Skip to main content

Reactive Attachment Disorder & Eternal Hope

By March 8, 2021March 15th, 2021Podcast
shaq-hardy-header

There is nothing I love more than hearing about God’s faithfulness in the midst of difficult situations, and that’s exactly what today’s episode is all about. Shaq Hardy is a youth pastor in Chattanooga, TN who spent the first 10 years of his life in foster care. Today, he openly shares about his experience in multiple foster homes, the challenge of living with Reactive Attachment Disorder, the hope he so clearly found in Jesus, and so much more. And towards the end of our conversation, he even shares a piece of spoken word poetry he wrote to process his life experience. Shaq’s story alone is powerful, but his perspective is even more compelling. Listen in!

HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:

1. Foster care is not an easy journey for anyone involved, but there is so much good to celebrate in the community.

Shaq hopped around to many different homes. And while he did have some negative experiences in foster care and in his journey of navigating trauma that he shares about in today’s episode, most of his memories are very positive. From Christmas memories (which are his favorite) to the connection he formed with families to his introduction to Jesus, this was a reminder of the unique dance of hope and hurt that exists for children in this world called foster care.

“Most of my memories in foster care were actually really positive.”

2. Trauma is real, and it can begin at any age.

After Shaq’s biological mom told him he was a very good baby who never fussed, he discovered that was actually a sign of a problem. Shaq has lived his life with Reactive Attachment Disorder and shares about the struggle he has attaching to other people. He says, “A lot of things that normal people think about, I just don’t think about.”

“Me being such a quiet baby was a sign of a problem… I know now that problem is reactive attachment disorder.”

3. Jesus is our greatest hope.

Reminiscing about his last foster family before moving back in with his biological father, Shaq says, “If the doors of the church were open, we were there.” That wasn’t when he came to faith, but it laid a foundation that led to him accepting Christ soon after and forever shifting his perspective. Jesus wanted each of us so badly that He died for us. That truth alone contains the power to change each of us.

“I have no answer for why my mom didn’t want me, but I reconcile that by looking to the cross.”

SPREAD THE WORD!

We hope this episode has helped you wherever you are on your foster care journey. That’s the goal! If so, will you tell others?

Share this post or rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you listen) and leave us a brief review

shaq-hardy-headshot

Meet Our Guest

Shaq was in foster care for the first 10 years of his life. He’s originally from St. Mary’s, Georgia but his hometown is Jacksonville, NC. Shaq is currently a student at SEBTS in Wake Forest, NC, and he and his wife Rachael live in Chattanooga, TN where he serves as the student pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church. Connect with him at shaqhardy.com —

Foster Parents, check with your agency to see if listening to this podcast will count toward your foster care training hours!

Special thanks to Resonate Recordings for their knock-it-out-of-the-park podcast production services! If you have a podcast or want to start one, reach out to our friends at Resonate!

Get encouragement and updates in your inbox.

Be the first to know about new episodes, posts, resources, and stay in the loop about what’s coming up.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Other Episodes You Might Enjoy:

Honest Questions about Foster Care and Adoption and Answers You Need to Hear – S7E4

| Podcast | No Comments
Whether you’re just thinking about foster care or adoption and want to know what it’s really like or you’re in it and you need support, today’s guest, Mike Berry, offers a picture of the good,…

Experiencing Loss and Grief

| Podcast | No Comments
Have you experienced loss? Difficult times? Frustrating circumstances? Most of us have felt grief at some point in our lives. In this episode, Jonathan openly shares his own experience of grief through the unexpected passing…
close-up photo of human eye with tear drops

S2E12: Trauma: How You Can Help Your Child and Family Survive

| Podcast | No Comments
Because caring for the orphan is a deep concern on God’s heart, Jenn Ranter wanted to provide support for these families, so that they felt loved and cared for. She founded Replanted Ministry because she…