I wake up early, knowing it will be a day of uncertainty. I’m thinking of a young man who didn’t know until last night his world was tipping upside down, again. A ten-year-old boy who, until last night, didn’t know he’d be packing his stuff and moving to a new place, a new home, a new family.

I wake up early, all these thoughts in my heart, and I begin to get ready. I make up his bed with the coziest fleece sheets I can find, and I clean like company’s coming. I don’t know anything about him, or how long he’ll be with us, but I want his first night to be cozy and warm and clean.

The room stands empty, waiting.


He arrives, tentative knock on the door that will be his to come through when he comes inside from play or home from school, and I say hello.

He moves in, tubs of toys and bags of clothes, and I sit at the kitchen table to speak with his social worker. She shows me lists of behaviours and medications and assessments and then she puts down the papers and looks me in the eye and says, He’s a sweet boy. He’s got lots of stuff going on, but he’s a sweet boy.


We step into his bedroom, full now of his stuff, and we put his pictures on the shelf. The mom who loves him so much but has lost him to her addictions, and the dad who died. His family.

Today I’m noticing broken-ness.