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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What can be worse?


Today we had to take a child away from her mother. This is something I will never get used to. It was awful and devastating.  For the mother, for the child and for the people who have come to love both the mother and the child.  Desperate times calls for desperate measures. When a child's safety is at risk decisions have to be made that can break your heart.

The mother has been with us for nearly 4 years since the little one was only a baby.  She (mommy) is HIV positive and filled with so much anger.  Part of what we teach at the Mission is that nothing can be done about the past. What's done is done and we have no control over it.  What we can control however, is what decisions and choices we make today and in the future.  This mommy cannot let go of the past and therefore the past controls her.  She would be okay for three months at a time and then she would just disappear for weeks on end.  Weeks that she would spend in a daze of alcohol and prostitution.  For 4 years we have had to pick up the pieces when the binge was over.  

We thought that the worse time was when she went on the binge and took the child (only a baby then) with her.  Somehow in her stupor she "lost" the child and she returned to the Mission without any recollection of what she did with her baby.  We eventually found the little one and we were so relieved that she didn't come to any harm. The next time she disappeared she left the little girl at the Mission.  When she didn't return after a few months we started looking for foster or adoptive parents.  Before the process could be completed the mom returned and we decided that we would give her a final chance.  Part of the condition was that she does not take the child off the premises.  She could not be trusted with the little one's welfare.  You have to understand.  She is a wonderful, loving mother...when she is sober and not driven by her cravings.

On Friday she sneaked out with the child and made a break for it.  I can honestly tell you that YES, there is something worse than taking away a child from her mother. It is far worse worrying about whether they were safe.  Was she warm.  Was she sheltered.  Was she fed.  It is far worse thinking about what can happen to an innocent defenceless little girl while her mother is busy with her trade and in a total alcohol induced stupor. It would be so much worse if this little girl should fall prey to some twisted individual.

She was found this morning, dirty, but unharmed.  We had to put her welfare first. The authorities were contacted and we are now searching for foster care where she will find love and stability.

Today I am thankful that this is not an everyday occurrence as I doubt very much whether my heart would be able to handle it.

xoxo

28 comments:

  1. Hi Lynette,

    Shewee - die trane loop vandag.

    You know that I hold what you do in the highest esteem - I don't know if my heart and soul could do it.

    You and your hubby are such special people.

    Hugs
    Wendy

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  2. Ai Lynette - than goodness you guys are there for this little one

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  3. Hi Lynette, That is a really tough thing to go through however that little girl is really lucky to have you and your hubby who have obviously loved her and put her well-being and safety first. It is tough growing up in an unsafe environment but lucky for her she has people who care about her and I pray that the people that she does find a new home with will cherish her for the precious human being she is.

    Keeping you and your hubby close in my thoughts and prayers!!!

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  4. I cry in the car when I just hear about situations like that - can't imagine being so close to it but I am glad that God has equipped people like you...

    XXX

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    1. Marcia, it isn't normally necessary to remove a child. This is only the second time in the 15 years that we have been at the Mission. In most cases the parents start taking their responsibilities towards their children serious when they are given a final chance.

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  5. Oh, Lynette! Of course, it's terrible, pick up the child from the mother ... a tough decision ... but what do you do if a mother forgets about his mission - to be a mother, to think about the welfare of the child, not on a whim ... thank God that there is Your mission!

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  6. helloooooo!! ai, my hart breek. ek het so 'n pleegkind gehad wat so 'n mamma gehad het. gelukkig kan julle haar nou al help, myne was 13 voor die owerhede haar weggeneem het, en toe was dit te laat vir die pragtige kind.......dink aan jou, Lynette. Stywe, stywe drukkie!! xxxx

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  7. dear linda.
    I follow your blog mostly for your creativity but every now and then you throw in a story about your Mission and it gives me a whole different perspective on life..

