An Open Letter To The Parents That Left Their Children In Our Care
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An Open Letter To The Parents That Left Their Children In Our Care

You were unable to remember the rule we all learned in Kindergarten, keep your hands to yourself.

An Open Letter To The Parents That Left Their Children In Our Care
Cassandra Romkey

I am sure when your children were taken from you they were petrified. I am sure all they wanted was you, but little did they know; the worst thing for them at the time was you. Some of you had kids that left with a few bags on their shoulder, some left with nothing but the clothes on their back, and some with black and blue imprints all over their body because you were unable to remember the rule we all learned in Kindergarten, keep your hands to yourself.

Your children left and were placed in the care of the state. There was only one thing worse than being in the care of the state, and that was being in your care. They were placed with one stranger after another, each worse than the last. The emotional, mental, and physical abuse never ended and it shaped your child into someone that didn't believe they were worth anything.

After many foster homes and not staying in the same place for a long period of time, your child became a res kid. After going from home to home your child went from residential program to residential program. Some programs your children loved, and some they loathed; but even those they loved the most were not home, they envied every friend they had that spoke of their mom or dad, or spoke of a home filled with love and a family.

Somehow I got lucky enough to end up here, with all of your children, at a residential facility on a quaint little street. I hate that they are here because of the pain you have caused them. I hate that when they tell me that they are here because their mother and father didn't love them enough. I hate that you took advantage of such beautiful souls, but I guess for now I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, you were struggling.

Thank you. Thank you for being the reason that your child is now in my life. I know it all sounds so selfish, and it probably is, but I don't think my view of the world would be the same if it weren't for you hurting and not caring for the tiny beings I just can't get enough of. Thank you for letting me celebrate birthdays with them, letting me share their accomplishments with them, from winning a softball game, to getting straight A's; there's nothing like being proud of a child because they are proud of themselves.

Thank you for sending me a walking-talking life lesson, disguised as a human. They have taught me resilience, strength, compassion, optimism and honesty. I was never aware that those that stand a foot shorter than me bare such personalities. Thank you for letting me step into a role that has changed my life in more ways than one, and made me more mature.

You have provided me with something unconditional, children that trust me enough to get mad at me, because they know that no matter what I will still tuck them in at the end of the night and check for mice that they think are running around their room. Children that look up to me and want to be like me, and children that have an enormous amount of faith in me, even when I don't have faith in myself. You have handed me some of my biggest cheerleaders and want-to-be protectors. It's amazing to me that they can provide me at the age of nine with what you could never provide them as a grown adult.

Your child has provided me with a place to feel comfortable, happy, and safe; I am not sure if it is because they are trying to create what they never had, or if it's because they are genuinely great children, but it doesn't make a difference to me, I still think that it's much more than any adolescent should ever do for an adult.

After spending such a short time with your child at this program, I have been able to pick up on what makes them happy, what makes them sad, and what scares them. I have seen them at their worst, and I have seen them at their best. Through all of these days, I know that when they leave I will miss them. How do you not do everything you can to get them back? How do you not miss some of the greatest kids out there?

I want to help them in every way that I can. I want to stop the bullying they endure, I want to teach them how to be the best version of themselves that they can be and I want them to have a family, but sadly; I'm not god, and I'm not a parent so there are some things that I just can't do. I will never be a parent, you will always be #1 in their hearts, or for now at least before they learn the truth, and that kills me. I want them to look up to someone that wants to give them the world and more.

I've helped your children learn how to ride bikes, I've watched them grow a year older, I've picked them up from school when they are suspended, I've watched them cry, I've seen them get great grades, I've watched their face drop when you haven't answered their calls for months, I've sung along with them in the car, and listened to what they have to say about their crushes—and I wouldn't change this job for anything in the world, how did you let this all slip away?

My friends and family often ask me why I do they work that I do, they ask how I can after hearing some of the horror stories. I always just say that I love it, there isn’t much more detail given, because I know that no one gets that I really do love the time that I spend with your children. No one understands that it isn’t all about the money. I would much rather see your child smile because they have accomplished a task than see my check at the end of the week. Who wouldn’t love that?

It's your loss; you lost amazing children, and have let us help raise them. I couldn't be more grateful but at the same time I couldn't imagine being them, I couldn't imagine not having my mom and dad involved in my life, and having a revolving door of strangers in my life. They are so strong, and I admire them for that. I know they have goals and dreams, I know that they want to grow up to be responsible adults, and I hope that the pain you have caused them does not hinder those goals. There are days that I get so frustrated with them because of the swearing and the talking back, but I know they had to learn it somewhere and probably learned it in the places that they were taken from. I know you must have better things to do, so until you are able to see the living breathing amazing human in front of you, I'll be here, happily, to enjoy every twist and turn in their life because everyone needs someone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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