In Your Language

Monday, March 17, 2014

Response to "Baby Moved to Tears"

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I had to watch it. It was viral... trending. Everybody seemed to be doing it. But- what went through my mind was hopefully a little different. In my mind, my thoughts were pulled toward acknowledging that babies can indeed understand emotion beyond just crying for their needs. Would it be a stretch to say that these babies have come "online" with human compassion?

Too much is hurled at us about bad things: school shootings, cheating, devastation and fraud. There is a subset of children/people who had such traumatic childhoods that they do not have this emotional connection or intuition. There are children who have what was known as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) that have splintered social reasoning- many times due to things totally out of their control.

One such RAD survivor is Jessie Hogsett. He wrote a book Detached, a personal memoir about how he has evolved past his childhood trauma to be a light to many people's lives. He also is a husband and father who is very much attached to his family. He started a foundation called "P.A.T.C.H.E.S." that provides support and resources to families who are rehabilitating RAD children and building solid families.

For me, he symbolizes hope in my eyes for children, many foster and adopted, to overcome institutionalization and abuse. I have had a close affiliation with adopted children/adults throughout my life. I have heard of RAD in these kids before I ever knew about the diagnosis. I've heard of children being so beaten down that I honestly didn't know how they could keep themselves "together."

I knew one adopted guy who's adoptive mother told him he should just die. One day, she found him outside on their lawn and he was just laying there. She spit through her words, "Why are you just laying there?" And he replied, "You told me I should die, so I'm laying here." I still choke back tears when I think back on this demoralizing and heartbreaking real life story. Another girl ran away from abusive parents in Canada. She told me many unbelievable things that I can barely remember 13 years later. But her brokenness and fear has never left my mind.

On the bright side, Izidor Ruckel, a Romanian adoptee, who had a similar social handicap and he was recently in the news for making a name for himself. He has made a documentary that was featured on the Washington Post  on January 30, 2014: A Lost Boy Found His Calling. Laura Mathews was also in "the system". I personally met her through the Easter Seals. She is now a lawyer who has a special interest in caretakers of special needs children. She makes sure that all of their legal and financial ducks are in a row for the security into the future.

I share this video to bring us back to our humanity. Let's not take things for granted. We are so blessed to have each other in our lives. We are installed with oxytocin, the hormone of love and attachment. Our brains are wired to develop BASED on nurturing, loving, and ministering to the innocent children and babies who are brought into this very much harsh world. Even though many children go through these horrors, people like Jessie Hogsett, Izidor Ruckel and Laura Mathews can come out victorious and influential in their communities.

[I pray that God keep our hearts tender toward each other. I pray that our hearts be moved to tears for the horrors of this world. I pray for all of the disadvantaged children to grow up into more lawyers, authors and documentary makers. God is not done with us, even the ones who have lost touch with their God-designed humanity. I pray that we all hug each other longer and more often. I pray all of this in HIS Perfectly Loving Name, Amen.]

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