While speaking with the woman who had taken custody of Sarah, who we will call Miriam (again, for security purposes I do not want to use her real name) I learned that Sarah was in "critical condition," in need of serious intervention. Both Miriam and I had been extremely misled about Sarah's true condition. When Miriam agreed to take custody of Sarah, she was under the impression that she was a healthy seven year old girl with Down Syndrome, who had mild behaviorial issues and hearing impairment. But when she got Sarah home, the true story started to unravel. As she realized just how severe the situation was, she began inquiring more and more about this little girl's past. These are the pieces of Sarah's story that we have uncovered.
Sarah was born a twin, although when you go look at the birth announcements in her local newspaper, the only birth that was announced was that of her twin brother (who does not have Down Syndrome). Her grandmother took her in, for what we believe was the first three years of her life. When the grandmother could no longer care for her, the mother took her and pretty much immediately started looking around for a family to adopt her. So for the last four years she has been living in a home where she was not wanted. She was isolated to her own room, locked in to prevent her from "roaming" the house. She was so malnourished, that her desperation for food has become the overwhelming driving force in her existence. She will do absolutely anything she has to do for food. By the time Miriam got Sarah home, she was critically ill with two parasites, one so severe she almost died, and it has taken the last four months to completely clear her body of it. When asked if she ever held Sarah, the birthmother said she didn't hold her until she was 3 years old, and she has no idea who was holding her before that! She was diagnosed as hearing impaired at birth, but didn't receive hearing aids until she was six years old. Because of those six years of living in complete silence, doctors don't know if she will ever learn to speak. The remaining details of Sarah's condition are very hard to discuss. Suffice it to say, because of the severity of her neglect, Sarah's instincts and behaviors are somewhat animalistic (similar to those of the famous feral child, Genie, though not as severe). She has lived her life fighting to simply survive. Sarah is far from being a healthy seven year old girl with Down Syndrome, mild behaviorial issues and hearing impairment!
Sarah needs intense behaviorial therapy to learn how to function within a family. She needs intense speech and occupational therapy to learn how to communicate and begin to accomplish basic tasks, like potty training. But most of all Sarah needs intense spiritual healing. She needs to know she is loved, she is safe, she is precious. She needs to have her every need met with love and compassion. All the doors that were opened to the enemy through her years of neglect and pain must be closed, and covered with the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. He is the one and only source of true healing. Sarah needs to be bathed in His tender mercy. Each of her wounds needs to be mended through prayer and relationship with her Heavenly Father, in the ICU of His loving embrace. That is the therapy that will bring substantial levels of healing to this child.
Miriam cannot offer her the kind of treatment and special education that she needs, because the closest facilities are over an hour and a half away from where she lives. While she has grown to love Sarah very much, and has made enormous progress with her, Miriam knows that what is best for her in the long run is to be with a family that can provide her with therapy and structured schooling every day. Miriam feels that God used her as a transitional home for Sarah; a way to get her out of the deplorable conditions she was living in, and get her the immediate medical treatment she needed. Now it is time for Sarah to complete her journey to her forvever home! The family that has agreed to adopt her can offer her the absolute best in special education and therapy, a safe and loving home, and an evironment in which she can thrive. We are all so very thankful for this family. But it won't be easy for them, or Sarah. She must undergo yet another transition into a new home, adding one more notch to her belt of insecurity, abandonment, and rejection.
So please join me in launching prayercrafts for our sweet Sarah. Let us storm Heaven with prayers of peace during her transition, and prayers of healing from the many years of neglect she has suffered; prayers that her ears will be opened to His word, her heart will be filled with His love, and her eyes will see the hope for brighter days that only He can bring. I wait in great anticipation to see this little girl's light shine as Christ works in her!!