In the time I took a break from blogging, my foster care practicum ended and my new practicum started.
There were times when the foster care position felt like it was dragging on, really. So much protocol, so little time for real relationships. I was hurrying from one home visit to the next without being able to fully delve into the foster family’s needs and concerns. I saw the foster kids of one of my favorite families start to regress after a goodbye meeting with their disgustingly abusive mom. I met sweet teenage girls who have been institutionalized in moments of violent anger.
I sat in a room that looked like a jail cell — only a bed — with a small, “highly violent,” 13-year-old boy. He told me about being in trouble for pulling out a staff member’s hair. And he showed me a house he had created from construction paper, all the scraps still lying on the floor. A house with big rooms. And he’s living in a residential treatment facility with jail-like rooms. Do you see the utter sadness in that?
But then it really picked up at the end. I got very close to a couple of co-workers, and I got to understand their lives and their histories better than I had. I got to sing take one of the girls who was institutionalized to visit her mom at a downtown Hardee’s. We talked about clothes, and boys, and we sang Beyonce’s Single Ladies in my car. I got good at relating to people whose lives have shared few similarities with mine. I got to spend time with the cutest kids you will ever see. I have seen kids instantly flourish in a home saturated with love. There were all these instances I can’t even explain. Just a clear understanding that God was with me, and that He was with these kids.
And, I think, I got insight into what I’m good at and what I’m not. I doubt a future career in foster care is for me, but I do think taking care of kids in foster care is for me.