…We Call You a Child

Devastated.

I was completely devastated by the book Renting Lacy. I knew the topic of child prostitution in the United States was not going to be pleasant, but somehow I thought I could imagine the worst. I was wrong. The  psychological and physical enslavement of children, and the horrific industry produced by the demand of men who abuse these children sickened me and reduced me to tears.

Did you know that a common age for a girl to become a prostitute is 11 – 14?  Do you have a daughter in that age range?  I have two.

My friend, Dalene, wrote a great review of the book, They Call You a Prostitute, We Call You a Child, on the Until Then website.

Our hearts have been captured by the street children who are the most vulnerable children in the world.  As Russ and I learn more about orphan care, our world continues to expand.   I often find myself thinking of children in the U.S. foster system and I am burdened by the children who end up alone on the streets of our cities.

If you can bear to have your heart broken for vulnerable children and particularly the girls that nobody remembers, read Renting Lacy.  It is available for a donation to Shared Hope International.

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

12 Comments

  1. Crystal
    October 2, 2010

    My husband and I have been licensed foster parents for the last four years with the hopes of adopting a child through the system. I have read MANY case files on children available for adoption – and I could NOT BELIEVE how many kids experienced the extensive sexual abuse – both male and female. One 10 year old girl – who lived in MY HOMETOWN was prostituted by her mother at six years old. SIX. YEARS. OLD. This wasn't a big city – 20k people maybe? She was sold by her mom over a few years. I was devastated to learn this happend in a little midwestern city – I could have driven down her street. I could have walked part some of them men who took away her innocence. Makes me sick. I can't believe people are so evil. My heart breaks. Thank you for sharing this book. Thank you for making a difference.

    Reply
  2. Emily
    October 2, 2010

    My stomach has turned inside-out just reading the review. Heartbreaking–absolutely heartbreaking. Thank you for posting this, Lisa.

    Reply
  3. Emily
    October 2, 2010

    Hey Lisa,

    First off- I have been reading your blog for several months and have been so encouraged and challenged by reading of your family's joys and challenges. Thank you for sharing.

    I am a recent Wheaton College graduate, and I spent six months of my senior year working in a group home for teenage street girls in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Most of the girls in our home had been abused physically and sexually and many had worked as prostitutes. My heart is broken drastically for them- and I am so privileged to have been there, held and known them, and gotten to see the work that the INCREDIBLE Christian staff does with them.

    Thank you for caring about these girls. We cannot pray or work against these horrific things enough.

    I kept my blog while I was there… here are a couple posts on the girls, if you're interested 🙂 http://longonstaying.blogspot.com/2009/11/prostithttp://longonstaying.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-am-sihttp://longonstaying.blogspot.com/2009/08/joy-too

    Reply
  4. Kathrin
    October 2, 2010

    That makes me sick to my stomach.

    Books on forster care I like
    Somebody else's children
    On their own – What happens to kids when they age out …
    The heart knows something different

    Reply
  5. dorothy
    October 3, 2010

    Sigh…thanks for adding this to my reading list. We can't hide from this reality any longer.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 3, 2010

      Dorothy, I hate to even add this thought to your world, but Denver is part of what is known as the "Western Circuit" where children are trafficked through cities including Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Santa Fe. Some friends of ours have established a ministry to help girls in Colorado who have been traumatized by commercial sexual exploitation.
      http://www.mercyprojectcolorado.org/

      Lord have mercy.

      Reply
  6. Shonni
    October 3, 2010

    Our family jut participated in a walk with Stop Child Trafficking NOW yesterday (here in Colorado Springs – and yes, we know about Denver), to help raise money and awareness about the horrific reality.

    We must be a voice for these precious ones!!! I am so glad that you shared this!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 3, 2010

      Shonni, that is wonderful! I would love to hear more. Have you written about it on your blog? I need to pop over and take a look.

      Reply
  7. Andrea H
    October 3, 2010

    Wow Lisa, this is so interesting you are writing about it. I just finished reading Priceless by Tom Davis And was in utterly shock and digust what's going on in the world with child prostitution. He actually had quiet a few links in the end of the book for resources. This is definetly a problem going rampid in the 3rd world countries but even right here in America. They just had a special of a 11 y/o child prostitute right here in Portland, OR. Obviously much more awareness needs to be brought to it still.

    Reply
  8. 7fromHeaven
    October 5, 2010

    We recently closed our foster home after 12 years. I saw so much and it never got any easier. In my wildest nightmares I never would have dreamed that I would take a 20 month old baby girl to the hospital to have a rape kit done on her. All the other kids that came to my home had been to the childrens home first and cleaned up and checked out. This little one was picked up by the police who then brought her to my home. The mother had just given birth to her sister addicted to crack less than 24 hours before. it was horrifying to discover. These precious children need protecting.

    Reply
  9. mclarkecounseling
    October 7, 2010

    Lisa:
    This is my first time commenting, although I follow your blog closely!

    Child prostitution is such a heart breaking subject and one which affects these children long into their adulthood. In my work, we see it often as an offshoot of teen dating violence. Oder teens promise vulnerable young girls their love and promise to be their "boyfriends." After the girls fall in love, the pimps begin isolating them and forcing them into prostution. Not only are they being abused and sexually assuatled, they often become criminals in the eye of the system because they are breaking the law.

    Thankfully, more attention is being paid to this horrible practice and some hopeful programs are being created. One wonderful, grass roots organization has started "The Genesis Project," incorporating outreach, rescue and long-term help for girls caught in this horrific cycle. You can check out their work at http://www.the-genesis-project.org.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      October 7, 2010

      Hi Megan, I just looked through The Genesis Project website — thank you for sharing it. We should talk about this issue sometime…I can't stop thinking about these girls.

      Reply

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