Before I continue this series of posts, I would like to state that I am in no way qualified to offer advice on dealing with issues stemming from childhood trauma, give parenting advice, or pass judgment on anyone’s past, present, or future decisions, mistakes, or realities. Furthermore, not all of my conclusions are set in stone. Like any reasonable, thinking adult, I reserve the right to alter my opinions when presented with new and better information. This particular segment of posts dealing with the issue of childhood trauma represents a small part of the learning path I’m on to try and prepare myself for the road ahead. I’m sharing with you, my readers, as a way to better digest the information I’m taking in and pass it along to anyone who may benefit from the things I’m learning. Lastly, while I care very little for the opinions of others, especially of those who have no vested interest or stake in my eventual outcome, I care a great deal for people as a whole, and, by no means, intend for anyone to feel judged or offended by anything in these posts.
The issue of unwanted children in this country is heartbreaking to me, and, most likely, to anyone who is not a textbook sociopath. If you’ve read more than one of my posts, and did so because you’re interested and not simply because you know me, you know that there are things I struggle with internally, especially where it comes to the issue of child abuse. I was not abused, neglected, or molested growing up. If you’ve read my previous post, “Support System“, you know that I had a great childhood which I had the privilege of sharing with an amazing family, in which, I’m including my closest friends. With that said, I’m not sure that having experienced any one of those horrific events at some point in my life would have better prepared me for this challenge or given me a deeper understanding of how to help a child through it. But do not misunderstand me. I am not looking out of the window of my ivory tower, searching for some child lucky enough to be rescued.
What you have before you is a man who desperately wants to be a father, and if it is in anyway possible that I can help a child overcome some form a childhood trauma in the process, than I feel it is my responsibility, and, of equal importance, my privilege to do everything I can to prepare myself for whatever lies ahead. I owe this to any child I am blessed with, regardless of the length of their stay or whether or not the potential for permanency exists.
In short, I am not dispensing medical advice, parenting advice, or judgement. I hold strong feelings of frustration toward those who hurt children by way of neglect or abuse. But, I also believe that people can change and I believe in forgiveness. I believe in reunification and reconciliation. I believe in one’s ability to overcome insurmountable odds in order to achieve something greater than themselves. A parent who faces his or her own demons and seeks help for their struggles in order to reunify with their child, has done exactly that. And you have my respect; but, more importantly, you’ve regained your own. And, God willing, you will have earned back your child.
If I lose the ability to adopt a hundred children temporarily in my care, due to reunification with a birth parent who has undergone such a transformation, I am okay with that. More than okay. Overjoyed.
Because, ultimately, I doubt that any trauma a child might experience could ever be more emotionally damaging or lasting than the feeling that they were unwanted or unloved. That they were not worth the effort. That nobody fought for them or cared enough to pay attention to them.
So, if you’re a parent who has been on the other side of Child Welfare Services and you want desperately to reunify with your child or children, I want to encourage you with everything inside of me. DO IT! Whatever it takes. Do it. You owe it to yourself and your child. Put in the work. You can do this! There are so many programs available to you. Will it be easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely. Like nothing else you could ever do.
And your child will forgive you.
Once they know you care enough to fight for them, they will forgive you.
They still love you.
Fight for yourself; Fight for them. ‘Till next time…