    While I do believe there are more people called to foster care and adoption than those answering that call, I also know that there are other ways, less daunting but no less effective, to help cure the endemic lack of effective parenting in our country. Foster care fits into our family nicely right now, and so it works for us and that is why we are able to commit to it as our family's way of making a difference. We can each use our gifts to help, whether it be by caring for children or encouraging/mentoring their parents, or some other way to make a dent. To me, the thing to remember is that none of us lives in isolation.

    Thank you for your post!
    d.

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