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From the time they can talk, children want to know why. “Why do I have to eat this? Why do I have to go to bed now? Why can’t I do what my friends do?” At A Kid’s Place, we often hear, “Why did the police take my dad to jail? Why can’t my mom pass her drug test? Why did that man hurt me?”
Foster children especially have a hard time understanding why the choices the adults in their lives made caused the changes in their own. They are in foster care now. They have been removed from their homes and separated from their parents or main caregiver. Perhaps they witnessed terrible domestic violence. Maybe they were neglected; cheated of food, fresh air, or love. Why? Why were they subjected to these situations? Why were they taken away from them? “Why am I at A Kid’s Place?”
This month we had a “Pirate Plunder” on campus. Local attorney Lisa Esposito and her merry bands of pirates (Peg Legs and Ye Mystic Krewe), along with numerous corporate sponsors presented a day of fun games, fabulous food, and unlimited prizes to our children. Cal had recently been placed with us and stood off to the side as he took in the elaborately dressed pirates parading around the campus, handing out beads and prizes and making sure that every child enjoyed the festivities.
“Why are they doing this?” he asked. “Why are they bringing all these prizes? Why is there so much food? Why did they come to A Kid’s Place?” We explained that there are just really good people in the world; people who like to help others. People who like to have fun and make sure kids have fun too!
Cal still couldn’t believe that these guests were here with no ulterior motive. “They don’t even know me,” he whispered. “I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this before,” he mumbled reverently under his breath.
And that, my friend, is “why.”