if you think about it, there are so many stories to be told. good, bad, sad, exciting, memorable, accomplishments, challenges; one tiny person can have hundreds of thousands of stories, but perhaps no one to tell them to. today i listened. in a world where everyone has so much to say, it was nice to be the person who listened. without interruptions, without trying to get my two cents in, without waiting for my turn to speak. by doing so, i had the opportunity to hear the story of three little girls and two boys whose life will never be like mine.
these precious kids do not expect presents on Christmas, and they don’t expect to sleep in the same place for more than one night at a time. these kids look their foster parents directly in the eyes when being told, “i love you.” i heard the story of them being thrown against the wall by their hair, of being kicked and beaten. i listened with eyes full of tears. i heard about them living out of hotel rooms and wearing week old clothes, of a 4-year old child being sexually abused. today, i listened to what it meant to watch pornography as a family. i heard about a 7-year old child considering it normal to offer sexual favors to men. i heard about Christmas presents being pawned off for drug money. i listened to the story of an awkward 14-year old boy longing for his parents-parents that outwardly stated they did not want him.
for me, my meaningful day also meant being sad. my heart remains broken for those precious little beings. and for the countless other children that suffer on a daily basis. listening hurt. but it also opened up my eyes.
i spent the afternoon talking with a foster family and listening to their children’s stories, and i witnessed how all of this was slowly beginning to change when they were placed with a foster family that truly cared. i also listened to a calling deep within myself to become a foster parent. to providing a child with a childhood. to remembering that every person has their own story.
maybe others will start to listen more too.