Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I sleep on an air mattress on the floor in a room with twelve girls in bunks. Brianna and Christina are in the other room of 11 girls.  My nephew is in the room with about 26 guys.

My biggest challenge is getting the girls to settle at night. . . .  Sometimes I’m dog-tired because our schedule is unbelievably busy. But these are great kids.  I am enjoying getting to know each one. We’ve been going at the program hard for a week and half. Today was declared a fun day and most everyone are involved in a huge water fight at the moment.

Brianna is publishing the “Daily” which is a photo journal of Youth for Jesus. The link can be found here:

Brianna and Christina are speakers for the meetings. They are both excellent speakers. My dad was here to start off the program and he took a lot of time to coach them.

The twins have officially gotten over their “honeymoon” with Auntie Julie being in charge of them while I’m away. They were doing well enough I thought maybe it would last long enough for me to get back home. Not so. This morning I woke up to a text that James had smashed the kitchen window in a fit of rage over a popsicle. It was a rather traumatic event for my young nephew to observe… even for Missy.  It’s her turn to rage today and that is likely fallout from the stress of yesterday.
In the crisis, when Vanessa could not get ahold of her dad she called a friend. This friend is a big guy that has stepped in before. Steve arrived before the friend, though, and took James up the mountain hiking. He didn’t say anything…. Just hiked. The friend met them at the back of the road and he did the talking with James. Sometimes it makes all the differences in the world to have a third party step in. We’ve said everything we know to say, as we have done everything we know to do to help this kid. The stores in our bank gets dry and it is helpful when people care enough to try and make a difference.

I called to talk to the twins yesterday. It was a very RAD conversation. James was not interested in talking to me -like not at all. He was flat and unresponsive and he quickly handed the phone to Missy. Missy on the other hand chatted intensely for a full 15 minutes and hardly gave me a chance to put a word in edgewise. Her deal was to let me know that I had done her a great wrong by not saying goodbye at 5 AM before leaving for the airport. I had hugged her and told her goodbye the night before and had told her I would not be seeing her in the morning. She got totally stuck on that. Steve says that they have been pretty much ignoring him and Auntie has been the one they go to for everything even though he is right there a lot of the time. We may think they are attaching to us and then something like this comes up and we see quite clearly that their attachment is far from normal.

We surely don’t know how this story is going to unfold. Some days are scary.

BUT I’m enjoying the break. Not one person has tried to manipulate anything here. Its absence is very noticeable when you live with people who manipulate from dawn till dusk.


Kelly said...

I think of you and your family so often. We are both in such hard situations. Different, now that Jackson is not at home, but still difficult. I often wonder how things will unfold for your family with your two RADlings. For us safety of other members made our decision clear. Not sure what your options are for more extensive help but for us it has been such a blessing of healing for our family to have found a safe place for Jackson to hopefully learn how to function in our family.

I tried so hard and so many things just as you have and continue to do for you two. It was so hard for me to ask for help and did wait for, as I can see now, too long. If I had it to do again I would have sought help for Jackson before he did such damage to myself and the rest of our family.

I don't know how things will unfold with Jackson in regards to our family. I am at a place right now that I am having to face the reality that he might never be able to return home. This is so hard and so very painful. My faith is being tested and I still have so much healing of my own to do.

I am rambling and have no idea where I was going with this except to say I think of you often and I appreciate your support over the years and feel a special "friendship" with you even though we have never met. Thank you.

acceptance with joy said...

Thank you, Kelly,

I am not sure what the next step is with James. We have filed a police report for the sole reason that we need a paper trail should things get worse and safety becomes even more of a concern. We need someone to believe us if we ever come to the point where we have to get immediate action.

James cries when he sees the broken window. That shows remorse for which I am grateful. It really concerned me when I heard that after the window shattered (but stayed in place) he continued to throw stones. I would have totally thought he would stop when he saw that he could cause serious damage.

Making it a matter of prayer. Are we suppose to keep going the way we are going or are we suppose to do something? And what are we suppose to do? I don't know.

Carrie said...

So glad you are having a break, and so sorry things are the way the are at home.

Annie said...

Some random thoughts....

The attachment undoubtedly needs work. That's not their fault, but the fault of what's happened to them. But, I think it is important to parse out other things - like the broken window. That's probably more a reaction to past trauma. I am not sure why, but it helped me a lot to recognize that developmental trauma (or complex trauma) and attachment are not the same thing. I guess that is partly because while how you respond might not be different, what is in your head might be.

That probably doesn't make any sense. But in our case our daughter attached, yet the trauma behaviors increased as they weren't related to attachment, per se.

I think the uncle who took him hiking is BRILLIANT!

Separations are very, very hard. The fact that they are showing reactions to it is probably a good sign in one way - it matters to them what you do....that's some attachment!

Any issue in our house related to food turned out to be - well, related to food. Fear of starving, fear of hunger. Being a baby, lying hungry and feeling on a bodily level, in danger of death, certainly makes an impression.