By Michael Piraino, CEO of the National CASA Association
**Orginally published in the Winter 2007-08 Adoption issue of The Journal of API
I don’t know why, as adults, we think we know everything. Maybe we just automatically subscribe to the theory that as we get older, we get wiser. What I think actually happens is we become more jaded, and we mistake that for knowledge. I think we all agree that age does not teach us. Experience does. That’s why some of my most powerful learning experiences have come from folks far younger than me – but wise beyond their years.
It occurred to me early in my career of advocating for foster children that I needed to find a path to communication with them. This path led me to accepting my own ignorance. I’d like to introduce you to the moment I embraced that ignorance and the impact it’s had on me and thousands of foster children for the past 25 years.
My wife and I were at the airport, in an area specially set aside for parents and their young children, waiting to greet our newly adopted infant son. I could barely contain my anticipation. Despite my nervousness and expectation, I couldn’t help but notice a little boy somberly absorbed in squeezing blobs of play clay. After a few minutes, I sat on the ground next to him. He looked at me. I asked what he was playing with. He studied me for a beat and then said, “Play-Doh.” Continue reading