Monday, April 16, 2007


Four years in child welfare.

Four years of seeing and hearing some of the ugliest sides of human beings.

Four years of constantly being surprised, over and over, how painful life can be for a kid whose only "crime" was to be born to parents that couldn't manage.

And today, for the first time, I heard a story that made me cry.

I was stunned. I was sick. I was so overwhelmed that I couldn't stop moving in my chair, pulling on my hair, and rubbing my forehead, almost as if I had absorbed the pain and was trying to move it out of me.

I looked around the table, and saw that I was not the only one.

As the discussion progressed, the group began to focus less on the trauma of this tiny newborn, and more on the resiliency of humans. Sadly, while this child may never recall the exact visual memories of his experiences, his sensory experiences, and his own body will be a daily reminder of his torture. But he is safe today, and he will be safe tomorrow. And he will grow, and develop and be loved, because that is his right. And that is what wee should do to child. Love them.

As I listened to this story, I kept thinking, "Baby Nolan is the same age." How different things look in his life, than in the early months of this other child. How, even in her most stressed moments, my sister hung in, reached out to her resources, said, "I am only human and can do so much," and took mommyhood one day at a time, knowing that the rough patch will pass. And it is passing, and she is sane, and Baby Nolan is as wonderful as they come. And he has a HUGE family that loves the diapers off him.

All children should have this.

But too many don't.

So my perspective for today is that I am blessed.