Wednesday, January 31, 2007


i'm doing an internship at ozark guidance in springdale in their inpatient children's unit. most of the doors leading outside are magnetic and only the staff have a key card to open them, but today the doors stopped working for a little while. there is a little girl who came in about a week ago who has been severely neglected. her mother fed her baby food until she was five years old and when dhs got her she couldn't eat solid food because her digestive tract and her muscles were so underdeveloped. she has reactive attachment disorder as well as post-traumatic stress syndrome. jenna*, this little girl, is now eight years old and weighs 48 lbs. she is so small and her life has been so hard.
when the doors weren't working today she made a run for it, but was caught at the last second. she was immediately put on elopement precautions. she was already scared and upset from being grabbed as she was reaching for the door, and when she was told she'd have to give up her shoes for the rest of the day and wear booties it put her over the edge. she started to scream and hitting the walls and herself. to keep her from hurting herself even more she had to be restrained. since she is so small one person could hold her in a chair with her arms down. i was in my office as all this happened. i sat trying to type progress reports for my kids and i could hear jenna screaming. it's strange to hear the high voice of child yell obscenities and racial slurs. she never cried, she is so angry.
there is only one who restores, only one who can make whole. jenna is broken, she's been hurt and abused, she's been neglected and starved. who will tell her it will be ok, she'll get better, there are people she can trust, who will love her and protect her. there is a father who's heart breaks for her.
she isn't in my group of kids, i never meet with her, not that i am allowed to tell her about jesus. i pray for her. let her foster family love the lord. i love my job, but it sucks sometimes.

*name changed for confidentiality


Compston said...

You're good at your job. I'm glad you found it.

James Miller said...

You have an amazing heart. I wish my heart broke for people the way yours does. Also, way to go on the John Donne poem below.