I tend to get caught up in the drama dished out by the media. This, may be, my greatest strength and weakness. I’m not talking about the drama of reality tv or what celebrities’ children wear while walking down the street. I’m talking about things like a report on racism in Winnipeg. The article describes a portion of the city that it is “the poorest and most violent neighbourhood in urban Canada.” Where “one in six children are apprehended by Manitoba’s Child and Family Services.”
Before moving to Kingston this past summer, my sister and brother-in-law lived in Winnipeg. Having visited several times, I feel connected to the city.
Reading about the challenges facing aboriginals, my first response was, “I’m going to move there and foster.” Many children are coming into care. I’m sure my experience would be welcomed. My heart was full. Thoughts slipped out as I read the article over dinner.
“We’re not living there,” Athena told me. “It’s too cold. And winter is forever.”
I’d almost forgotten that as I got caught up in the dramatic story of despair. This is the drama that grips me, motivates me, and moves me. But in the end, there’s often nothing I can do.
I can’t pack up and move to Winnipeg at the moment. I really want to. I’ve started looking at real estate listings. It’s affordable. But I’m in the midst of several things here in Ontario – like adopting again. Realistically, I know it’s not possible or advisable. Uprooting our life isn’t going to be best for Raine and Athena right now. So….maybe when my kids are grown I will move myself into this tragedy. Because how can I not respond to the vast need?
Winnipeg has become my retirement plan. In the meantime, I can pray. I can tell you. Maybe there’s something you can do. Maybe you can reach out to the vast number of aboriginal children coming into foster care. Maybe you can get caught up in this drama, too.
Or maybe you can build benches. At bedtime, I asked 5yr old Athena, “What can we do to make the world a better place?”
“We can build benches. Paint them rainbow colours. And put them everywhere,” she answered. “Then when people’s legs are tired, they can sit down.”
Her little legs often get tired trying to keep up with her energetic sister when we’re out for walks.
Maybe you can build a bench. Though I would love to see everyone I know jump into the world of fostering and adopting, I realize it’s an unusual path. If it’s not for you, maybe you can be a bench – somewhere for those walking this path to rest. Because the vast need can be tiring.
If you can jump into the drama, do it! If not, build a bench.