Dad in a Box

Have a dad? Don’t know your dad? Hate your dad? Unsure of your dad? Lost your dad? Dad left? Stepfather? Abusive, alcoholic, addiction, dead beat, absent… you get my drift. The scenarios tragically can go on and on.

So if you’re like me and today is complicated: this is for you.. Maybe you had to stay away from Social Media and friends on Sunday because it’s a little too much. I get that; we are in the boat with chocolate in one hand and tissues in the other.

I genuinely at times try so hard to put my relationship with my father in a box tucked far away not to be touched. Life is complicated and boundaries are often broken I find my self having to recollect all the muck trying to put it back in the box.

  • Post on Instagram about your amazing dad … – you’ll find me picking up pieces trying to put them in the box while wiping tears.
  • Touching moment between father and daughter on TV, Movie, Commercial – you’ll find me picking up pieces stuffing them in the box and trying to put bricks on top.
  • A friend describing her father walking her down the aisle- looks like my whole box is dumped out.. got to get a bigger box.. I’ll most likely need

The reality of my father’s actions and absence doesn’t get boxed up and put in a corner. The reality and hurt that comes from abuse, conditional love and anger rears its ugly head in moments meant for celebrations and beauty it triggers anxiety, jealously and hurt that years after I was allowed to leave that relationship I am still heavily affected by our relationship.

Fathers that show up and play the part are worthy of being celebrated but gosh does it hurt and remind us of our broken fathers that didn’t show up or who did and decimated it. It brings back the scars you tried to cover with clothes and the bruises you hid with cover girl. It brings you back to the tears silently running down your face after water thrown at you at dinner. It brings back the screaming until 4 am, it brings you back to being told you weren’t what He wanted, you were to blame for finances. Whatever he did or didn’t do Father’s Day tends to bring it all back up in a messy manner.

So to you my fellow fatherless children….

I am so sorry that collective women and girls and boys and men around the world endure father’s day with no one to celebrate or with someone to avoid thinking about. I am so sorry we have to avoid smells, meals, places etc in order to live mentally healthy because those things have become triggers of the most painful vulnerable moments in our lives created by a person who was supposed to protect, care and honor our lives but chose or didn’t choose too.

If you lost an amazing father earlier than expected I am so sorry this year among other years you will feel the loss that cannot be replaced.

Today we hold hands and cry on shoulders and give ourselves the grace to mourn the relationship we desire or wish we had with our fathers. May we take our time in figuring and processing our feelings of anger, bitterness, jealousy, and even forgiveness.

17 years of abuse when it comes to forgivness its like a 1 million piece puzzle. Each memory of hurt, abandonment and abuse takes forgiveness and slowly I can put together a finshed section of a puzzle of hurt that has been forgiven. A process filled with time and patience. Forgiveness a lot like Rome was not built in a day.

So today in a sea of reminders of what we lost or never had may God be close and comforting and healing our hearts. May friends and family be gentle and words filled with thought and grace before spoken over you. May you find a space to grieve and know despite what journey you are on that you are loved, wanted and beautiful just the way you are by our Heavenly Father. May you find peace and boundaries for health and above all else may you know you are not alone.

180 Days

If you go on social media, I am sure you have seen the outcome of the Rape by a Stanford Swimmer.

“6 months” is what it read and then a few days later something else  read ” He shouldn’t go to jail, it will affect him too much for 20 mins of action”

and that my friends is exactly why my instinct says to run and hide but my reality check says thats the last thing we should do.

If you didn’t know you can find the information here.

Here’s the reality.. A few of ” 50 Facts about Rape” ( link Below

  1. Low estimate of the number of women , according to the Department of Justice, raped every year: 300,000
  2. High estimate of the number of women raped, according to the CDC: 1.3 million
  3. Percentage of rapes not reported: 54 percent
  4. A woman’s chance of being raped in the U.S.: 1 in 5
  5. Chances that a raped woman conceives compared to one engaging in consensual sex: at least two times as likely
  6. Number of women in the US impregnated against their will each year in the U.S. as a result of rape: 32,000
  7. Number of states in which rapists can sue for custody and visitation: 31
  8. Chances that a woman’s body “shuts that whole thing down“: 0 in 3.2 billion
  9. Rank of U.S. in the world for rape: 13th
  10. A woman’s chance of being raped in college: 1 in 4 or 5
  11. Chances that a Native American woman in the U.S. will be raped: 1 in 3
  12. Percentage of women in Alaska who have suffered sexual assault: 37 percent
  13. Number of rape kits untested by the Houston police force: 6,000-7,000 (Texas ranked second in nation for “forcible rape”)
  14. Quote in the New York Times regarding the rape: “They said she dressed older than her age.”
  15. Age of woman raped in Central Park in September, 2012: 73
  16. Number of rape kits left untested in Detroit, listed by Forbes as one of two the most dangerous places for woman to live in the US: 11,303
  17. U.S. state in which, in September 2012, mentally disabled rape victim was required to provide evidence of her “kicking, biting, scratching” in objection to her rape: Connecticut
  18. Percentage of sexual assault and rape victims under the age of 12: 15 percen
  19. Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated: 97 perent
  20. Percentage of rapes that college students think are false claims: 50 percent
  21. Percentage of rapes that studies find are false claims: 2-8 percent
  22. Number of rapes reported in the military last year: 16,500
  23. Pentagon’s estimated percentage of military assuaults not reported: 80-90 percent
  24. Percentage of military rape victims who were gang raped/raped more than once: 14%/20%
  25. Percentage of military victims who get an “involuntarily” discharge comparedto percentage of charged and accused who are discharged with honor: 90 percent involuntary to 80 percent with honor
  26. Chances an incarcerated person is raped in the U.S.: 1 in 10
  27. Increase in chance that LGTB prisoner is raped: 15x greater chance
  28. Number of men raped that could be counted as legally raped before the FBI changed its definition in December of 2011: 0
  29. Number of rapes noted in commonly used World War II statistics: 0
  30. Number of rapes of WWII concentration camp inmates: Untallied millions
  31. Number of women raped in 1990s Bosnian conflict: 60,000+
  32. Number of women raped per hour in Congo during war: 48
  33. Country where 12 year old was forced to participate in the rape of his mother:U.S.
  34. Country where women are imprisoned for being raped: Afghanistan
  35. Worldwide number of “child brides” under the age of 18 forced to marry every day: 25,000
  36. Ages of girls forced to marry a 59-year-old at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry in Arkansas: 8, 14, 15
  37. Estimated number of people, primarily children, sexually abused by priests in the U.S. versus the number of senior Catholic officials found guilty of sexual abuse related crimes in the U.S.: 10,667 to 1
  38. Chances that a woman in the U.S. is raped versus gets breast cancer: 2 to 1
  39. Percentage of victims of rape who report the use of a weapon: 11 percent

Prison sentences for four men found guilty of participating in gang rapes of two teenage girls in France over two years: one year, six months, suspended sentence
( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/50-facts-rape_b_2019338.html)

This is the world we live in. This is the world my daughters will grow up in, the world that  countless amount of times told women who have been sexually assaulted it’s your fault, you could have prevented it, you deserve it , it’s just sex.  This is the world that lets drug possession charges receive 20 years while a rape gets 6 months. ( I won’t even begin to break down the White Male Privilege)

The numbers are scary but the fact that behind the numbers are people who serve “6 months for convicted rape” is twice as scary.. because in 180 days that rapist will be walking free.

While I live 5,000 miles away now.. the problem doesn’t change.  Rape in Ghana is laughed at even in higher up admin meetings at hospitals. Rape isn’t considered a criminal act if done with a person who you had a relationship.

