Saturday, March 7, 2015

Justin Harris Wouldn't Know Christian Values if They Hit Him in The Face

I will be the first to admit that I cannot quote scripture with any degree of reliability. But I will also say that because of a lot of time spent in church both growing up and as an adult, I have a pretty solid understanding of the Bible and the tenets that it promotes. As I understand it, as a Christian you are supposed to be kind, helpful, loving, supportive and to help take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves. Does that sound about right?

These Christian morals forged the foundation of my belief system and were one of the reasons I have always wanted to adopt from foster care. I wanted to give a home to a child who needed love and stability more than anyone. With my little guy here, I feel complete.

That's also why I find people like (R) State Rep. Justin Harris of Arkansas completely morally reprehensible. He and his wife Marsha claim to be Christians. They adopted two little girls from foster care but after six months found it all too hard to deal with, so gave the wee ones to a guy he had actually fired from his business because the guy was unreliable. Hey, I can't give you a severance because you're a terrible employee but here...take these innocent little girls instead. Seems logical, right? The girls were four and six years old and the guy ended up raping one of them. He plead guilty and sits in jail now, where I hope he rots for a very long time. If interested, you can read more about this sad tale here.

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But wait, it gets better. Justin Harris held a press conference proclaiming that HE was the victim, not the little girl who got raped because of of his callous disregard for her safety. He said that he and his wife were forced to abandon the girls because they had severe behavioral issues and DCFS wouldn't help them. He said that the child's pediatrician told them to do this. This is all hard to believe. I call shenanigans on the Harrises "Christian values" for multiple reasons:
  1. It doesn't happen a lot but adoptions do occasionally not work out and state social service agencies have protocols in place for taking back foster children whose adoptions failed, for whatever reason. He claims he was threatened by DCS but I don't buy that for a minute. FYI, good Christians don't lie to save their own hides.
  2. The Harrises claim that they didn't know what they were getting into but the little girls' foster mom says they were told exactly what to expect and said that they had resources in place to help. This is what Cheryl Hart says: "i am the foster mom of the kids he discarded. We all tried to tell Marsha and Justin of the difficulties they would endure with the girls. They would not listen. They kept bragging about their degrees in early childhood development and their experience with children. Plus they insisted they had all the therapists on hand at their preschool to help with their problems. Plus they said God called them to do this and he would get them through anything. We tried to not send the girls there and Cecile Blucker pulled strings and blackmailed DHS workers. I would love to correspond with you about this tragic preventable catastrophe." That is a comment on this petition, which I have signed.
  3. The Harrises continued to cash the subsidy given to them by the state even after they abandoned the girls. Um, fraud much?? I guess they forgot about that whole, "thou shalt not steal" Commandment when reading their Bible Cliff Notes.
  4. Justin Harris is a state representative in Arkansas. One would think that he would use his power and stature as an elected official to unlock doors and change laws, granting more support to families like his own. However, there is absolutely no evidence that he did anything. Instead he introduced legislation that would allow daycare centers and pre-schools not be forced to have sprinkler systems (FYI, he and his wife own a "Christian" pre-school).
  5. And most importantly, there is help available. Lots of it. For free. I know this because I've been there myself. Christopher came to me with some of the same history that these girls had and believe me, I get how difficult it is to raise kids with complex trauma history. I got called home from work one day because my son had threatened to kill his nanny that day. On multiple occasions, adults have had to intervene when Christopher started attacking other children with a stick. All this was very scary to me but you know what I didn't do? I didn't hand my child over to a pedophile. Instead I got him help. A lot of it. There was a point where he received therapeutic services three times a week and I also got him referred to the Boston Children's Hospital Developmental Medicine Center for even more intensive therapy. His behavioral pediatrician there specializes in foster and adoptive children with complex trauma histories and has been an incredible resource for us. The best thing of all is, these services are all free because foster children (in Massachusetts at least) get free healthcare until their 18th birthday. This is done to help incentivize an adoption because let's face is really expensive and these kids need a lot of it. But if you get the services, they really do work. Anyone who has ever met Christopher will tell you that he is a completely different child today, for the better. It doesn't happen overnight and requires hard work and patience. Too bad that the Harrises just couldn't be bothered.
I am so sorry for the two little girls that have had to repeatedly suffer at the hands of people who were supposed to be there and protect them. This story makes me both angry and sad. I can only hope that the media attention this story has generated helps save another child from potential harm. I posted this story to my Facebook page asking people to volunteer time and/or money to children's charities because we need more caring, loving people to ensure the safety of our nation's most at-risk children. I would also like to ask, dearest God, please watch over the foster children who need you and help to keep them safe from harm. Amen.


  1. Very sad. Apparently this state rep. had initially used the poor kids for his own reputation. But I don't understand: Is it legal what the Harries did ? Can an adopting family freely give away the kids to someone else who is totally a stranger? (Aylin from Turkey)

  2. Hi Aylin. Can you believe this is legal? There is now legislation being introduced in Arkansas to make rehoming a criminal offense there. But yes the Harrises still walk free and Justin Harris is still in office, although there is a petition to have him removed by the governor.