Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ONE Moms

Today I discovered a new way to connect to other women involved in the fight against HIV and poverty.  It is called ONE Moms and this is their mission:

ONE Moms is a movement of moms everywhere using their extraordinary power to spread awareness for the against extreme poverty and preventable disease.

"Like" the ONE Moms facebook page today and you'll be informed of new opportunities for you to break the cycle of poverty for someone in need- today!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gee Whiz, Kids, Be Careful!

I had NO idea I was exposing my kids to such harm when I took them to the park the other evening!

And we call ourselves a Safe Family!

And from the looks of it, our habitual lack of helmet wearing was actually in our favor this time!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Good-bye, T!

Today we brought our Safe Families toddler back to his mother.

We had him for five weeks and saw him go from frequent tantrums and biting episodes with little ability to play, to a much calmer, happier child.  We managed to fall in love with our Afro-sporting, bow-legged friend.

Along the way, I had some interesting conversations with friends.  The darker tones of those conversations revolved around the "is it worth it?" question.  I mean, we keep this child for five weeks while mom accomplishes, let's say, not as much as you might like to see.  Meanwhile, we interfere with the child's attachment with his mother and break our backs cleaning up messes, waiting out tantrums, and waking up in the middle of night to console the distraught child.


The good news is a conversation like that really makes you think.  Really examine WHY we are doing this.  We are not interested in enabling.  After all, we've read, When Helping Hurts (which I highly recommend, even though I don't entirely agree with it's message).

Here is my conclusion:

No, it might not be worth it.  In earthly terms, the results are probably not there.  But I believe something is happening in the heavenlies.  This child is PRAYED over and will be for life.  That child is protected and covered.  That child knows someone loved him well.

Who loves children more than the Lord?  Don't you think he is pleased, when he sees one of his children scoop up a more vulnerable child?

"when you count the cost and it all seems lost, LOVE IS STILL A WORTHY CAUSE"
(Sara Groves)

Over and over I hear from friends who are not fostering or hosting Safe Family children say, "oh, I could never do that because it would hurt too much to send them back".  Yep.  Guess what?  We don't do this for US, we do it for the kids.  It is a sacrifice.  I personally do not possess a gene that protects me from worrying about this child as he goes back to his rough life.  It is not especially easy for me to see them go.  But we do it for the kids.  We do it for the joy of giving our lives away.

"when you're pressing on though your strength is gone, LOVE IS STILL WORTHY CAUSE"
(Sara Groves)

But what about our kids?  The permanent ones?  This has been a sticking point for me!  I hate to see them hurt!  Yes, my kids were bitten.  Yes, they had to step up and help by playing with our little one, changing diapers, and cleaning bottles.  And remarkably, they end up grieving when the little guy leaves!  They treated this little guy like a brother, even though they knew he was not going to stay.

Evelea wrote a book called The Departure, which details her feelings about our time with the little guy.  I hope I get to show it to you someday because the illustrations are amazing!  But I'll leave you with her words:

Once upon a time there was a girl.  Her name was Evelea.  That girl was me.  Once a upon a time there was a boy.  His name was T___.  That boy was you.  Our worlds were so different.

Then you came to me, to your Safe home.  I held your hand and you held mine.  I didn't want to let go.

I soon learned that you weren't perfect...

But you were worth it.

We played Patty-Cake.

We played outside on the slide and the swing that I set up just for you.  If I held one end of a jump rope, you would hold the other and I could lead you around!

I calmed you down by "boop-ing" your nose.  You would go from sobbing to cracking up!

I knew someday you would have to go.  I tried not to think about it.

But that day was so much sooner than I expected. Friday.  My world was suddenly black and white.

And now, dear boy, you must depart from me.  I will never forget you, for you stole part of my heart.  I can't go with you but my God can.  I am sending him after you, and one day, if you let him, he'll be your God too.  I will miss you, my sweet T___.  I will always be your Eea, and you will always be my T___.

The joy is worth the pain in the end.