Rape Culture is not something Women have the luxury of running away from because it creeps in your head every time a man is overly nice and asks to many questions, or every time you drink a little too much and someone is trying to chat you up, or everyday you walk down the street at night alone, or when your car breaks down on the end of the road, or when your not in the mood but you are in a relationship with someone whose forceful and angry. It’s everytime someone steps over personal boundaries, touching you in a way you’ve explicitly told not to. I don’t get to hide, my daughters don’t get hide and I am asking you not to too. 

Here’s the thing.. sexual assault victims are more likely to be blamed than believed. More likely to be punished ( emotionally, physically, socially) than the criminal who assaulted  them . What a backwards result that is.. because if a man penetrated a woman with a knife he would be punished,  but with a penis… we stare in disbelief as  if we can’t imagine it being a possibility. We victim blame and shame and wash our hands clean moving on to the next stupid thing American Media has for us on the news.

I won’t pretend I am not a fault, I’ve perpetuated the cycle before. While maybe not verbally acknowledging my victim blaming but in my head i’ve heard my word.  As of a few years ago I have deep regret for not doing more for the  woman around me for standing alongside in belief and signing petitions, praying, and standing in solidarity.

While I read The Rapist’s fathers words I can relate to wanting whats easier or more comfortable for your child. To have a love that is unconditional even when they have committed a horrible traumatizing crime. I get it.. my love of my children can’t be changed by their behavior. What I also know without a doubt  is that when your child chooses those horrible decisions you can love them and while also accepting choices have consequences and horrible decisions get ( in this case should ) get “horrible consequences”.  You can love your child while they sit in jail, No one said you can’t. When your child decides to violate another human being, chopping it up to “20 mins of action” is deplorable and it doesn’t make the parent you should be for your child. In fact it perpetuates rape culture, and privilege and victim blaming all in a very short statement.

So church lets stand with our woman and fight for their voices to be heard, lets sign petition that reject privilege. Let us offer love, support and belief to those fighting for their lives post assault. Let us prevent through education, mental health, future assaults and let us hold accountable those who commit the crime rather than those who have fallen victim.

So woman let us teach our daughters that no matter what you do, say, dress, act, etc. Rape is not your fault. We didn’t ask for it and no matter the amount of alcohol unwanted touchy is not permitted. Alcohol is not consent. Let us teach our daughters that when assault happens we will listen and fight with them.

Men please stop making jokes about rape. It’s not funny. If you hear and see assault report it.. stand with the victims, fight with the victims and let us find a safe place within our brotherhood to talk about consent and sexual assault. Fathers teach your sons to respect and honor women let them learn from the way you treat your wives and daughters. Speak truth and respect when talking about sex.

If you would like more information on sexual assault here are a few resources below:

Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network

Bureau Of Justice 

Department of Justice – Rape + Women of Color 

Who Are The Victims 

Sexual Assault Response Service

Let us do better and fight for Justice to be served.

Singleness, Uncles + Unwashed Dishes Oh My!

 

” Cast all of you anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

Before I began paperwork to bring Rhoda and Priscilla home I prayed in depth about a lot of things but one thing kept creeping into my prayers. “God please send a Husband. Ok at least within 10 years. That’s 31 and a pretty prime age to be married by. I’m thinking Navy blue and gold for the wedding.. I’ll settle for plastic place settings though God because you know #StewardofMoney. Ok wait Jesus, I’m really serious though I want  a Jesus loving, hard working man that loves to wash dishes and within the next 3 years sounds like a pretty fair deal. Hint Hint Jesus but mostly because I am terrified to raise children alone without a Dad.
That terrifying feeling eventually ended the moment Rhoda asked our taxi driver if he could marry me. Priscilla put an abrupt halt to it as she typically does and a weight was lifted as I realized we were doing ok.

