Dear Mr. Rainey,
I read your letter that went out with the most recent Family Life email (10/23). It was about the story of Davion's plea for a family that went viral on social media. I feel for this child and think it is wonderful that so many people have come forward, interested in being his parents. I think it is always a good thing for the church to be confronted with the plight of the orphan. And it also scares me.
I have 10 children, 3 of whom are adopted. Of those three, one of them suffers from trauma as a result of early experiences in his life. I love him madly, but parenting him is the most difficult thing I have ever done. I have read in other places that Davion, as a result of his less than wonderful life experiences still deals with anger. (Why wouldn't he? It is actually perfectly natural.) But because of this, I pray that the parents he is ultimately placed with are prepared. I pray that they have been given adequate training, though in reality, reading about and hearing about living with a child from trauma is a vastly different thing from living with a child from trauma. I pray that the new parents have an adequate support system. It is grueling 24/7 work and parents will need all the help they can get. I pray their church is willing to understand their new son and his challenges. It is a big undertaking.
This is not to say I don't think Davion and all the other children like are not worth it. They are. But this road of helping traumatized children to heal is not an easy one. I hope that Family Life can be part of the support that therapeutic parents need. That would mean that they are honest about the challenges involved in raising these children. I would also hope that orphan ministry becomes much more than just encouraging people to adopt. Yes, some of us are called to adopt, but we need many more people, not in the throws of this hard and demanding work to come along side of us and help hold us up. This is where I really believe our emphasis should be. How can the church as a whole support adoptive families?
There have been many stories recently about the phenomenon of disruption. By providing honest information coupled with an increase in support for struggling families, the church could help lower the rate of families falling apart.
Thank you for your time,