Faceless for a Minute

It happened two weeks ago, RFK training.  Leadership had decided how many boys and girls to take to camp this year.  How many  neglected and abused kids can we give a week of happy memories.  Just kids.  We got their names.  Faceless, personality less, names.  Mostly names we’ve never heard before and would never have thought of.  A list,  a roster, a roll,  just names. I’ve done this for twenty years so I know what’s going to happen next.                                                             On a bright, sunny,  Monday morning a big chartered bus comes around the corner.  It slowly creeps down the road toward us.  The names become faces.  Little faces pressed against the bus windows.  Little faces, eyes wide with wonder and shock at the spectacle before them.  Screaming, jumping, cheering adults waving signs,  throwing confetti, blowing bubbles.  The uncertain faces begin to smile.  Little smiles that will become radiant over the next few days.                                 The week races by much too quickly and those faces with names become children.  Children with wonderful thoughts and dreams.  Children who laugh and cry,  just like “real’ children.   A social worker told me once,  “you people have a successful program,  I can’t tell the foster kids from regular kids.”  This is true every summer at every camp.  Sometimes the kids don’t even realize that every kid here is in foster care.                                                                                                       Now,  these children with names and faces have become REAL children to us.  They have made us laugh and cry also.  Having known these children,  we will never be the same again.  For the rest of our lives,  we scan every Walmart, library, restaurant for a glimpse of those little faces.  It rarely happens.  We rarely get to know what happened next in those little faces.   So,  I rest in the words of  a poem:  “Do moments really matter?  Ask the woman at the well?”   34,560 moments mattered to little faces.

Learn more at forthechildren.org   http://forthechildren.org

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