My attempt to pay tribute to the incredible Davida Ellen Williams, the social worker for Hephzibah Children’s Association who trained Sean and me to be foster parents and guided us through some of our most challenging experiences in foster care has been published. I’m particularly proud of this piece.
In reporting another story about another incredible woman, Dana Suskind, MD, and her research, Dr. Suskind made one comment in particular that resonated as it indirectly related to my experience as a foster parent. To paraphrase, she stated that no one would accept the achievement gap that exists in this country among students from different socioeconomic backgrounds if all of us started looking at every child as our own–instead of only looking this way at the kids born to us.
Of course, when she said that, my thoughts went immediately to foster care. I kept myself from telling her that I am a foster parent and understood where she was coming from, though in a slightly different capacity. That I’ve often wondered what would happen if we each took a real close look at the kids in the child welfare system: learned their names, the color of their eyes, the pitch of their voices and laughs, their favorite foods and books and activities. If we did, would we have the stomach not to start to see them as our own? And what would happen next? Would we ever accept the existing system as being the best we could do?
I just hope the article reaches one reader, makes just one more person think about what they can do to help the kids.