Artwork by Kenneth Gatewood
Can you see the sadness in this child's eyes?
Some people are just not fit to have children and should be put underneath a jail for harming them. My uncle and his wife are foster parents and they specialize in caring for physically abused children. They had one particular case/child whom was only 4 months old when he came into their lives. His mother's boyfriend beat him with a wooden hairbrush all over his body; but he struck him with more blows to his head than anywhere else. They charged him with attempted murder. My aunt and uncle had another very ill child in their care and was not able to stay overnight with the baby when he was released from Intensive Care and put into a regular room. I went in their place and when I walked into that room and saw that little baby with tubes running from everywhere on his body and his head wrapped in bandages from the surgery....I broke down in tears. Once, I pulled it together, I sat next to the bed and just watched this poor baby throughout the night. I wondered how anyone with a heart could be so cruel to something so precious. During the next two years the baby lived with my family....I bonded with him. He was a bright baby and he was happy considering all he had been through. He was given back to his mother when he was 2. Until the other day...it had been 20 years since, I last seen him. I can't say this was a happy occasion because I was attending his funeral. Over the years he struggled due to his abuse from years earlier. I was told he had been in and out of trouble, had problems with seizures and headaches and remained in a constant state of depression until he decided life wasn't worth it anymore. He took his life last week. This child was murdered before he could live. The moral to this story is this....we as adults should take time to mentor abused children and give them hope when everything around them seems hopeless. Give them light in a dark world. Once children have been abused they lose trust in the adults whom should have protected them instead of hurting them. They feel alone and hopeless. This was Chris's case and I should have at least tried to be there for him; but I had so much resentment for his mother I rather not have dealt with her once he went home. I should have stayed in touch with him; now I have a burdened heart because I feel as if I let him down, I know I let them down. Foster homes, are just temporary shelters not filled with love, just people. Once these children have been taken from their abused homes they are thrown into a place with people whom have no attachments; just checks. They really do not heal and once they begin getting use to their new surroundings, the state sends them back into the abused home. Forbidden Innocence. Instead of them being able to enjoy things such as tumbling in the green grass, pushing so high on a swing it feels as if you are touching the clouds, etc., instead they grow up with anger against adults and if they do not kill themselves they will kill or attempt to kill others. So when you read the papers or watch the news and they are reporting how a child has killed himself or others; remember Forbidden Innocence. Remember none of us are born to kill; unless we are programmed to kill. This does not necessarily mean the programming begins at home. Children are violated more often outside of their homes. It could be from a neighbour or a trusted family friend, etc. This world has become the breeding ground for so much darkness that we as adults forbid children to be children. They are collateral damage in our world wars. Cowards whom can't stand up against another person at their level would rather take their anger out on a child. Cowards who do not feel adequate with another adult sexually would prefer to rape a child. Cowards whom are too lazy to take care of their families, put their kids in the position to survive as best they can. Our kids are the future and if we don't protect them, the day will come the tables will turn and we will become the victims of their madness/rage. Children of any age, sex, race, religion, and socioeconomic background can fall victim to child abuse and neglect. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), 564,765 children suffered from neglect alone, including medical neglect (USDHHS, 2007). Also according to NCANDS, 42.2 percent of child maltreatment fatalities in the United States in 2005 occurred as a result of neglect only, 24.1 percent as a result of physical abuse and neglect, and 27.3 percent as result of multiple maltreatment fatalities in the United States in 2005 occurred as a result of neglect only, 27.3 percent as a result of multiple maltreatment types (USDHHS 2007). Can you imagine the horror of these little ones? Enough said.......God Bless.