Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pathways training

A couple weeks ago, I attended the Pathways training that is required for all international adoptions. It was outstanding!

Sitting in the room with all the families, I could feel the love radiating. It was beyond measure. Mothers crying, telling about the child they had been matched with and how they had been praying for their child for so long. Several families had children in the same orphanage. They chatted, cried, and bonded over the struggle of patience, excitement and fear.
"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Any whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'" -- Matthew 18:2-5
Beyond the love, came the reality.

I cannot begin to explain how eye-opening the conversations were and how very little I knew about how trauma effects these poor children. Paula, a previous employee of Gladney and now a contracted worker for Pathways training, discussed very candidly with the AP father's. She told them that they cannot pull back from their child once their child may show slight sexual arousal, because the child most likely has been sexually abused. The child is innocent during this arousal, because the reaction would only be brought on because of previous trauma and is NOT a "come-on" moment to their father. This arousal may occur while he is bathing her, changing her diaper, etc.

My heart strings were tugged for the fathers in the room, knowing that each of them were probably scared in that moment about what their future child must have been through. They must be angry, feel helpless and infuriated with reality of the situation. How can people hurt such innocent children.
"If anyone causes one of these little ones -- those who believe in me -- to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." -- Matthew 18:6
I applaud these families that take in such children, and thank this organization for saving these children from such extreme situations.

-- FS Intern, Stephanie Moran