I can't help but think we (Christians) are not doing enough.
Look through the Texas Heart Gallery and see their faces. Glimpse into their lives. You won't know their stories, but you can see their heartbreak in their eyes.
We recently told our caseworker that we were interested in a little boy we found on the Heart Gallery website. He was a little older than we initially had been interested in, but something about this little boy drew us in. There was a photo and a video clip about him. Our oldest especially loved that this little boy's favorite foods are the same as his - pizza and pancakes.
When we heard back from his caseworker and ours we found out that this little boy is considered very aggressive and has been in a residential treatment center for two years. My heart sunk. I am sad and angry. I don't have those feelings for myself, but for him and so many others like him. Of course I can't bring a "very aggressive" child into my home. I'm not equipped to help him or handle him and put the rest of my kids at risk in that way. But there's got to be more for him.
The way things are now, this boy is unlikely to ever get adopted. No doubt his is on high doses of medications to "moderate" his behavior. Whatever trauma was in his early life likely caused him to start acting out in a foster home. He wasn't stable or secure and things just got worse from there. They started medicating him and things continued to escalate. (This is all speculation of course.) Now he is in a place that he is unlikely to come back from. He's dependent on drugs, legal though they may be. And what happens when he ages out of the system? He's let go with no familial attachments, no experience for what a real relationship with a family (or Christ) can be like, no job skills, no income, no support. He can't pay for his drugs that he's become dependent on after years of subduing his symptoms instead of healing him from the inside out. What happens to this young man?
There's got to be a better way. Christians have got to step in and help. Do more. Do SOMETHING. If this boy had been given a chance by an older Christian couple with parenting experience but no other children at home, he could have been directed on the right path. He could have been LOVED instead of drugged. He could have been parented instead of "treated." My heart breaks for him. I wish I could do more for him.
I know I don't have any personal experience with mood altering medications. I know I don't have first hand experience with these traumatized kids. But I do think that kids in general are being medicated FAR too much instead of parented and loved. (And not just kids in foster care.)
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Experiences? If we can't fix this, how can we at least improve it? How can we, as Christians, help kids like this little boy now and in their future?