Children will soon enjoy
a new park
Malkasian who fought hard, and lobbied for a new law to protect foster children, wept along side of Patricia Sotelo (Sirita’s biological mother) during a tree planting ceremony at Lundeen Park, in remembrance of his foster daughter Sirita.
“For two years now I have mourned the death of my daughter, and with a stroke of a pen on May 11, I could begin to celebrate her life, and today with the planting of a tree we start the process of healing,” said Malkasian.
Dozens of citizens gathered for a moment of silence while listening to Malkasian, and cried privately as he spoke.
“We were all victimized,” he said… “But today we have turned that around.”
Malkasian continued saying, “A child's development has strict timelines. So must the law. We have made many changes, but there is more work to do.”
He looked towards the sky and said, “It was all for you, Boo Boo. It was all for you,” and cried.
Chief Randy Celori spoke on behalf of local law enforcement asking community members in Lake Stevens and Washington, to “take an active roll,” in identifying risk factors that may lead to child abuse or neglect, and report those incidents to the authorities.
“Once you report them, follow-up and make sure the appropriate things are going on,” Celori said.
The family members of Sirita’s biological father huddled around each other as they grieved on their own one more time on this special day.
Each of them ready for a new beginning, the grandfather said, “We were glad to be here, but it is time to move on and take care of our other children.”
The ceremony was made possible in part to Terese Bannon for the tree planting idea, Mayor Vern Little, Diane Swift, and the Lake Stevens Public Works Department.