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Posts Tagged ‘caregivers’

      Ok, we all know that illegal drugs are bad for you…understanding that, starts in elementary school when children become educated about such risky behavior.  However, world cultures send mixed messaged to young children through the behavior of the adults that they interact with in their lives; and, through exposure on television and in various forms of media.  Television often glamourizes the lifestyle of the drug trade.  It shows all that it has to offer with money, celebrities, music, expensive house & cars & jewelry and loads of boyfriends/girlfriends…what it doesn’t always address is the danger, the moral/spiritual decay, suicide, murder, prostitution, the dehumanizing treatment of families, and the lack of control of how far they end up sliding into despair.

       So, not only do we understand the damage that can come from the abuse of drugs…such as death, brain damage, broken relationships, jail/prison, rotted teeth, damaged health, addiction, prostitution, theft, and many other physical ailments…but we begin to see a moral decay as well.  People appear to have very little value to the drug addicts; and or, the people who supply them with the drugs.

      This week a very disturbing story made the news about a young boy, from Las Vegas-Nevada, who was forcibly taken from his home by people posing as police officers.  They  tied up the young boy’s mother and her boyfriend, ransacked the home, and took the six year old boy named, Cole Puffinburger.  The reports are that the boy was kidnapped out of some kind of retailiation; allegedly involving, (unknown to us), relatives of the boy and a drug deal.   Parents lose custody of their children everyday because of their relationships with drugs or alcohol.  But in this case, the people removing young Cole were NOT protective services…it is probably, people involved in the drug trade.  No one appears to know whether Cole is safe or not at this time.  If you have any information please call the Las Vegas Metro Police at:  702-828-5678Update:  Cole’s grandfather has been arrested on Friday night by U.S. Marshalls.  It is believed that he has been laundering money for Mexican Nationals involved in the drug trade.  The Grandfather has been hiding out.  It is being alledged that he owes the Mexican drug cartel, between 8-20 million dollars.  Pray for Cole’s safe return…hopefully, the grandfather will have information that will lead to finding Cole (alive and well).  Abductions are taking place more often near the Mexican boarder.  This is a national problem that we need to address…pray for the DEA who try to fight the good fight…pray that those who are tempted to go to the other side, stay strong!

       It is frightening and sad how little value is placed on human life anymore.  This poor young boy was put in harms way because of drugs; and or the buying/selling drug lifestyle.  Is this little boy going to be alright?  His playmate chums in the neighborhood and in school are worried about him…they are frightened.  Whether it was the relatives that Cole lived with or others that were involved in his life…this child has been placed in danger due to the direct actions of people who he trusted; if the news reports we are hearing are true.

        Children all around the world are impacted by the choices their caregivers make.  Those caregivers (parents) who use illegal drugs or alcohol aren’t making rational decisions, oftentimes, because their thought processes are impared by the drugs/alcohol. 

        Please say a prayer for Cole, his friends and family (i am sure there are other family members who weren’t involved in the drug deal who care for Cole); as well as all children who’s lives have been impacted by the destruction that comes from the relationship of drugs/alcohol in their environment.  Have you or someone that you cared deeply about been affected by destruction associated with this kind of lifestyle?

        You’ve heard the saying that people who abuse drugs or alcohol say to back off…because it is their life; the thing is…that drug abuse affects us all.  It starts with each individual choice to use or not to use.  They often think that they are in control of the drugs or alcohol…but, it doesn’t take long for that to shift…and the drugs or alcohol are controlling them…and affecting everyone around them.  It is a big business with high stakes…people get involved in things that they can not control.  www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/  

Update on Saturday October 18th, 2008…it appears that the authorities have suddenly pulled the amber alert that was put out for young Cole.  There has been no further information.  There is supposed to be a news conference this afternoon.  As soon as there is updated information released…i will add it to this page. 

New update:  Cole has been found walking alone on the streets while detectives were handing out flyers about him.  Thank you God…thank you to the volunteers…and thank you to those who prayed for his safe return.  There were no further details given.

