This post reflects my personal views and opinions, and not those of anyone or any organization I have worked for or with. However, my career has influenced my views, and as a fully integrated person, I don't just leave my work and my thoughts about the people I serve at the office.
Child sexual abuse, including child sexual assault, molestation and exploitation is devastating to its victims. It not only impacts someone physically, it leave emotional and psychological damage, and wounds the soul.
I have sat with child and adult survivors of child sexual abuse. I have listened to shattered children sob as they have recounted to me what happened. I have read allegations aloud in court. I have counseled adult men and women still reconciling what happened to them decades later. I have provided consultation, support and recommendations to other professionals working in this arena. It has been my honor and privilege to be trusted with these stories.
I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in the summer of 2001. I had just graduated college, and was reluctantly following my boyfriend to a state and town I had no desire to live in, so we could try dating like what we thought were "real people," since we had been the long-distance thing for years. I got a job at a residential treatment facility for children. He was working in ministry doing a variety of things in the city's urban core. I volunteered for him, and for years we would grab 15 passenger vans, drive them into first one and then eventually two different low-income housing complexes. We'd pull up and kids would appear from everywhere and nowhere, climbing into the vans, pleading with us that even though this was supposed to be a program for kids 12 and over, they needed to bring their little brothers or sisters with them or they couldn't go. Routinely, there were more than 15 kids in my van, and while I tried to make sure there were seat belts for all, I am quite confident that somewhere in the back of that cavernous space, there were kids sitting on top of other kids, hiding under the seats, and generally jamming in so they could go too. We'd drive over to Anthony Blvd, and pull up to this big old Lutheran church. The kids would pile out, to be greeted by Elvis Netterville with a big smile.
I have several blog posts started, and unfinished, because there's a lot I might want to say about life in America right now, but can't quite get it out. Suffice it to say, its sad and hard and I feel discouraged about a lot of things, in particular, how we seem to have lost the ability to care for each other.
However, until I figure out what I want to say, let me tell you about the yard life around here. The hummingbirds are currently entranced with our feeders, a pheonomena that just started yesterday, but has lots of them coming for a snack all day long. Since the one feeder is in the middle of our kitchen window, I have a full on view of our visitors. Did you know hummingbirds have tongues? They do, and I can see them licking their beaks!
This evening, we also had a mama deer and not one, but TWO babies! They had dinner, and now the babies are wrapped up like tiny cinnamon rolls, taking a full on snooze in our yard. Eric is out on a storm and has the good camera, so I don't have great photos. But basically all work has stopped around the house and I'm just staring at these little guys. I might be in love.
I mean, what's not to love about these tiny faces???
Sleep well little guys. And mama, I'm available for babysitting.
The barely discernible blobs in the center are our new twins.