By Lorry Myers
I had one day to prepare, just one day. When I got the call to take in foster children not many months after my husband passed, I didn’t hesitate or make excuses, although I had plenty. When the three children arrived the next day, I was ready.
Only, I wasn’t ready at all.
The children came with nothing; everything taken when they were removed had to be destroyed. That meant new clothes, new backpacks, new diaper bag, and new shoes. Everything was new and overwhelming for the children who also came with no routine, no boundaries and no assurance of what would come next.
Whatever that would be.
The first night, I made a kid friendly dinner, uncertain what the two boys liked. They were startled when I called them to the table. “Why we have to sit at the table?” said the younger boy, seemingly confused.
“Because that’s what families do,” I told him.
I went on to explain that dinner time was the best time to sit together and talk. “Families share a table, share food, and share all the good and bad parts of the day,” I said.
“Like anyone cares,” muttered the oldest boy, rolling his eyes. Still, dinner was ready.
I was not.
I wasn’t ready for their sadness, for the curse words and racial slurs they were raised with. I wasn’t ready for their fear of the police, their fear of the dark, and their fear of uncertainty. The boys had decayed teeth and the tiny baby was under weight and underfed.
These children have a story.
Please understand that when children are removed from their home, there is a dark history behind it. Hot lined by doctors, teachers and store owners along with a long list of second chances and failure to care is what finally led these three to my door. I knew these children were loved, but they were no one’s priority.
Now they were mine.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.