    I am filled with so many unanswered questions when I read things like this. it is beyond me how the gift of a child is not enough to make a person want to turn their life around. the sad part though is that this woman will still not learn, not even after this tragedy.

    I have such admiration for you and the strength yoh possess to do the work you do.

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    1. Thank you for commenting today Olga. I don't think this is something we will ever understand. I guess in the end it is about choices. Please know that the only strength we possess is the strength of the Lord that flows through us.

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  8. dear linda.
    I follow your blog mostly for your creativity but every now and then you throw in a story about your Mission and it gives me a whole different perspective on life..

    I am filled with so many unanswered questions when I read things like this. it is beyond me how the gift of a child is not enough to make a person want to turn their life around. the sad part though is that this woman will still not learn, not even after this tragedy.

    I have such admiration for you and the strength yoh possess to do the work you do.

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  9. I am so sorry that you all had to go through this ... I can't even imagine doing it ... hugs and prayers to all of those that are involved ... and also praying that a good family will come for her baby....

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  10. Oh I am so sad to read this, it must have been such a desperate situation for you and that dear little girl must be protected at all costs.. I do hope this might make the mum try extra hard to get herself clean and on the way to recovery.. and I pray this little girl will stay safe and grow up strong and happy.. hugs to you..

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    1. AH my friend, the social welfare system in our country has sadly failed dismally. Our hope is in finding private foster care as the children's homes in our country is not where I would like to see this little one. My biggest prayer is that people with big hearts and loads of love to give will step forward as foster parents.

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  11. Praying for the perfect parents for this little girl and forgiveness in the hearts that need it. so so sad how alcohol can rule ones life to such a degree.

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  12. Gosh! I can not imagine how hard this is for you all :( I hope this is what the mom needs to keep herself clean.

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    1. Sadly the mother packed her bags and left yesterday. I don't have much hope that this will end well. She is HIV positive and her history has shown us that when she is back on the streets she stops taking her ARV's. The excessive use of alcohol and bad nutrition will also cause her health to deteriorate very quickly.

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  13. That is just heart breaking... :-(
    You obviously did the right thing, but it doesn't make it any easier.

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    1. It isn't easy. On the other hand we know what can happen to little girls in our sick society and I would rather make this decision now, while she is still unharmed...than live with myself for doing nothing and find out later that she had been molested or raped. Then it would be too late.

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  14. Oh, Lynette. How devastating. Our Lord uses you as you invest your life in these precious souls. I know that this situation has been a difficult one for you. I pray that one day this mom will allow the Lord to take her anger away and for a loving home for her sweet daughter. ~ Blessings, Tracey

    Garden of Grace

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  15. I bet it is tough, but for the good of the baby, God blessed you and the mission for doing an amazing job!

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  16. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you ... I send my biggest hugs ..and know you are doing an amazing job in circumstances that can be so hard.

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  17. I can't imagine what you went through and it sounds so sad. Big big hugs

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  18. Some tough choices...blessings to you all involved, that the right decisions and choices are made for this little girl!

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  19. My heart goes out to you all Lynette. I wish that I lived closer, I'd be happy to help!
    Praying that God will give you the wisdom and comfort that you all need at this time
    Love Alison

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  20. Very sad but in Africa I am used to this. I 'saved' my gardener from crime but he chose to go back to it, the next from a violent spouse but she too chose to go back to it, now wants her job back now she has changed her mind - again. No can do now as I have a replacement who is reliable. My maid has HIV but gets sick less than I do. She is a great Christian and has prayed fervently and lives a happy, healthy life despite our monthly visits to the clinic. (That take many hours as I'm sure you are aware). I do hope that you find foster parents for the little one soon!

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  21. I am so sorry that you had to experience this my friend. My heart is breaking for you and this little girl and her mother. I pray that she will find a great family to look after her and love her. Hugs to you. xx

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  22. Devastating. I'm so sorry that you have to experience things like this. I guess we can only pray for all the parties involved. xx

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