My heart is broken today. Honestly, my heart is broken most days. I keep busy with the positive things in my life…fantastic husband, great friends, always improving health and fitness, music school, recovering from surgery, going ahead and living out some life dreams, etc. There is always an undertow. There is always the hard life fact that I have a broken heart. In this moment, I feel life will never be the same. Really, it won’t ever be the same, but it may be easier…and then it may not. I’m faced with the question…what am I going to do about it?
I had a hysterectomy. I have been unable to have my own children. We tried for 10 years to adopt, and the doors kept closing. Then, to make things worse (that’s how it seems these days), we went and fostered/fell in love with three children (from two different moms) who we had to part ways with. I don’t even know how to describe all the emotions that go with this experience. One of the moms is doing well, and the other one is not. I’m terrified all the time for the safety of “our” kids. My heart is broken for their family as they watch the ebb and flow of “our” kid’s mother from functional to dysfunctional. My heart is broken for all other kids in foster care who have seen so much and dealt with so much. They are defenseless children surrounded by “parents”/ “adults” who just don’t get it. Speaking of adults who just don’t get it, let’s talk legislature…or let’s not, geesh! They can’t get their act together either. Shuffle kids here, shuffle kids there, blame foster parents here, blame lack of government funding there. What a mess! In the meantime, as it spirals back down to the life I’m living, I see kids who are in danger with an ebbing and flowing mother, and I’m supposed to rest my head each night and hope something more awful doesn’t happen.
I wish there was the same community outrage against parents not doing their job as there is against the topics that are taking political preference right now. I wish there was as much trending about the need to protect abused and neglected children as there is about Brexit, or the soccer championship thing, or Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of SI, or the Game of Thrones season finale. That’s what I think it’s going to take to make a difference with these children. Us! There are a LOT of people doing good for foster children, but they don’t get any press…only the bad stuff gets press. The good people I’m talking about are the foster parents, caseworkers, local judges, and local agencies…the ones actually in the trenches. There are bad apples in every bunch, but the majority, locally, do good work.
In my mind, what I can do about my broken heart, is raise awareness of the fundamental needs of these defenseless children. What I can do is plead for people to take a stand against child abuse and neglect. How can I do this? I’m not entirely sure yet. I have this blog that gets seen by not even 100 people, and I’m not even that great at blogging. There are congressmen/women who I’m not convinced pay attention to anything other than who is paying them off. (entirely different issue). “Our” kids are counting on us to do something. It seems like a big bear to tackle, but I can’t be this broken hearted and not do something. I’m angry the system isn’t working for them. I’m angry that “our” kids are suffering because of it. I think the time of depending on the government to fix it should end. I believe we, as a community, should take care of each other. Not just a pat on the back and an “I’ll pray for you”, but really get in there with the messy and take care of each other. Again, not entirely sure how this is going to play out, but I’m tired of feeling this way and not doing something about it. I can’t sit still anymore!