I know the song and dance of not having a dad.. or at least having a bad one. Sometimes I wonder if its easier to not  know your dad than have a dad like mine.  I can say  childhood can really suck in a lot of ways ( not all ways..) without a consistent healthy male relationship and whether or not we admit it.. it can lead to a lot of unhealthy future relationships. I still struggle with my fair share of daddy issues. Aka I never ask for help or let a man hold a door because 1. I don’t understand that it’s a thing that should be normal and 2. Because my dad never took care of me in those tender compassionate ways I get extremely uncomfortable and run away.
I didn’t/don’t want that for my kids. I pray for a God-fearing man who leads, loves and serves Jesus while having a deep love for washing dishes and 5 am.  


While my “extremely” patient heart waits for that Man.

I stumbled upon some of my favorite photos of our uncles while cleaning my phone storage and had an inevitable AH –HA! Moment.

God : Meghan you are funny sometimes do you not realize you are not doing this alone. Do you not see all the amazing, God fearing men I have placed in you and your daughters lives while I prepare for your husband? ( or While I prepare you to live in singleness.. )

Me: Ok.. well.. ya Alright you got me there they are pretty great.

They are fun loving, patient, God honoring, compassionate men who love and care for my girls in ways I’ve prayed earnestly for day after day. Our life is filled with a large amount of wonderful Uncles who are wonderful examples of Christ and ways women should be treated.

While I still day dream of meeting the man who will be called Dad by my girls and our super pinteresty wedding. I am so thankful for this time of single parenting and watching my girls grow up with amazing male role models.

Greasy Hair + Laundry Overload

People keep asking me: “ How are you doing this?” I laugh trying not to cry because I prayed for the tough stuff to be over and God gave me a different version of tough stuff.

 

  1. In a lot of ways I’m not. If you’ve seen my hair/house in recent days you become pretty aware I nor it hasn’t been cleaned. If you seen me you realize I’ve worn the same shirt for probably a week and there are four baskets filled with clean laundry hiding behind my bed so no one see it should they come into our house.

    2. I guess the more appropriate response is. I don’t really have a choice. Mama’s who have come before me have also shared that when parenting a child that has extra needs whether medical or developmental there is no choice. You do it because they are your children and you will walk on fire and cross the world to provide the best you can for your child. Being a mom is a honor, privilege and there is no negotiating. If your child needs something you find a way or fight for a way. Giving up is not in the cards so you fight, and move forward in the darkest of nights because that’s what being a Mom is all about.

    3. Jesus + Coffee. I drink a pathetic amount of coffee because I have a child who loves the morning and another who loves the evenings. While navigating different medication times my day starts pretty early and ends pretty late. Scripture.. I swear life would be pretty hopeless without a manuel that’s based on hope. I find myself seeking the word in a very desperate dependent way because at this point its the only comforting piece of this season.

    Also a S/O to Rhoda who understands that when a movie goes on after school and P has been up all night that mom needs to close her eyes and listen to the movie to really love it. Aka sleep for the 90 mins of The Lion King. She understands that sometimes-street food is also dinner because the thought of cooking and then doing dishes by hand is sad. Rhoda is patient, kind, compassionate, loving and overall a pretty rad kid. She grew up way faster than she should have but her maturity will bring her far in life and I am humbled at the joy it is to be her Mom. (and then I started crying and had to take a breather because man I love my kids ) If you aren’t a parent yet it might not make sense but seriously the love you feel for your children is so powerful even when they learn to wipe their own butts tears are a flowing. It is just a glimpse into the ways God loves us.

    4. Community. I say it a lot.. I talk about it a lot. Mostly because twice in my life have I really experienced a raw large loving community . When I moved to Ghana life was super lonely.. Community was hard to come by and I felt really alone in a lot of some tough stuff and was in the process of letting go of a toxic relationship. I really thought community just wasn’t in the cards for me. Then I stumbled upon a friend in the clinic and BAM.. now I have a community who loves my kids fiercely and takes care of me like their family. I get calls, texts, updates, prayers and they show up at my house to help. Its amazing!! If you do not have a community.. find one, start one, fight for one. If your church doesn’t have a group dedicated to a specific community that you fit into. Talk to them about it. Life is hard and messy and we need a village to do it together. . . to point us to Jesus and to let us cry about Greys anatomy because your fave couple ended.

