Stories of HOH
A Story of healing…
I received the call around 9pm accompanied by a horrific video of a young woman holding what looked to be a toddler by his hair and beating him with a stick. The video lasted only about a minute, but it seemed a lifetime. The Ecuadorian local child protective unit was inquiring whether our children’s home had room for a three-year-old boy and his seven-year-old brother. The answer was of course yes, however my thoughts couldn’t pull away from what I had just seen. I have worked with abused children for 17 years. I have seen the physical and emotional scars these kinds of beatings cause. Still I was having trouble pulling myself out of the replay of the scene. How could a mother be so hard hearted to do something like this to her own child?
Three days later I walked into Veronica’s home ready to rip her to pieces and express how she has completely failed as a mother. However, my heart melted when I stepped into her doorway and saw her eyes. She herself looked like a frightened child full of despair. All she could do for the first few minutes was cry and ask how her babies were. She was desperate to get them back and stated she would do anything we needed her to. Following that night Veronica participated in a minimum of three therapy sessions a week, consisting of parenting, anger management and self-esteem classes. Her boys also received therapy and counseling during this same time. Through all her hard work she was able to be reunited with her boys within three months. The Hacienda still does three in-home visits a week and continues to work on parenting skills but is able to do these sessions with the two boys united with their mother.
Through working with Veronica, we quickly learned she herself was treated in the same way she treated her boys yet worse. She had faced abuse that made the recorded beating seem like child’s play. Veronica had never been taught another way to instruct her children. She soaked up information on how to love and care for her children and was open to working through her own personal abuse in order to be a healthy mother for her boys. We hope all our families change in such an amazing healing way.