Thursday, October 19, 2006

Starving for Attention

Over 500,000 children in the U.S. currently reside in some form of foster care.

Being removed from their home and placed in foster care is a difficult and stressful experience for any child. Many of these children have suffered some form of serious abuse or neglect. About 30% of children in foster care have severe emotional, behavioral, or developmental problems. Physical health problems are also common. Most children, however, show remarkable resiliency and determination to go on with their lives. Children in foster care often struggle with the following issues:

blaming themselves and feeling guilty about removal from their birth parents
wishing to return to birth parents even if they were abused by them
feeling unwanted if awaiting adoption for a long time
feeling helpless about multiple changes in foster parents over time
having mixed emotions about attaching to foster parents
feeling insecure and uncertain about their future
reluctantly acknowledging positive feelings for foster parents

The estimated number of children waiting to be adopted declined between FY 2000 and FY 2004 from 132,000 to 118,000. The estimated number of children whose parents have had their rights terminated remained relatively constant between FY 2000 and FY 2004 at between 72,000 and 65,000. The estimated number of children adopted annually from FY 2000 FY 2004 remained relatively constant at approximately 50,000.

Look at the stats. Less than half of all the kids waiting for adoption in this country are actually adopted. We have an epidemic of people abandoning their kids, abusing their kids, and even selling their kids to molesting animals.

Yet like some sort of ridiculous fad we have multi-million dollar Hollywood stars traveling all the way to Africa to pick a kid out of a line up for adoption.

“How much is that doggy in the window?”

Now I feel for the kids over there. It is a terrible tragedy the mess that Africa is in. One in which the world should be doing more about. But here in America we aren’t doing much for our kids so what does that tell the world about us? We throw the kids here little bread crumbs of “care”. With nifty little titles like, “No child left behind.” or “The childhood obesity epidemic.” We throw them enough bread crumbs to make us feel better. They are surrounded by a land of plenty but are starving because of apathy.

We don’t take care of those in our backyards yet for a photo shoot our millionaire stars are going shopping in the flea market of kids outside our borders. That tells the kids waiting here for someone to love them that they are worthless. Though nothing could be farther from the truth, it is hard to convince them otherwise with nitwits like Madonna. I guess saving the dark continent is in “Vogue”.

When one’s career is faltering there is no better way to get some press these days than to look like you care. Movie stars starve for fame. They starve to be the center of attention.

We don’t care. We don’t care about our kids. Then like a bunch of drooling morons we gab on TV about not knowing why a kid goes into a school on a shooting spree. We can’t figure out the appeal of gangs. Blame violent video games, TV, and everything else but the one thing we don’t want to talk about. Our pathetic selfish, self centered, narcissistic society that abandons its own for the sake of a spot on 20/20 or Hard Copy.

Yesterday it was wearing AIDS pins, now its adopting kids from another country while our kids here are dying. Before all that it was saving the whales or the vultures in California. Tomorrow it might be saving the starving Pygmies in New Guinea. All the while our greed for attention and control starves us from caring.

You can try and take the guns out of the hands of our violent children. But you will never take the violence out of the hearts of our kids. Anger gives birth to violence. Fear gives birth to anger. You can make little speeches about how sad we are for not caring about Africa’s starving children but your words are hollow and hypocritical.

When you let our kids here starve to death from no love.

For more information on how you can feed the love starved, please visit: