I went to two open houses this week and might I say it was not like any I had been to before. Oh sure the academics were the same, the hand outs, the this is what we expect, were going to have a great year! All the normal hoora hoora you typically hear, but these were different in the sense that, you really knew there was going to be no parent involvement, no sense of ownership of the school, no value for the school or for what the students were doing. As Coleman and I walked around that very large middle school with so few parents, maybe 100 out of 2000 were there, I could feel a sense of poverty and hopelessness, a feeling of abandonment and a sense that there are children that live day to day with parents who didnt even know if they went to school that day, if they had breakfast, or if they had fears about starting middle school. As Cole stuck close to me for his security and reassurance I thought to myself God in 15 years how will these kids as adults interact? They have had no security, no sense of stability, most of their parents are out of work, most dont know both parents and without building your life on a foundation outside this world that is basiscally a financial and ecological mess it breeds an anger and bitterness that will destroy the human spirit. Cole has a boy right now that if he takes his medicine, he sleeps all day, if he doesn't, he is angry and throw his books. He has been in 6 foster homes, he is 11. The stats for his school is almost 90% receives free lunches. The income level is what they call the working poor. Which breeds very desperate and alot times dangerous kids. The draw to things and acceptance will make you do things you never imaged possible. Especially when you are wanting to be accepted. Poverty is a horrible, horrible thing, it never leaves you, you take it with you to Mcdonalds, to the grocery store, to your kids school, any where you go, people know, you cant escape it, you cant hide it. The car you get out of tells the truth, your clothes tell the truth, your shoes tell the truth , even the glasses the state gives to medicaid children tell the truth, they are all the same, so everyone knows who the poor kids are, no Guess or cute ones, once again poverty shines, you just cant escape it. It is a spirit that gets inside that childs soul that whispers that somehow because they have less, they are worth less as a human being, even there demeir or posture reflects how they feel as a individual being. It is so easy to read their body language. Even Isabella with her body issues and also being the new student, bounced in bubbly and chatty into a new environment, because her soul, her spirit, is of value, has worth, it is not based on her Dad having a job or where we live or what we drive, we have taught her, to value God, her worth comes from who He is, He holds her future, He holds our families future not our circumstances. So as I found myself in dilemma of how do you mix light with dark? Not that these children are dark, but let me explain, Bella came home just talking my ear off about a new friend and her favorite show was Teen Mom. Well my ears perked up and as she chatted on, her little friends favorite show is Teen Mom, her 16 year old sister has a baby and all she wants to do is have a baby and be on teen Mom. 8 years old! So Bella says, dont worry Mom you have to be 18 to have a baby! My heart broke, as she continued she told me this little girl also wanted a lunch box for Christmas, if she won the lottery she wouldnt spend any of it, she would save it for bills, it was heartbreaking. So back to my dilemma. Isabella has never even seen teen Mom so I asked her what she said, she said Mom, I said you have to be married to have a baby and the baby has to be bored in a church! These kids still have speech problems and they're talking about babies, it's not the way it was meant to be. So I spoke to the teacher and she said she would sit with them at lunch and at least cool some of this adult talk for a while. As I went to pick Bella up I saw that little girl walking home all by herself, and Bella was just in shock that she was alone, how will she know where to go, what if someone gets her, what if her Mom isn't home, what if she gets thirsty? The list went on and on. Issues too complicated for me to even to try and explain, I just tried my best to get her distracted. My concern is this, family just doesn't exist anymore, not traditional family that is, kids will have as many as 9 adults in and out of their lives by the time they are are 18. And statistics say that one of those wont even be a biological parent. When people hear we have a 21 year old the first thing they ask is, do your children have the same father? Emma says her friends think we are from another planet to even consider that a couple would not "live" together first, kinda like a trial run before they get married. But, without a bases of God help direct our lives because we in of ourselves cannot navigate it ourselves, look around it is obvious we cannot manage it. Even the non religious folks are aware that whatever we are doing is not working. They just wont bring themselves to bend their knee to the one who can truely help.The hurt I see through the friends of my children breaks my heart. My first instinct as a Mama is to pull them out and never let them leave the house. But, as I wrote early on, I have felt since a little girl that I had a special draw to people that society felt had no value. So as I spent my private time in prayer I made a decision to not just throw my children to the wind but to let them be a light in place where it very dark. I will use wisdom and be cautious, my very first obligation is the safety and emotional health of my own children. And let just say they are more than happy and well adjusted kids. With that said, there certainly wont be any sleep overs at these children's houses, or social gatherings, but I will invite them into our home, offer to drive them to church with our family, befriend the Mom, start talking to Isabella and Cole about social issue that as they grow up they will have to face. Because as they grow into adulthood these children as adults will carry alot of baggage unless they allow God to heal the wounds they suffered as children. Bitterness can be a very difficult thing to overcome. I heard a little boy ask his mother, in a hostile angry voice with murder in his eyes, why wasnt I born to a rich Dad? He had duck tape keeping his tennis shoes together on the end. So we as a family, them as individuals will extend compassion, extend our faith, extend the faith our family believes, extend the faith that has sustain our family through this very difficult time and maybe through them one child can find hope, can find a future that is meant for good not pain and uncertainty.