There is something very troubling I have been seeing over the last few months, and I really need to blog about it. Is it me or is there a scarcity of parents these days? Everywhere I am turning lately, I am hearing real life stories of children going to foster care, while their parents “do them” or they are going to some relative for an extended period of time while the absent parent slips away. For instance, I have a co-worker who is currently raising her cousins children. They were taken from their mother and since she didn’t complete the requirements to get them back, they were placed with a relative. What is disturbing is while her children are gone, she proceeded to have another baby who she cares for, while the other two are still in the system. My heart breaks for these kinds of situations because children who come from these types of situations bear deep emotional scars from an abandonment that they cannot understand. They are often labeled as “troubled” or “emotionally disturbed”, but who wouldn’t be? That kind of abandonment, especially when your parent gets a “new family”, can be hard to swallow. From the child’s perspective, they were not picked, or their parent did not care enough to fight to have them in their lives. There was a time when I would blame the system. I would make brazen statements that social services had not done enough to help these parents get their kids back, or they made it too hard. That statement does not place the accountability where it belongs: on the parent. There are guidelines given and I am here for the person that is going all out to follow those guidelines to get their kids back where they belong. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine not knowing every second of the day what my child is doing. It was the most painful experience when I first moved to DC and The Girl was not with me. I remember feeling like a piece of me was missing. Anytime something good happened, I felt like I couldn’t fully celebrate because one half of my heart was missing. So, how do absent parents do it? Is their guilt? Doesn’t that guilt push you to work harder? Or does the guilt make you want to give up? Aren’t your children worth it?