Monday, May 5, 2014

There's No Such Thing As Monsters...And Other Lies We Tell Children

Children come into foster care for a variety of reasons. Some are born drug exposed. Some are born drug exposed and go home with their parents anyway. Then they later come into care due to continued failed drug screens. Sometimes there is domestic violence or neglect. 9 month old babies weighing 9 pounds. 5 month old babies with eyes so sunken in you were sure they were from a third world country.

Adults often tell children things that are not true. Maybe because we believe it. Maybe because there's nothing else to say.

"Everything's going to be ok". Maybe. Maybe not. If you've come into foster care, something is definitely not ok with your world. Maybe it will be from here on, but the scars remain. Perhaps not physical scars. I imagine the emotional ones may be worse.

"Mommy and Daddy are doing everything they can to get you back". That could be true. I've seen that happen. I've also seen it not happen. Sometimes there are things that have a stronger pull than your children. I can't understand it, but I've watched it. Canceled visits. Broken promises. Tear-stained faces.

And then there's physical abuse. Broken bodies. Bruises and internal injuries. Obviously not an accident, but no one's talking. Babies being hurt by the people who are supposed to love them, or at least not protecting them from someone else.

"There's no such thing as monsters". The biggest lie of all. No, they don't hide under the bed and in the closet. They aren't furry and they don't have horns. But they are real. Unfortunately for some they look like mommies and daddies. They look like the one who should hold you and comfort you. Imagine your toddler being scared of you. Not scared of being in trouble. Terrified. Of you. Can you? I hope not. That's reality for many children.

There's no such thing as monsters? I disagree.

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