My career fell into my lap twice. It's a long story I'll tell some other time, but my point is that it came to me as one of those mysterious "gifts of fate" which I never thought of seeking but which I could not refuse.
I started out working at a home for children. My job was to facilitate the return of children back to their families. Though I dealt with the children of course, my main role was to help the parents so their children could return home safely and with some structure. Working with families became my passion and my cause.
I was put in jail once. The judge said I was in contempt because I couldn't talk a mother into disclosing the whereabouts of her son. He knew she would feel sorry for me and finally comply. She did. This was just one of the many challenging and sometimes scary experiences I confronted.
But my experiences amount to nothing compared to the experiences of some of the children that crossed my life. They had lived what no one should live. Often it was their own parents who had inflicted unfathomable abuse. I'll spare you the details.
I once had a private practice with a friend who specialized in children's therapy and another in art therapy. I often provided psychotherapy to the parents.
One day the child therapist had a conflict in her schedule. She asked if I would take three little children home once they finished their session with the art therapist. The children did not know me but when I told them I was taking them home, they had no questions. With complete trust, they piled into my car.
As I drove, I occasionally looked in the rear view mirror. They were content and free of worry. I couldn't help but wonder, what if I had been someone else? What if someone with intentions to...
I have never forgotten their innocent beauty. It is inherent to all our children.
I'm writing this in response to a blog hop at countryfriedmama. She had the ingenious idea to support a cause by asking "What kind of world do you want for your children?".
My answer is that as much as I loved my career, I would love even more a world where there is no need for family interventions resulting from abuse or neglect of children.
It is my one dream for our children: that they be safe.
The Joyful Heart Foundation was started by Mariska Hargitay from Law and Order SVU. It's mission is to raise awareness and promote healing to children and adults who have been victim's of sexual assault and abuse.
If you'd like to post an entry to help raise awareness click here.