So just as I thought I had settled into my workload something or someone throws a curb ball and I have to remind my self that this is a learning curve, because really… at times I feel as if I have been doing this for longer than I really have. When people question what I do or ask why I do it, I find my self trying to put feelings into words…unsuccessfully, and the thoughts that keeps coming back to me, are the faces and impressions of my children, and yes! My children, because as one of my fellow corps member mentioned in one of his posts, they become our children; we take ownership of them until we can get them safely to where they have to be.
So I decided to write letters to my kids, not to share them with them, but for me; to help me put into words what I feel about them; the feelings that come with the person and not the trained worker. My human side, what drives me to do this job. It’s sort-of like a diary to my children and this is my first letter.
You are the first child I met from my caseload. I had to travel hours in a windy road on a rainy day, to get to where you were spending your summer. I didn’t know what to expect, the briefing that I had gotten from your case were facts and dates, it wasn’t about you, it was about that one incident that put you in care. I wasn’t sure what I would find. My heart was racing…Would you like me? Would you talk to me? What did you look like? —And then I saw you, with your big blue eyes and sweet smile, your dirty fingernails, an old sweater and your muddy shoes, I immediately thought you were having fun at camp, getting down and dirty, but little did I know that I later would realize that your mom doesn’t ever notice your dirty fingernails. …. Since that moment, I wanted to take you home with me….adopt you and fill you with all the love and attention that your eyes were craving. You were shy and soft spoken, with a pure soul. Meeting you changed me! Never before had I felt loving someone instantly. You asked me if your mom had moved out of the shelter, you said you wanted to go home, to a home, to a new home. What kind of 8 year old asks this? You are so young and so aware. I told you she hadn’t moved out yet but that she was working on it and with your premature 8 years of wisdom, you were disappointed. How many times has this happened before? Have you been disappointed many times in the past? I questioned what type of mother you had? The only thing that I knew for sure is that the police found you wandering the streets at night in your diapers at the age of 4. What kind of mom do you have that does not seem to be smitten by such a sweet boy? I didn’t want to judge, but right then and there I knew I was going to have to fight hard to make you happy. We have a long road ahead; I just hope I can be the bridge that will cross you safely to the other side. In the meantime: Stay strong little boy!