Thursday, September 20, 2012

S E L F I S H


Welcome to Fall. I LOVE this time of year. It is by far my favorite time of the year. The cool air, the sounds, the smells, the fashion. Did I say that I LOVE fall? One of the other reasons I love this time of year is I get a chance to volunteer more with school being back in session. I don't have the money to be a philanthropist, but I believe that if you can’t give money, you should give of your time, so I do. I recently volunteered at Gateway-Longview here in Western New York. Gateway-Longview is a child and family service organization that has been providing care, counseling, and support to countless children and families since 1890. Gateway and Longview were founded by the faithful focused on serving orphaned and abandoned children. I had a great time there and loved being with the kids. However something happened during my stay that made me think, "Why are some people so selfish?"

Let me give you some background on why this came into my head. While I was there I met a little boy, let’s call him "John". He was five years old, very sweet, but he had many behavioral issues. This is because his mother, lets call her "Sue", neglected him as an infant and toddler. She also drank and did drugs while she was pregnant with him. "John" also has a six month old brother who may have fetal alcohol syndrome as well and his mother, "Sue" may be pregnant again. I can not begin to explain all my feelings, ranging from anger, to sadness, confusion and hurt. I could not understand how someone could be so...selfish. Its one thing to mess up your own life, but to cause harm to children, who did not ask to be here, it’s just...unforgivable. Everyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for abused children and the elderly. The ones who cannot defend themselves. When I spoke with "John's" counselor, I felt sick. As an infant he was not held and would be left alone while his mother partied or went to work as an exotic dancer. When he has an outburst or needs to be calmed down, his teachers must wrap him in a blanket, almost like a swaddle to clam him down, like you would a crying baby. She says this is because he never received it in his early development. After "John" was taken away, his mother popped up here and there and argued with his foster parents, who now have full custody, that "she's his mother and it’s her right to see him and he should be with her". This is where I have the biggest issue. I've said this before, carrying a child or making a baby does not make you a parent, not to mention the fact that you abuse this child once it arrives in this world. I can not and will not give someone like that the title of mother or father. Moreover, if you know that you can not take care of this child or provide for him or her, why would you be so selfish to think that you deserve to have them in your care? There are so many good people and so many good homes that would not only give that child the love and care they deserve, but be the parents that these children hope and pray for.Yet, these "mothers" and "fathers" are so selfish, immature and masochistic, that they refuse to give up their "right". And adding the cherry on top, go back out and have more children, who will go through the same process and system and have no one to lead them. I just don't understand. I left the center feeling good that I helped, but heavy hearted knowing that there was really nothing more that I could do.

My mother had me at 19 years old and unfortunately for her, made the wrong choice in a man to have a child with. By the time I was 1, my father was out of the picture most of the time and by 2 years of age, out completely. Being a single mother, my mother tried her best but knew that she could not give me the things that I needed. She made the choice to give my grandparents guardianship over me while she worked in New York City. My mother has always been in my life and every summer, every Christmas or break away from school, I spent with her, either in NYC or her coming to me. I will always be grateful to her and being a mother myself, I truly understand the sacrifice she made and the deepest love she has for me. She loved me that much. That is a mother, a parent, in every sense of the word. I am so proud of her and she has always been the example of what I wanted to be as a parent. She gave me the tools I needed as a woman, friend, wife and mother. And I know just how blessed I am because a young woman was not... selfish.

Love & Light to you all,
M xoxox

To learn more about Gateway-longview and how you can help visit them at  http://www.gateway-longview.org/index.php

7 comments:

  1. Great blog post, Malinda! Always enjoy your writing!

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  3. This isn't a new phenomenon, there are entirely too many people who veiw children as posessions. It's one of the major problems I have with the Foster Family system, their goal is to rebuild the family unit.

    Unforutnately, for John, that family wasn't ever there so there isn't anything to build upon. That being said, I'm grateful that we live in a country that provides help to John rather than ignoring him.

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  4. Thanks Gillian. Great feedback. I was so disgusted when I left. The system needs an overhaul, our communities need an overhaul, these kids need an overhaul. I pray for kids like him and hope that things will get better.

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  5. This post really touched me Muffy. I think more ppl need to read it, and of course-volunteer <3

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