Virginia and Dale Craig came to DePaul seeking hope and a support system that would not give up on them. With five children, including two who were new to the family through adoption, Virginia and Dale were learning to navigate the challenges of a blended family. They were trying to find a sense of peace. DePaul answered their call.
“They’re going to walk with us through this no matter what,” said Virginia.
The Craigs adopted siblings Annie and Cameron 16 years ago when Annie was 3 months old and Cameron was 2. Though they were young, Annie and Cameron felt the weight of that transition and loss, and it has affected them to this day.
“They had a lack of love and nurturing from the very beginning,” said Dale.
Cameron is very quiet and holds a lot of his emotions close. Annie struggles with losing control and becoming violent. She finds it difficult to form secure, healthy emotional bonds with parental figures—a condition called reactive attachment disorder that is common for children who have spent time in foster care.
Over the last few years, DePaul has wrapped around the family working to meet all their needs—from counseling to intensive in-home support to group outings. Virginia and Dale credit their faith and DePaul’s counseling services team with keeping them going.
“Overall, things are more stable and more functional now,” said Dale.
Even with all the support, the Craigs still face tough days and fight tough battles. Addressing trauma takes time and patience—not just from Dale and Virginia, but from the whole family.
“I used to think all I had to do was love them and it would be okay,” said Virginia. “But there are times that love, on its own, is not enough. Sometimes it takes more than love. You’ve got to get in there and go through the trenches with them.”
But maybe going through the trenches is not separate from love; maybe it is love in action. A love that works to keep a family together. A love that has the power to overcome obstacles. A love that invites help when needed and acknowledges that some days are dark and difficult. A love that lasts no matter what.