Luckily, L is fascinated by E and, since she's an typically egocentric five year old, she's started to enjoy him much more because of that. Today she remarked how cute he is. Then she asked why the other people didn't want him. She was genuinely curious and seemed a little confused because she's starting to like having him around. Then she asked me if it's because he's trouble. . .if that's why he was left on the street.
Talk about misconceptions! That's the thing about little ones. You think they understand something and then they say something that let's you know their understanding is so far off the mark. First, my sister and I tried to figure out the trouble comment. Apparently, her former babysitter used to call one of the other little girls, "Trouble McGillicutty" because she was always picking up things off the floor and getting into things. She's about 6 months older than L. We explained that her babysitter didn't mean the little girl was bad or really trouble. She was doing what babies do. The babysitter was joking. L is acting the way babies do, too. He's not trouble. He's normal. E was like that when she was a baby, too.
Then we moved on to her real question: Why did the other people not want him? We explained that his parents actually wanted him very much, but they couldn't take care of him. They didn't know how to keep him safe, maybe because their mommies and daddies didn't keep them safe when they were little. It wasn't L's fault that they didn't know how, but children need to be safe so a social worker (someone who's job it is to help children and families) took L from his family and put him in a safe place called a foster home while she tried to teach his parents the things they needed to do to keep L safe. Sadly, for lots of grown up reasons, L's parents weren't able to do what they needed to and still couldn't make safe choices. Because every child needs a safe family, the social worker started looking for a family that L could grow up in where he would be safe and loved forever. The family she picked was ours. So actually he was wanted by lots of people.
She seemed content with our answer at the moment, but I'm sure it will come up again. At the very least it was good practice for when L starts asking these questions.