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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And The Mother Of The Year Award Goes To.....

My friend Leighann and I were at the park last week with my girls and as we were eating lunch, a couple and a child came walking into the park.

The child, who was no more than 16-18 months old, toddled into the playground after the couple. He was wearing nothing but a pair of un-footed PJ's. No socks. No shoes. Just bare feet.

As his mother (I use that word lightly) and the man approached the playground, they let the child roam free, while they mounted the teeter-totter. She was no more than 18 or 19 years old and he looked maybe a few years older. Leighann and I could hear their conversation (since we were sitting right next to them) and we came to realize that this must've been the couple's first encounter with each other, since they were talking like they were "getting to know each other".

A date in the romantic.

As they conversed with each other the little boy continued to roam the playground without any supervision whatsoever.......and barefoot......walking on wood chips.

Oh and did I mention that it was about 55 degrees outside, with a wind chill of about 45 degrees? I was wearing a hoodie and Leighann was wearing a jacket and we both sat there freezing to death, every time the sun hid under the clouds and the wind would pick up. So I can only imagine what this poor child was feeling. His feet and cheeks were red from being cold. I wanted to call CPS right then and there.

But I couldn't.

The child wasn't in danger and so I had no right to call. I kept waiting for an opportunity for me to have a good excuse to call, but none came. I wanted so badly to call this woman out on her neglect, but again, I couldn't.

Finally as they were leaving the playground I couldn't bite my tongue any longer. I wanted to say, "Are you stOOpid woman! What kind of a mother are you to let your baby freeze to death at the park and to let him walk barefoot on the playground! I aughtta report you! Come'ere so I can slap yo face!"

But instead I said, "I hope you have shoes for your son"

To which she replied ever so chirpily, "Oh yeah.....I do"

That's all I could do or say. As they walked away, leaving the park (on foot mind you, so now you can understand a bit more of the angst I was feeling) I said to Leighann, "Now that's the kind of kids you see in the system later on".

She agreed.

Her and I kept wondering about that child the whole day. I mean, if he was neglected even that one tiny bit out in public, what kind of neglect goes on at home?

As a mother in general, my heart goes out to kids with stOOpid parents or ones with neglectful parents, but as a Foster Mom, my heart aches even more to help "save" these little ones from neglect or abuse. I've seen first hand, what neglect can do to a child. I've lived through the healing and redevelopment of a neglected child. I'm still dealing with it. I will probably always have to deal with it, as we introduce new children into our home, from Foster Care. But I realize I can't save every child and that's a hard fact to face sometimes.

I'm a major advacate for Foster Parenting and Adoption. I may not seem like it sometimes, but I truly am. Even if I could have children naturally, I would still adopt. It's always been in my heart. I urge all of you out there to look into Adoption or Foster Care. I hear people all the time see our family and say, "Yeah, I've thought about adoption, but...."

Don't think about it......DO something about it!

Adoption's not for everyone and neither is Foster Parenting, but if you've even considered it, seriously look into it. There are Pro's and Con's, but in the end, it's all worth it. Just ask me anything about it and I will help you in anyway I can.

Okay I'll get off my soapbox now.

I still wonder about that child in the park. I can only hope and pray that he grows up strong and healthy.....or pray that his mother grow up herself.


Susie said...

That's horrible!

Welcome to SITs! I hope you are enjoying the party:-)

Unknown said...

I would have call CPS...not providing adaquate cloth for a child is reason enough. It hurts to walk barefoot on cement on a nice day let alone a cold one!!
Your stronger than me cuz I would have beaten the crap outta that chick and sterilized her myself with a plastic spoon...can you tell I have a deep hatered for those who neglect or abuse children?

Suze said...

I'm glad you both feel that way. My husband think it was that big of a deal, but us women get a bit fiesty when it comes to this sorta thing.

Oh and Susie I always enjoy the party when it comes to SITS! Welcome!

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

I saw a little girl at Walmart once--dirty, too big clothes, hair that clearly hadn't been brushed, let alone washed for several weeks. She was in line with 3-4 adults who were buying beer & cigarettes. I was so upset by the obvious neglect that was going on.

But the thing was, she looked so happy. She was laughing and smiling and joking around. Obviously loved. So why the *&^%$%^ couldn't they give her a bath once in awhile?

*Danette said...

Well, Suze you know how I feel and for those of you who don't... I'm with Swinky Binky! = )

For the past 19 months I have been fighting CPS and DSHS for 4 of the most amazing children. All they want is a SAFE, stable, loving home, and yet just because their DNA doesn't match mine, being able to provide all the things their biological parents can't, isn't enough. It really is too bad.

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