Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love...these are words I have been thinking about a lot lately.  My life has been richly blessed to be a small part of a sweet little boys life.  I have only known this boy for a short time, but however short the time has been, its been long enough for him to pull at my heart strings.  This boy is in a very sad situation.  I don't have, and don't want to have, all of the details, because what I know already makes me cry.  This little boy and his older sister are in foster care and have been since one of their parents was arrested last Christmas eve.  Since January they have been in four homes.  When I first heard about this boy and the fact that he'd been in 3 other homes, I was a little nervous he would be unmanageable.  Why does a small child get put into 4 foster homes in a year, unless he is unmanageable?  On the contrary, this little boy always has a smile on his face, is sweet, kind and listens just about as much as any other boy his age.  His sister, who had been in the dysfunctional home longer, has a few more issues and is rough around the edges.  I just heard that these two will now be placed in there 5th foster home this year.  Their current foster mother has agreed to keep them until Christmas, but after the 25th they will be placed in another home several hours from here.  To make the story even more heartbreaking, these children will also find out a few days before Christmas that their parent's parental rights have been terminated and they will no longer be allowed to see them.

What brings me to unconditional love is this; these kids need it and have never been shown the love parents should have for their children.  I write the "Tales of John" and I share the good, bad and funny moments of John.  There are days when I feel I've yelled at or spanked John all day.  On those days, I go to bed worried that all he will remember about his childhood is being in trouble.  But, I know he won't remember all of the "bad" times.  John, Gus and any other children we will be blessed to have will  know that, no matter what they do, we will always love them.  What this little boy and his sister have been shown virtually their whole life is that someone will love them and care for them as long as they aren't too much trouble.  I'm told that the older sister also suffers from detachment disorder.  She hasn't always been honest and she's even gotten suspended from school.  She also hasn't connected with any of her foster parents...but can you blame her?  Throughout her life she has been let down by pretty much every adult she's come into contact with.  Her parents were horrible parents, but she loved them, children are wonderful givers of unconditional love.  This is one thing we could all learn how to do properly from children.  She was part of a very dysfunctional family for 7 years or so and then taken from everything she ever knew.  Even though she was being put into a safer and better environment, she didn't welcome it with open arms.  I'm not sure if the first couple of foster families thought she would be grateful for rescuing her from all of the horrible stuff, but that is not how kids, or anyone for that matter, work.  Her little brother has just been dragged with her from place to place.  I'm pretty sure everyone would have kept him, if he didn't come with her.  He has adapted well where ever he's been.  He loves and misses his parents, but he has also grown to love everyone he's come in contact with.

I know there are situations like this everywhere.  I know that there are situations far worse.  But, this is the situation in front of me now.  These are the children whose faces  I see and whose story I know. I'm saddened every time I hear how this little boys sister has misbehaved and how the foster mother just can't handle her.  This little girl's parents have done horrible things and subsequently formed her into what she is now.  I understand that she may be a really hard kid to handle, but someone has to love her.  Someone has to be able to look her in the eye and tell her that no matter what she does they will always love her.  I get teary eyed as I think about the fact that it seems everyone has given up on her and will just continue to transfer her from home to home until she ages out of the system.  I pray for these two children and many others every night that they will some day enter the home of someone who will love them unconditionally.

1 comment:

The Simpsons said...

My heart and prayers go out to those children. I have often told Steven that I just want to bring all those children home with me and just hug them and love them.