Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sharing and Support

Part of our training is attendance at "sharing and support" meetings. This is where all the local foster parents get together at one of our houses and kvetch about our latest problems to the group and pick up as many tips and tricks of the trade as you can. It's probably the most effective training available to us.

The lady who usually hosts these things is a real master of the art. She's a psychologist at the school "Josie" attended and they know each other well. She's also a foster parent of at least three teen girls herself, and her husband has the unique hobby/semi-profession of doing equine therapy with local teens. If you've seen the movie "28 Days" (with Sandra Bullock) then you may recall the scene where they have to deal with horses. This is that. "Josie" has participated in that, as well.

We discussed "Josie's" status as well as that of our current charges, and she expressed real concern for "Tammy". She says "Tammy" is one of those kids that she is always afraid she'll be getting a call in the night saying that she did herself in. Funny...I could see that out of her maybe, but certainly not right now. At least not until it gets closer to the time that she has to go home and deal with her family again.

Sigh. The life I've chosen for myself is a difficult one if I can put a positive spin on not having to deal with a suicidal girl "right away".

Anyway, it was very instructive to hear more of the history behind her situation. This girl is a deeper pool than I thought. She's definitely got a dark side...but she's also got a very gentle and kind side. I've seen it myself. And any girl who hugs like she does is a girl looking for someone who will just accept her hugs and return them.

Can do. But tonight and for the next day or two, it's been raining and her family is working the harvest, so they're idle and she's with them visiting. Wonder if she's getting to bed at a reasonable hour tonight. Wonder if they're treating her the way she deserves to be treated. Wonder if she'll need extra-long and extra-many hugs when the visit is up and she has to be parted from her mom again.

Wonder why Mom & Dad and The Wife and I care so much, when so few other people seem to. I guess that's one of the things I wonder about the most.


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