Try telling a child that he will never be going home again. He will not sleep in his bed, eat dinner with his parents, or play with his neighbors. Add to that the idea that he will be getting new parents when he’s adopted. He is not only NOT happy, he is broken-hearted. He won’t be going home.
It is so easy to blame the parents. They are drug addicts, or they fight too much, or they just don’t have the mentality to safely raise children. All these things may be correct. But, going back to our broken-hearted little boy, do you think these things matter to him?
Mom may be a drug addict to us, but to him his mom is his entire world. He worries about her, he remembers only the good times he has had with her, and he loves her. Unconditionally. Period. Children who have been abused still love their parents. Unconditionally. Period. Children can be hit, burned, neglected, ignored, and ridiculed by their parents and they STILL want to go home. Unconditionally. Period.
We have the opportunity to help make his dreams come true. We have the opportunity to treat mom with compassion, to encourage her, to build on her strengths. As a society, as a community, as a neighbor. Instead of judging parents and finding them wanting, we have the ability to model good behavior, to teach them they can face their issues with support, and to remind them they need to be healthy for their broken-hearted children who want to come home.
These children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents lose everything. They often feel like they are being punished and that if they are good enough, they can go home. They sleep in a strange bed, in a strange home, with strangers caring for them. Yet they are told that it is for their own good. While safety-wise, it is for their own good, they will not understand this. Having a mother who drinks or a father who hits them is normal to them. All they want is their parents. And to go home.
So the next time you hear of a parent with a drinking problem or who is financially unstable, please do not turn away! A smile, a touch, or “everything will be ok” will go a long way to help parents who need assistance. Don’t do it for the parent, who is an adult and capable of making decisions. Do it for the broken-hearted child who will not be going home.