I am going to keep this blog as anonymous as possible because I am not out embarrass anyone...just telling the story. My apologies for being so ambiguous...
Tonight I asked one of my kiddos' friends if they would like to have dinner with us. The child responded with "I don't know, I have to ask my mom." I told them to check with their mom, going on to say that dinner would be here and they were more than welcome.
My kiddo just came to me and said "Is it OK if my friend still eats with us? They don't really have anything to eat at home."
I kept my composure in front of the kids but inside my heart was aching. It's been years since I've had to deal with hungry tummies and not enough food to eat.
When Zach was in first grade he had two kiddos in his class who were denied what most of us take for granted. They were denied food and loving parents.
One child was beaten by his father. I saw the bruises and called child protective services on his dad ~ twice. He was removed from his dad and put in foster care but only temporarily. He was returned to his dad within weeks. My heart broke for this little boy but, at the time, there was not much I thought I could do. I had Claire in diapers and Lucas was still so little. I didn't know how, or if, I could cope with a foster child.
The other child was denied food. She would come to school every morning, dry heaving, because she had no food in her belly. Zach's teacher and I would load her back pack full of snacks and healthy things to eat. She would come to school the next day with the same issues...dry heaving. Her mom and her sister took her food and ate it themselves ~ leaving her tummy hungry.
Tonight brought back all of those memories.
I feel helpless and a little angry.
I've had this child's sibling over a number of times in years' past. The other child was also starved...but in a different way. The older child was starved for attention. Stan and I gave it. And then the child grew up and away from us a little so we parted ways.
Now it's time to try to make a difference in another child's life. Feed the tummy. Fuel the spirit. Sometimes it takes more than a village to raise a kid. Sometimes it just takes a little love and some time to make a difference in a child's life.
This child has pulled at my heart strings and made my heart ache. I hope I can help them...for the love of my own children.