Thursday, September 24, 2015

What Are We Doing?

I woke earlier this week to a discussion on my alarm clock radio about Baby Doe. She has a name now. Bella. Her tiny 2 year old body had been discovered on a beach over the summer. In a trash bag. Intact. Perfect. But dead. Who was she? What had happened to this precious child? Why did no one claim her? Why did no one look desperately for her, report her missing?

Vigils were held. Strangers wept around the world for a precious baby girl who was dead, but not missed. What had gone wrong? Why was she in a bag on a beach instead of scooping sand and playing in the waves?

The mystery was solved. She was one of our own, a little girl from Boston. The daughter of drug addicts. Her mother's boyfriend allegedly beat her to death because he thought she was possessed. 

The conversation on the radio the other morning centered around the failings of Child Protective Services. This organization is an easy target. Too many children have died in their custody over the years. Neglect, violence, and incompetence have been associated with the organization. Why can't this group get their act together? Should we be adding more funds to their operating budget? Or defunding them completely? Why are they so incompetent? What is someone going to do about this?

But I think we're asking the wrong question. The proper question is "What are we going to do about this?"

How do you take a child from an unsafe situation if you don't have a safer place to put them? What are we doing to help? We. You. And me. What are WE doing about this today? Tomorrow? Next week? What are we doing to help children around us who don't have a peaceful and safe bed to sleep in at night? What are we doing to provide a safe refuge when their parents are too sickened with drugs and their own histories of abuse to give them the care and love they desperately need? What are we doing to break the cycles of mental illness, abuse, and dysfunctional relationships? We. You and me. What are we going to do about this?

Because obviously we are not doing enough.

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