    So when asked the question how are you doing this? The real answer is.. because God has prepared me for the tough stuff, given me grace for when I can’t do it all and given me the people to support my journey. Thats how we do it.

Overcoming 

Days short of exactly two years ago I sat in a tattoo parlor filling out paper for my second tattoo. 
  

I have had my tattoos planned out since I was 17. This one though was my favorite and had the most meaning. Scripture multiple times declares God’s light on the world. John 8:12 “ When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
For most of my life I lived in a home filled with abuse from my father. ( If you would like some of the story click Here ) It had taken a huge toll and still does on my family. I had experienced 3 different close friends in high school enter the gates of heaven too young. I had experienced darkness I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. 
One truth always reigned: Light will always overcome darkness. It’s a truth I’ve held dear to me in the darkest times both in my past and in my present. “ The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 
Sitting in that chair two years ago I really did think my darkness was over. I really did believe ( so naïve, I know ) my turn for all things bright was happening. Which in a lot of ways that was true, I was following Gods calling to move across the ocean and work with a church that felt like home in Uganda. I was ready and excited. “ I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.”- Ecclesiastes 2:13
since that move I’ve experienced more death than I like to admit of children I loved and cared for like my own. I’ve said goodbye to that beautiful village, I’ve experienced friendships ending, ministries failing, closing, heartbreaking realities of poverty and disease. Today as a family we are navigating the next steps in what life will look like at home with a pretty sick child. 
AND .. 
I’ve experienced more truth, encouragement, honesty and love from across oceans. I’ve experienced community in raw and real ways. I’ve fallen in love with a country my children and I call home. I get to watch my children grow in a home filled with love. I get to experience God in ways I didn’t know I could. I get to watch friends and those in the dark begin walking in the light because of a wonderful hospital that feels like home. 
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.” – John 1;5 

In honor of this season and to fufill our need of a car to use while Priscilla undergoes treatment. 
We will be selling these t-shirts. 

   
 T-shirts $15 + $4 shipping ( US) size s-XXL($2) Tank Tops $22 + 3 size s-XXL (+$3) shipping ( US). All shirts will be ordered and shipped by July 1st ( once all orders and invoices are paid) If you would like one (sizes s-XXL) please comment below or email me at Meghan.liddy1@gmail.com

One of Them

*If you purchased an Auction Item.. they will be in the mail by Monday. If you still have no paid your invoice please do so, so I can get all of your items to you as quickly as possible. Ghana items take about 3-4 weeks shipping. Domestic etsy auction items have been processed and will be in the mail soon. Expect about 2 weeks shipping.:)

This year I have had more tangible Ah-Ha moments in my walk with Jesus then I have in any other year. ( I guess thats the point of motherhood right..?) If I counted the amount of hours I’ve spent in a hospital, clinic, insurance office, pharmacy in the past two years on the mission field it probably adds up to at least 3 months. (Someone hire me as a tour guide.. and over here someones bleeding from their eye. #OPD) I know the ins+outs of kumasi hospitals and my phone contacts is a majority of nurses, doctors, residents and pharmacists. ( Sidenote: ALWAYS MAKE NICE TO NURSES, THEY RUN THE PLACE)

This morning at 6am Priscilla and I walked to the junction and hopped on a tro-tro to the hospital. ( Our amazing neighbor and favorite yam seller comes over in the morning until P and I return home.❤ ) As per the usual.. we had several viles filled with Priscillas sputum for genetic testing. While we waited for the lab to open a mother wearing a mask mask carrying her son (maybe 3 years ) came over and sat with us. While if you know me I am the farthest thing from a morning person, I’ve slowly morphed into being able to fake it on most mornings. #motherhood.

