When their lack of parenting skills put the child in danger, that’s when the state comes knocking – to take their children away. Nearly 7,000 kids in Washington state were placed in foster care last year.
This past weekend, when I visited my mother in her assisted living home as I do once or twice a week, I brought along a present. That's not unusual: She and I share a craving for chocolate, and I often bring her new varieties of dark chocolate, her favorite, and other little gifts from my travels.
When I was 16 years old I came home from school one day and found my dad crawling around on the kitchen floor in a big pool of blood.
He was down on all fours with a dishrag, trying to mop it up, but there was a lot of blood and it was a small dishrag so things weren’t going very well. When I walked in from the back hallway and saw what he was doing, it wasn’t immediately obvious where the blood had come from.
I stopped in the doorway and stood there for a minute, hoping he’d notice me and offer some kind of explanation. But he just kept scrubbing away.