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        Another family has made the news by dropping off their children, 9 of them from ages 1 to 17 at a hospital in Nebraska.  It is in my mind, in cases of abandonment, almost as if the children are treated like a litter of unwanted puppies.  In mid July, Nebraska made its own news headlines by instituting a “safe haven law”. 

         Most states in the US have some sort of a safe haven law which is designed to protect children who are either unwanted; or, in unsafe environments regarding living conditions, or in situations of neglect or abuse.  The safe haven laws are meant to allow a safe place for children to be left such as a hospital or a fire station.  What is unique about the new law in Nebraska is that it doesn’t clarify who has the authority to drop off said children…it could be a baby sitter, grandparent, parent, neighbor or what have you.  Another important point, most of the states that implement safe haven laws usually are set up to protect infants.  Nebraska made headlines by not limiting the reach of the safe haven laws to infant only drop offs…it basically says “minors”…leaving the new law open to interpetation.

         The courts will have to clarify the definition of the safe haven law so that the protection of the children and the people who abandon them is more clear.  At the moment, anyone under the age of 19 is allowed to be dropped off in a safe haven.  There will be no legal repercussions as long as abuse or neglect is not involved.  In some ways, this may help those situations where we read about newborn infants born to teen mothers who are dumped in a garbage can or left outside alone.  Maybe in those cases, some children will be saved…but, this new law opens up a whole new set of issues regarding children and their families.

         I know that the law was set up in good faith…to protect the children.  However, you have to wonder about the psychological damage to those same children who are old enough to understand that they have been abandoned by the people most trusted in their lives.  An infant does not comprehend the abandonment until they are older and the information is presented to them…an older child certainly does understand the idea of abandoment and there certainly will ensue emotional and psychological damage.  However, i will say an infant may not understand the full scope of abandonment; but, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by it; when they are affected, it is often called an attachment disorder…where the baby has trouble bonding with their caregivers, either giving or receiving love…sometimes, it is even turned into a failure to thrive.  All human beings deserve to be loved and wanted.

         Studies have been done on babies or infants who have been abandoned in other countries and left in orphanages…if they do not get enough human interaction that shows love or caring…those children can actually die from the lack of human, loving touch.  Don’t think that when an infant is dropped off, even at a safe haven…that they won’t know the difference between being wanted and unwanted.

         People who find themselves in desperate circumstances may be tempted to go the route of the safe haven in a moment of extreme duress.  However, the long term consequences make me wonder whether this is a viable option.  People who abuse or neglect their children willingly or freely are not going to be so very concerned about making sure that the place they abandon their child is considered a safe place.  It would be better to put into place programs that facilitate helping families who are in danger of imploding. 

         Not to mention, those parents or caregivers who are feeling desperate…say…in a financial crisis…they can’t afford to feed or house their children…may think that this safe haven is an option for them.  The consequences of such an action could be considered permanent…even if their circumstances change in time.  Their custody could be forever impacted by that one moment of temptation to abandon the children in a safe place. 

         I wonder if other options are being given as much media & legal attention, such as making a short term placement with social services; for short term foster care in cases where, say a housing or financial need is threatening the ability to keep a family together? 

          Children aren’t like litters of animals…not that animals should be abandoned either!  Being a pet owner or a parent is a huge responsiblity…the demands are serious.  People should not enter into the role of a pet owner or parenting without alot of thought!  Parents need to take their commitment to parenting seriously. 

          If a parent is considering abandoning their children…wouldn’t it be better to work with an agency and make a permanency plan such as adoption?  Definately, if that were the case, doing it in infancy is better than waiting until a child is old enough to be scarred by an emotional and physical abandonment by their parents or caregivers.  At least by making sure that the child/children were placed in a safe and loving home…a child would have a chance to grow up and to be nutured in a loving environment. 

          No one should ever be made to feel unwanted, unloved or unprotected.  Abandonment leaves permanent scares that impact their young lives and often, other generations of lives as well.  What are your feelings on the safe haven laws?

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