Memories of our bedtimes don't go away. They aren't written down anywhere and sometimes it's a stretch to pull them up if we go looking for them. But once in a while a memory is triggered and comes rushing to the forefront, spilling over into our present.
Last year almost 30-thousand youth aged out of Foster Care. Those children left care without a family and now have a greater likelihood of being incarcerated, homeless or having an unintended pregnancy.
The children never lack in enthusiasm when they nestle up with a volunteer to listen to a story, just for them. When they arrive, they are overflowing with anticipation for what's going to happen, and when they leave they are filled with an extraordinary amount of joy and love.
In spite of the challenges the children at Hillsides have experienced, they are not without hopes and dreams of happiness. Given the opportunity, they express fantasies that come from the recesses of their imagination, rooted not just in their traumas but driven by their aspirations.
All a state is doing when it imposes restrictions is shrinking its pool of prospective parents and, as a result, decreasing the odds that children in its custody will ever live in permanent, loving and successful families.
"Danger Season" started on October 1st. This is the time of year when the temperatures drop and the chill at night makes it the most desperate time for the children we serve. This is the time when children are cold, afraid and lonely.
Even as President Obama gets ready to make his annual proclamation marking the beginning of National Adoption Month in just a couple of weeks, racism continues to scar the lives of many of our nation's 400,000 children who languish in foster care because of their race.
Prejudgment, false conception, and assumptions are a few of the many things that foster kids deal with on a constant basis. Unless they have lived it, breathed it and endured through it, many don't know what a lot of foster kids go through.
We can't lose sight of how many families may not even have pajamas to change into - how many children sleep in their clothes. How many families feel a cold that comes from neglect and loneliness. The change in weather only amplifies their chill.
. No child should be tossing and turning in bed in too-tight old and dirty jeans. No child should cry herself to sleep feeling alone in the dark. No child deserves to be afraid at night because tomorrow she is being transferred to another "new place."
I am super proud to be a Googler. My background isn't normal compared to the rest of my colleagues-not by a long shot. But I am convinced that Google wants to give everyone a fair shot, no matter where they're from or what they look like.
Then June 1st will appear and we disappear from your consciousness. We go back to being the first or last story on the newscast. We become the story on your newsfeed you pass by. We fade back into the background.
By definition, the young people who come into our child welfare systems already have suffered the trauma of family disruption. Without family, children are ill equipped to beat the odds stacked against them. Every kid needs a family, and every kid deserves one.