We chatted and started talking about how hard the drugs are on the body, how hard it is to be a member of society when your disease is stigmatized. We talked and slowly I realized .. my idea of missions was shifting from ME helping them to Me being them.  This season has taught me a lot about learning to be served. I was the Mom of a sick child sitting waiting for answers and trying to figure how we as a family were going to navigate this season.

We  giggled as we shared spring rolls (judge my breakfast choices harder )  and talked about the countless hours we’ve spent navigating sick children and the amount of money it takes to raise children. #allthemoney  She laughed as I reminisced to the first weeks of being a mom. They were rough.

This season if nothing else has taught me to swallow my pride, ask for help, trust in Jesus and dig into community. This morning brought me a new and special friendship built on Jesus, and living a life we didn’t imagine.

God is working in huge ways and P is seriously a rockstar patient. I however am the worst nightmare of them all.

Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.

We are currently trying to raise $$ to buy a car to use here in Kumasi while P seeks treatment and further for use in future ministry opportunities. IF you feel led to donate please click HERE

Lets Get Medical

On Friday I took a humbling yet comforting deep breath as the doctor came into our consultation room and announced that once again ( yes that means P’s had this twice) Priscilla will be fighting TB. We are awaiting a test that determines whether her TB is a recourrance of her previous spout or if it has come back in a bigger manner MDR TB ( Multiple Drug Resistant TB ). This means at least 6 months of breathing treatments, blood work, X-rays, and a very heavy dose of medication ( that is defined as chemo-like ) to take everyday. If we are told it is MDR our treatment period is a 9-36 month period.

At this point you might be shaking your head saying ummm what is TB?

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. In fact at one point it was the leading cause of death in almost every country. Tuberculosis (TB) is a top infectious disease killer worldwide. In 2014, 9.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top 5 causes of death for women aged 15 to 44. It is considered the top pediatric killer of children living with HIV.

How does someone get TB ?

TB is spread through a infected person’s sputum being coughed up. This poses a risk to both Rhoda and I. We will be wearing face masks until Priscilla is not longer in the contagion period which usually last 2 months for typical TB and 6 months for MDR. You can also get latent TB and never show symptoms depending on how well your immune system can fight the infection.

What are they symptoms of TB?

Symptoms of TB disease include:

  • a bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • pain in the chest
  • coughing up blood or sputum
  • weakness or fatigue
  • weight loss
  • no appetite
  • chills
  • fever
  • sweating at night

    How can you diagnose TB ?

    In places where TB is not common it is often misdiagnosed several times as different lung/chest infections. There are a few different test that indicate TB.
    1. Skin Test
    2. Chest Xray with blood work

Who is at risk for TB?

  • Those living with compromised immune systems and most commonly those living with HIV.
  • Health care professional that come in contact with those who are coughing sputum.

Is there a vaccine to prevent TB?

Yes, there is a vaccine for TB disease called Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). It is used in some countries to prevent severe forms of TB in children. However, BCG is not generally recommended in the United States because it has limited effectiveness for preventing TB overall.

Rhoda and Priscilla’s vaccination history is unknown but she does have a BCG scar which we think indicates a vaccine unfortuently with her compromised immune system, previous neglect her body has been unable to fight TB effectively.

Where can I find out more about TB?

Pediatric TB
TB Prognosis
Multiple Drug Resistant TB
TB in Ghana
History of TB The Truth About TB

We are currently fundraising for a care to give some relief as we seek daily medical treatment. If you are led to donate please visit Liddy Family Car Fundraiser

Tomorrow on Instagram ( @meglidds) we will be hosting an Auction to help get us closer to buying a car. We will also be selling shirts and holding different raffle prizes for the next few weeks. Stay Tuned!

With love from the equator ,
Meghan, Rhoda + Priscilla