Published on Apr 6, 2013
** NEW **
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"Just because a child has a past doesn't mean they're broken forever.
They can heal from it." -- Beth Thomas
WINNER Slamdance 2013 Audience Award
WINNER LA Indie 2013 Best Feature Documentary Award
The bonding that takes place in the early years of a child's life is crucial for developing the ability to express emotion and establish relationships. In the US, it's estimated that five children a day die from neglect—but what about those who endure neglect and survive?
Meet Faith, a 13-year-old girl who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and what's called Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). This powerful and at times very distressing film follows Faith as she attempts to heal from the trauma inflicted by her birth-mother's lifestyle and begins to develop trust for her new adoptive parents. But with one as emotionally bruised as Faith, it can be a seemingly impossible task for new parents to gain her love and trust, and their struggle as a new family begins to take its' toll on all.
The statistics are staggering. So many millions of children are orphaned, abandoned, neglected and abused that assigning a number to such a multitude of wounded souls would be almost meaningless. Every day approximately five children die of neglect in the U.S. alone. Of those who survive, what's next? No one could manage to endure such experiences unscathed.
This is the story of a 13-year-old girl working hard to overcome a troubling past while learning to accept and embrace the love and possibility that now surround her. Born as Brianna to a drug-addicted mother, she and her baby brother lived in harrowing conditions before being adopted by a young couple fully invested in raising their children to be whole, happy and strong.
But getting there has not been, and is not easy; it's sometimes even scary. Healing from such serious scars is an ongoing process that entails willingness, forgiveness, patience, resilience, and a host of other qualities. It's a test of anyone's mettle, let alone a family. Love is obviously a key ingredient. Without it, where would any of us be? But beyond love is where the work begins ... and it starts with faith.
Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) results from a lack of bonding between an infant and its' mother. As the child grows, he or she may be unable to express or receive affection, using that first broken relationship as a model for all others. When an infant or young child's needs are not met or are met with inappropriate responses such as anger or even violence, the possibility of creating a trusting relationship is replaced by fear, frustration and ultimately rage. Survival becomes paramount to love.
"That break in the attachment affects their conscious development and they are different. They look very cute; they look very charming. They have to be parented differently or they are dangerous."
--Nancy Thomas, Therapeutic Parenting Specialist
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