Together, Tom and I have 8 children, one in heaven, and one on the way. We are no-where perfect at doing this whole blended family thing, but we have love. Although, we have not had the opportunity to meet Tom’s son yet, I am hopeful that in time the Lord will provide for that meeting. I carry this hope because I have already seen the Lord provide for a miraculous meeting with another of Tom’s children.
My post today is not going to be a long one, but it is an important one none the less. It has to do with “restorative justice”. In a conversation today I asked Tom if he has experienced healing because he has been able to confront his victim, acknowledge his crime, and ask for forgiveness from her.
His unhestitating answer was “Absolutely”. Although his relationship with his daughter is rocky at best, as she continues to heal from the trauma of her childhood, there has been opportunity for those puddles of pain to dry up.
I have such a deep love for this child of God. Such empathy and a heart for her healing. Soon after I found out about Tom’s crime, and without Tom’s knowledge, I contacted her and “instigated” their reunion. At first she was very angry and had many hateful things to say to and about me for loving a sex offender. Her offender. (How could she not have an opinion about that?) But after several text conversations with her father, she sought him out and was very receptive to meeting with us. We spent several months getting to know her and even had the opportunity to provide her with housing for a bit and to have her in our wedding. I know that Tom is so thankful for the months he got to spend with her and that he is hopeful that a healthier relationship will continue to grow as we all continue to seek healing.
I personally feel that I witnessed a miracle the day that they reunited. How many people can say that they witnessed a victim of sexual abuse, embrace her offender and offer forgiveness and love? We have a lot farther to go on this journey of “Blended Love” but the building blocks have been laid.
I am faithful in my belief that if our foundation is built on the rock of our salvation, He will bring this family to full reconciliation.
~Gem the hopeful
My reading for today:
2 thoughts on “Blended Love”
I have a question for you. I’ve been thinking about the sex offender registry, I know you are against it, and in the case of your husband, I can understand why. But what about those that are caught, serve their time but never admit what they did. I know someone that committed a sexual offense, he was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in prison. While there he denied that he had done this crime. Never getting the proper therapy that could’ve helped him change his behavior. Or as another example, sometimes I’ve read reports about “repeat offenders”. These people do admit to their crime, get therapy, but still offend again when released.
I’m just trying to understand your view point on all this. To be honest, you’re the first person I’ve ever known that is against the registry.
Please know that my tone and feeling in these questions come from love. I’m not judging or thinking bad of you guys. Just curious on your thoughts.
Right now I’m feeling that maybe therapists or someone (I don’t know who) can approve certain cases/people to be removed from the registry. I just can’t see getting rid of it completely.
But I’m all ears and love to be educated on this, because I have very limited knowledge. I’d curious on your husbands thoughts too. I’m guessing he knows others from prison that committed sex offense crimes. Did he come across people that weren’t apologetic?
Mel, I love you so much. These are great thoughts and even better questions. My blog post for today will hopefully give you some more information about these cases where offenders do not seek amends, and are not remorseful. I guess to answer this as briefly as I can here, I would answer your question with a question. In the case that you know about personally, is this offender currently in prison or has he been released? Is he currently on the registry, and if so…how does knowing he is on the registry help his victim or prevent him from re-offending? Unfortunately, I do not believe there have been enough studies (and really not enough time has passed) to indicate whether or not the registry reduces recidivism or increases it. There have been some studies and they lean towards proving that the registry actually INCREASES recidivism because it isolates ex-offenders from rejoining communities. I believe in Restorative Justice practices and I think if more people were aware in our communities, of this problem they would be against the registry and for restorative justice. If an offender does not get the therapy needed while in prison, all he/she has done is served his time for the crime (criminal justice). When these people are released, without community members gathering around these individuals to “restore” justice, all we are left with is the fear mongering of the registry. I use to be all for the registry and had high hopes that someday David the Offender would be marked for life as a red-dot. Now, I know better.