Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not Your Typical Thanksgiving Week Post

I haven't been able to get this image out of my mind.

This darling little girl, Jhessye Shockley, has been missing from her Glendale, AZ, home since October 11.  No one really had any idea where the five-year-old had wandered off to, only that her 12-year-old sibling had been in charge of the three younger kids while Mom, Jerice Hunter, went to the store.

This story immediately struck a chord with me--how many times have I left an older sibling in charge while I ran a quick errand?  I prayed for her safe return all day and the next, then I took the time to remind my older kids how easily this could happen to them. 

Then the story morphed--someone had seen her get into a car with a lady. Now it was a child abduction case.  Long story--Mom screamed at the press, at people, at anyone, to get her child and bring her back. She claimed prejudice against her situation in life, her race, anything and anyone else she could blame for her child's disappearance. 

Then the story changed again when Mom's record became public--conviction and jail time for child abuse. Jhessye's three older siblings were taken by CPS and placed in foster homes.  Between October 11 and Halloween Mom had another baby, who was immediately whisked away as well.

Yesterday, the story changed yet again.  Jhessye's home had become a yellow-taped crime scene and the Glendale police held a press conference, stating that Jerice Hunter had been arrested as the primary suspect in her child's disappearance, with "little to no hope of finding Jhessye alive."

I know we live in a terrible world, filled with horrible people who make unbelievable choices, but I keep having a flash of this image:  Little Jhessye's last moments, whatever they were, were filled with the inexplicable knowledge that her MOTHER was doing this to her.  Her mother.  I get physically sick each time I think of it.

Many of you who have read my blog for years know of our foray into the world of foster care, and how I ended up abandoning my attempts to protect these innocent children.  Occasionally I regret that decision, especially when a story like this surfaces, but ultimately the safety of children rests squarely on the shoulders of those in whom God placed that trust--the parents.  No amount of government intervention or counseling or rehab can save these innocent, sweet babies from those who should be loving them.

I can't wait to ask God this question--Why?

Pray for Jhessye Shockley's four siblings today.  Pray that they will find homes where they not only will be loved for the rest of their lives, but that they will find a place where parents will keep them safe.


  1. That is such a tragic story. I can't bear to read stories like this. My prayers ARE with each of those children and those who will care for them.

    Sometimes things are so broken, people are so broken you wonder how can everything be fixed.

  2. It really breaks my heart to read stories like this especially when it's the mother that's hurting her own children. As a mother, I just can't ever imagine how anyone can do such terrible things to their own flesh and blood and not feel any remorse. It really makes me sick to know that there are people like that out there that hurt kids especially since there are so many other couples who would do anything to have a child to protect and call their own.

    My heart and my prayers go to Jhessye and her siblings.

  3. it makes me wonder, WHY was I one of the lucky ones

    and then WHAT am I going to do about it

    thanks for the reminder

  4. Aaaaand, you made me cry. Thanks for THAT! It really is so overwhelmingly sad how much pain and horror so many children have to live through. I agree, it will be at the top of my list to ask God someday.

  5. Well maybe the cops didn't get it wrong. Sometimes they do, and it's not like the media never rushes to judgment on this kind of thing. And of course the woman hasn't been convicted yet. So careful!

  6. I've also been following this sad sad story. I read that the father of these children is in jail in CA for child abuse as well? I too ask why? I pray that this little girl didn't suffer. I pray she's in a better place.
    I pray for her siblings..and that they'll find a home where they can grow and thrive and be loved.

  7. Whatever has happened to her, I grieve for the hard life and loss of this innocent little girl.

  8. It's a heartbreaking story, and there seem to be so many heartbreaking stories...

    Sometimes I almost feel guilty...a sort of survivor's remorse...because we have so much to be grateful for.


  9. This reminds me of something Pres Packer said at conference last month...that we are living in enemy territory.

    Hopefully this little girl is finished with all pain and suffering and safely back to her eternal home.

  10. heart breaking. I work with a lot of children who desperately want their parents to parent. I hear your question loudly: Why?

  11. To me, it seems to be getting worse. I don't understand what is happening in this country, or world. Why is it so hard to protect children? Is it wrong to have a parent sterilized if they have a history or record of abuse or neglect? Can they be helped? Change? I just don't understand how or why anyone would hurt a gift from God.~Ames

  12. The problem is these stories are everywhere, and I feel helpless.