I hate commenting on issues such as these - kind of like I hated commenting on the Octomom story. I fear that bringing more attention to the subject only continues to cause harm and further paths of self destruction. But, I have received enough comments, emails, and one accusation that I was "April's Mom" - to warrant giving my thoughts on the matter.
First of all - NO, I am not "April's Mom", "B", or Beccah. Some of you who have been following me for a while may remember that I had my first name (and location) in my sidebar. But I took it out a few weeks (months?) ago because as I talk about real people and real situations, I wanted to try to limit the number of people who knew that much about me and might be able to identify my clients. That being said, we should all remember that we know only what people post on their blogs - we don't really KNOW them usually.
And that includes me. I do strive to be honest here on my blog. To honestly put into words my thoughts, words, and actions while interacting with those who I come into contact with on a daily basis. I've gotten lots of compliments about my obvious passion and drive to provide the best service to the people with whom I work. I appreciate them, I really do. And I believe that I am that person, most of the time.
But there are times when I must admit to being human, to being burnt out, to being judgemental, to being less than what my clients need or want of me. I can assure you that for all the posts that I write about the wonderful interactions I have had with the children and families I work with - there is at least one that I was not that person, and would like to forget. I don't blog about those times often enough. Partially because I do care what you who read my blog think of me, but also because I started this blog to help me remember the "Lessons Learned" as a social worker. I find that I have a harder time remembering the good stuff sometimes - it is easy to remember my failings because those are the ones that keep me awake at night. And it is easy to allow those shortcomings to overwhelm me - to make me think that because I can not to ALL for EVERYONE, I shouldn't attempt to do SOME for a FEW. I say all of this to remind us all that we only know what people reveal to us - whether in a blog or even face to face.
That all being said - I followed the "April Rose" blog from the very start. I found it through an Anonymous post on my blog (quite possible left by Beccah herself now that I look back on it.) I was moved, I cried, and I prayed during many of the heartening and anxious moments throughout the life of the blog.
There were certainly times that I had my doubts about the authenticity of the blog. Mostly because of how often "B" felt the need to answer back to the negative "Anonymous" commenters. But I continued to read and continued to pray for "April Rose", choosing to think only the best and knowing that God would take care of the rest. But, I hoped that the naysayers would be proven false.
I, as SO many others, stayed up all night waiting for updates after April's birth. And I, as SO many others, was panicked when the blog was shut down later the next day. I didn't know anything about the on-going debate about the reborn doll until I read the joint post between MckMama, Angie, and Raechel. I was disappointed to find out that the worst case scenario was true.
But, even more than that, I was very nervous.
Nervous to see what the response of the "community" would be. Worried that the "followers" would rebel, cry out in anger, frustration, and betrayal. Terrified that we Christians would not see the "bigger picture" here.
That we would forget, in our anger, frustration, and betrayal that we are no better than Beccah.
That we have ALL fallen short and sinned.
That we have all hurt others in our lives - and that we have hurt God because of our shortcomings.
And that God, in his Grace and Mercy, has chosen not to condemn us for these transgressions - but has forgiven us and washed us clean.
I was scared.
Some of those fears came true. But, I also saw many more messages of sadness, understanding, and forgiveness. And, while I am still sad that the story was just, well - a story, I feel pride at being part of a family of Believers that are able to put our own feelings aside and seek God's face in this situation. And I have been reaffirmed in my knowledge that there is nothing that our God is not in control of - in no small part because of MckMama, Angie, and Raechel's combined posts.
I have no doubt that God had a plan for Beccah and "April Rose" - and that His plan is always always to "prosper and not to harm" his children. Already, I can see some of the good that came from "April's Story". Because of "His Will Wednesdays", I spent quality time with God that I had been neglecting recently. Time that didn't revolve around me and my wants/needs - but time asking for His Will to be done for all of those who had requested prayers via Beccah's blog. I also know that there were extra prayers said for me as I went on a job interview - and got the job! - because of Beccah's blog. And, I have received words of encouragement on my blog from others who might never have known me without Beccah's blog.
I don't want to minimize the any of the feelings that others are having about this situation. I can only imagine how those of you who were much closer to Beccah and more invested in "April" must feel now. But, those are just a few good things that have happened in MY life because of Beccah - I believe God will use this situation for good in many, many other lives as well.
Although we may feel like we "wasted" our time praying for "B and April" - God knew the Big Picture. God knew that as we lifted up "B" in prayer - there was really only a Beccah. And as we prayed for healing for "April" - God knew it was Beccah who really needed it. And as we prayed for "comfort" for "B" - God knew and was already there to provide the comfort, once Beccah was ready to accept it.
I could be angry but instead I choose to be a reflection of God - slow to anger and quick to remember that beneath the terrible actions, is an obviously needy and hurting girl.
Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.