July 16, 2016

The Perfect Parent

Surely they are out there somewhere.  Parents who are doing a great job at being, well, parents.  They are the ones who should become foster parents.  The ones who should adopt.

A dad who comes home from work at the end of every day, excited about spending time with his kids and hearing all about the details of his wife’s day.  Who never gets distracted by the game on tv or the latest news update or the urgent emails from work.  Who always has the energy (and skill!) to tackle the home repairs, patiently teaching his eager son the tricks of the trade while doing so.  Who coaches Little League and serves as a Scout leader in his spare time.

There must be a mom, too, who never raises her voice at her children, gently training and correcting and mentoring each one according to their particular personalities and interests.  The mom whose house is always clean because she consistently uses the chore chart that she created for herself and those in her household.  Who prepares nutritious meals, patiently showing her eager daughter the way around the kitchen while doing so.  Who serves as the homeroom mother in her spare time.

Where are they, these perfect parents?  They have so much to offer a child in need!  They would be exactly the kind of parents that an orphaned child is wishing for at this very moment.  Why aren’t they signing up to become foster parents?  Why aren’t they the ones who are adopting?

July 3, 2016

The Steps You Take

When I reach my hand into the mailbox and see the crisp white envelope with the county logo in the corner, my heart, as it invariably does, skips a beat.  Important news seems to always come with a phone call or in a crisp white envelope.  I half hold my breath while I rip open the seal.  As I read the document that had been carefully folded inside, it takes a moment for my mind to catch up with my eyes.  Although I can read the words quite clearly, I can not fully comprehend the enormity of their meaning.  I cannot reconcile the harshness of the words with you, my sweet little one, who are perched securely on my hip.  

Mother’s whereabouts unknown.

At first I am outraged.  How could your mother, the one who was supposed to love you forever, so carelessly abandon her responsibilities?  How could she bear to disappear into a world that doesn’t include you in it?  How could she walk away from such an amazing child?  Such a precious gift?

But I am also saddened.  I grieve for this young woman who gave birth to you.  I cannot imagine the choices and circumstances and steps that led her to this point.  My heart breaks when I think that she could feel so wrecked, so trapped in her brokenness that she could see no other option except to leave.   

I am so sorry for everything she is missing in her absence:  your beautiful smile and your funny baby words and your wild hair that will not be contained and your tight squeezes around my neck.  I am sad that she is not here to witness your first tentative steps. 

Most of all, it grieves me to think that because of her choices, because of her destructive relationships and deadly habits, it means that you, my sweet one, do not have the permanence and stability and security that every child deserve.