it isn't like packing for college

I think when you pack up your kid's room, you should be packing university sweatshirts, not onesies.  Maybe if you're moving your whole house, then you can pack someone's tiny socks along with everything else. But it's weird to pack up someone's entire belongings and have it only be three boxes. 

But that's what happens when everything is small. Small pants. Small PJs with dinosaurs on them. Small dress shirts with only four buttons. 

This is crappy.

I busied myself this evening working on what Children & Youth calls a "Life Book." But I have to be honest, this book only further establishes something that's very, very wrong with "the system." You see, there's only one page for me to fill out. There's a single page, on the front labelled "Pictures Birth to Age 5." Literally, I can take up two-fifths of this page to represent everything his life has meant since we met twenty-six months ago. Ridiculous. I just printed my first batch of pictures for this "Life Book," and Snapfish is now hard at work printing 167 photos of the cutest face you've ever seen.

One single page to represent five years. Five years.

So my family is to be a blip on two-fifths of a page in his "life." That's nice. But it does sum of the way CYS views us. A blip, to be forgotten. His whole life is still ahead of him, I won't argue that, but I do take issue with their view that a child's life starts at school age, that these two years weren't formative, that we are only worth 4 inches on a piece of paper.

His life has meant far more than this already.

Dear caseworkers,

I am a person. I can't talk much yet, but I have feelings. I have desires, dreams, and wishes. I use a sippy cup and wear a diaper, but I am perceptive. I know more than you understand. I react when I'm scared in subtle ways that you don't notice because you only see me two hours a month. I don't understand what's going on around me, but I want to feel safe. Two years may feel fast to you because you're 22, but it is my ENTIRE LIFE. Two years are all I've known.  Please treat me like a person. Please treat me like my life matters. 

Love,

The forgotten babies and toddlers of foster care