We met Erin Irish at our foster parents fundamentals class – the training you have to take to get certified to care for children. We mutually realized that we were being appalled by all the same things – and bonded.
We’ve since become friends and foster buddies. We watch each others kids and her kids do daycare with the goddess Pentera at our house which gives us a chance to have more kids as part of our lives – and makes the whole load lighter. It’s quit a team these kiddos have.
Ernie had a new placement that came into all our lives recently. He’s a tiny tiny little one suffering from malnutrition.
We’ve had a few kids that have come in starved. The initial visual hit when you see these kids is really shocking – my brain has a hard time processing what I am seeing.
Different kinds of abuse have typical ‘looks’ on kids. Starved kids have sever sharp features, sunken eyes and cheeks with really sluggish physical responses.
It sounds terrible but starvation is my ‘favorite’ abuse…because I can start fixing it right away. I know how to make people fat, and I know how to love them with food.
Every time this new little guy walks through the kitchen I hand him something – cheese, cream cheese, butter, pork, whip cream, crackers. With each piece of food he takes a little bit of certainty grows in his eyes.
We’ve seen so much change in him since he’s been with Erin. His face is filling out, he’s smiling more, he’s making more communication sounds and he is really bonding to his new herd – three mommies, one daddy, four siblings and two little dogs.
He is spending the night with us tonight. He and I spent time in the kitchen this evening looking into cupboards – he made his single little vocalization and pointed to things he wanted to eat – two kinds of cereal and a slice of pizza. We unloaded the dishwasher together and then rocked and drank yogurt infused milk while he drifted off to sleep.
When see an abused child I want to storm into the world and break something to make it all stop. How do I deal with it? I cry. I let it go and I turn to loving, paying attention and handing out cheese.
Such a life on such a planet.