“Gotta Find me an angel”

“Gotta find me an angel, gotta find me an angel in my life”

Aretha Franklin

“Precious,” the overweight, under-loved main character in the movie of the same name, was quoting Aretha Franklin’s words to herself as she was being abused by her mom and dad.

The words could easily have been spoken by most of the 800,000 abused and neglected kids who find themselves in some form of foster care in our country. These kids have done nothing wrong. They have been “done-to” by the adults in their lives who have failed them.

It’s no surprise that the kids at our Children’s Village are always asking for one-on-ones with their village staff or volunteers. Somewhere along the line they missed having parents who could give them the time to tuck them in at night, show up for that dance recital, hug them when they were hurting or give them a high five after they scored a goal in soccer. The loss is devastating.

When we were kids, the nuns assured us that every child had his or her own personal guardian angel who would keep us safe and always be there. Who knows, maybe the nuns were right. Sometimes it seems that little ones do have special help from above. But they also need flesh and blood people in their lives.

The little girl who suffered sexual abuse needs to connect with a good adult male so she can learn to trust again. The kid who was told he would never amount to anything hungers for that special human angel who will encourage him to succeed. Children need someone who cares enough about them us to help them to grow or their souls dry up and whither.

The title of my blogsite (ya grows or ya dies) was suggested to me by an old black friend who told me that the best way to avoid stagnation as an older person is to keep growing, keep learning new things, and stay engaged with life. I suspect that the same advice holds for kids but they need an angel by their side to help them grow.

That’s where we adults come in. Each of us needs to have a little person in our lives that we stand behind. What’s that saying? No person stands taller than one who stoops to help a child.” What kids crave more than anything else is a grown-up person who will be their angel, Whether the angel takes the form of a friend, a teacher, a mentor, a parent or grandparent, there needs to be a someone who will be there for them alone. Don’t you think?