Monday, May 7, 2012


Fifteen baby chicks arrived at my daughter’s door two weeks days ago in a box about 14” square. They were warm, alive and pretty; ordered by her based on their genes, colors, expected size at maturity, etc. 

All are fluffy, colorful, and healthy. If history proves true, they will mature into exceptionally beautiful and well-cared-for hens, like the great egg layers she already has. Though they’re well cared for and loved, they were chosen for a superficial reason: the expected color of their eggs. Look in my daughter’s fridge and you’ll see green, tan, white, mottled brown and tan, pink, and blue eggs.  

Shelter babies and kids come in all colors, too, but their moms and dads didn’t choose each other for something they could produce. They chose each other, maybe sometimes consciously, for their personalities, just as most of us do. In their case, scary guys can be seen as romantic; dependent girls can be seen as “good.” 

Which is why these beautiful shelter kids are so at risk for leading a life like their parents’; why they are so likely to fall in love with a dependent girl or a hot-tempered guy. 

Sadly, there is not a lot to tell us which of our attempts to fight their irrational beliefs about a good partner when they’re in the shelter might help them make better choices later.

It’s the same with foster kids. Some survive and thrive, while others go into maturity wounded and fail at life. Wish we knew more about why this happens.

I can only love these kids when they’re in my groups and hope they pick up something from their daily experiences at the shelter that tells them what’s truly right and what’s truly wrong in a family. 

I can only pray that whatever they learn, they keep that lesson in their heads and hearts long enough to set up a more normal life when they grow up, one based on the equality of parents and protection of children, not the other way around.

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