Their foster parents brought them to their relative’s house, who is one of my neighbors. The two little boys were delightful as they played and picked me to be the monster. And of course, as four year-olds will have it, the oldest had to be the scary monster too.
The mother and father of these children are both in a county jail north of here because of their illegal drug use.
These little boys are blessed and seemed well-adjusted because they have been placed with a childless couple who began showing the little fellows unconditional love from the very beginning. This couple’s extended family has welcomed them as well.
Thank God we have this couple and thousands of other people who gladly share their approval, care and affection with a stranger’s children. They provide a warm, loving home as if these children were their own flesh and blood.
I have witnessed the worst of the worst in the treatment and mistreatment of children. When I was a city detective, I was the first on the scene when little Melisha Gibson was brutally killed.
It was just outside the city limits, so I was not the investigator. The abuse she suffered outraged so many people that laws were changed to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.
When confronted with child abuse, there is such a strong sense of revulsion it almost makes even the most toughened law officer ill.
And sometimes the abuse is not obvious.
Too often we see children neglected, unkempt, dirty and hungry. Children are too often put in harm’s way by parents who stay so strung out on drugs they no longer care about themselves, much less their children. Oh, these parents will cry and blubber and say they love and care about their little ones. But some will pick meth or other drugs over the wellbeing of their child every time!
In every sense but the legal sense, these children have been orphaned. They are cut off from a safe home, from love and affection, from parental guidance and approval, and even from food.
Foster parents and other substitute parents are practicing pure religion that is undefiled as they love and care for these children who have been abandoned emotionally and physically. Oh, excuse me, I forgot my place for a moment. I am the Sheriff, not the preacher!
There are many good examples here in Bradley County of the positive influence foster parents have on abandoned children.
I did not write this in collaboration with the Department of Human Services but I am sure they are always glad to have some well-qualified candidates for foster parenting show up at their door.
Just think about it.
Foster parenting is an opportunity to help the helpless and influence them toward that which is good in life.
I think about the joy my 4-year-old twin granddaughters bring to my wife and me, their parents, and extended family. I am also proud of my 12-year-old granddaughter who is bright and has a quick wit. And I am proud of my 9- year-old granddaughter who reads more books than anyone I know.
She knows so much about birds that even grown-ups ask her to identify different species in the neighborhood.
I am a grateful and happy father and grandfather who is blessed.
Happy Father’s Day to all – especially to our foster dads and adoptive dads.
“Little children, go laugh and run and play… Little children, you will be men and women someday.”
Thanks for reading.