History of the name
In the 1980's when I first started my ministry to children as a specialized therapeutic foster parent, I graced each child with a music box. My favorite one was the carousel horse. One by the one the music boxes were broken, lost or destroyed. Somehow the carousel horse base with music intact had been tucked away in a drawer. Life was consumed with the care, protection and survival of the 40+ children that passed through my doors. Sixteen years later (2006)when life seemed reduced to pure survival, thanking God that we had made it through another day, the carousel music resurfaced. Moment by moment I had been dealing with the triggered trauma's of the children in my home.
I was living the first hand experience of an isolated parent destined by the overwhelming needs of my children to be protected in public so that working through the nightmares of their past could be peeled one layer at a time in the safe environment of our home. Friends and family could not comprehend the intense need of the children to be protected from their worst enemy, 'well meaning people who do not have all the facts.' (of the child's past triggers)
A parent dealing at this level has given all that is possible to give, at the point of denial of how serious the situation has become. Siblings think nothing of the potential danger of their possible demise. Joy which once overflowed, at the sight of their child, trickled to the point of drought. Desolation and despair the parent's closest companion. The ride of life, a dizzying effect, going round in circles like the hamster on the wheel. No ground covered, just the delusion of getting somewhere.
As I continued to encourage other families in the same scenario, I became consumed with the realization that the symbolism of the carousel ride was missing. On the carousel the primary purpose was family joy and togetherness. The child is thrilled from the adrenalin rush from the speed and size of the horse;
There was the trust from the child to the parent knowing the presence by their side for safety and protection;and, the playful competition of the siblings giggling to declare "look at me" hands in the air. Grandparents sat on the bench, content to be spectators.The community was sharing the same experience of the ride. Music and awe in the air.
The project of Carousel is to help families and communities be connected with supports for the child and family within the community setting to bring healing and restoration for the family to recapture the joy.