I wrote about my mother in my book, Identity Crisis, Identity Christ Is: A Journey To Love. I identify her as someone who is emotionally absent, and this was an extremely difficult reality to absorb.
In talking to someone about love, they asked about my love for my family and I say exactly what was on my heart, in a blog about emotional and psychological abuse here.
Antwone Fisher is the real story of a boy who was placed in foster care, who experienced child sexual abuse by his religious foster care family. In the motion picture movie the character of Mr. Fisher was played by Derek Luke, and starring Denzel Washington.
Antwone Fisher credits Brenda Profit, his teacher in elementary school for being such an influence in his life. He describes the place where mother should go (in our hearts), as void or empty, while he considers Ms. Profit as a Grandmother to his children. To me, this is what being a teacher is about.
I am sure that Antwone was not the only child that she impacted. Sometimes teachers overlook signs or do not feel that they should be social workers or connected to children in the classroom. They often feel that they have a teaching degree to simply, teach. However the lessons for youth are often more than adding and subtracting.
This foster care awareness month, I hope that all mandated reports, teachers, judges and members of the clergy choose to look past the child’s outburst or test scores. Look into their eyes. There is a story, and some of them will not be Ressurrection Graves or Antwone Fisher with a gift to pen their pain and heal their wounds through writing and speaking.
I was never adopted or in the foster care system but my heart goes out to the 30%-40% of foster care children who experience child sexual abuse as a result of placement.
Antwone Fisher is a Hollywood screenwriter, author and film producer. He has taken something that could have sent him into an institution and done exactly what extraordinary does. He pulled through.
This month I want us all to think about adopting whether that means that you become a mentor to someone’s child through the Boys and Girls Clubs, or begin to spend more time with your nieces and nephews. I love my nieces and nephews as if they are my own. Maybe adopting means to a teacher that they will choose a new school of thought by taking more initiative to learn about their students so that they can recognize any abuse at home and make it stop. And perhaps adopting, means to literally adopt a child who could become Antwone Fisher, or Michael Orr in their skills, with your love and support.
It really does take a village to raise a whole child. Thank you Antwone Fisher for sharing your story, it helped me to transform; to forgive.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Child Sexual Abuse Conference Speaker
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