Monday, November 19, 2007

Interesting Possibilities

I may have mentioned before that we have a local youth group called Youth For Christ (YFC). We tend to try to funnel our kids to this organization, not because we're trying to stuff our religion down their throats (though religion would do some of them, including "Celeste", a world of good) but mostly because the guy that runs that outfit is OUT OF THIS WORLD GREAT. He has a way with kids that just won't quit. I admire that, and I envy his touch.

But in this case, it's one of the other kids that provides some interesting possibilities for friendship with "Celeste". This girl is one of the older kids in YFC, and she has a pretty special bond with the guy that runs it. She comes from a VERY broken home, and he's a sort of surrogate father to her. It's wonderful to see them together.

Tonight this girl was having a very tough time and "Celeste" and only a couple of others happened to be there this time. They all talked out her issues and "Celeste" got to be in the position to feel some empathy for someone else who was having trouble with a sucky family situation.

From the time I picked her up she couldn't stop talking about how bad this girl had it. It didn't take a genius to read between the lines of her babbling and see that she had compared this girl's problems to her own and found them equivalent, if not tilted in her favor. Someone else actually might really have it worse than her. Oh sure, those pesky foster parents have told her that several times, but what do they know? Heh. It makes a much bigger impact getting it straight from the horse's mouth.

Anyway, the girl has been on better behavior again the last few days, hence my lack of writing. She readily, if not happily, went to church AND to a special service where there was a pie social afterward. She spoke with her counselor and said she wasn't going to go to school. The counselor told her that was fine, but he would have no choice but to make sure she ended up in court over it. She decided she had had enough of court, and maybe school wasn't so bad after all.

I get the feeling that we've got her fairly well settled in now, and we just need to play good, tight goalie until she stops taking so many pot shots to test our defenses. At that point, we may have created an actual human being, with feelings and everything. Okay, maybe we will just have helped her bring out her better self, but you know what I mean.

Now if the courts will just let us have enough time for that to happen...



At 5:46 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

As a former foster child, my thanks goes out to foster parents and child welfare professionals who recognize the capabilities and potential of children in your care -- and are courageous enough to fight for them to receive support and services.

Please tell me about your experiences in advocating for foster children:

1.) Examples of when it has been successful
2.) Roadblocks when it hasn't
3.) Techniques that you have found to be most effective

Your insights will be used in a 2008 conference to 'train the trainers' of every county foster parent and social worker in my state. The information that you share can be anonymous.

Looking forward to hearing from you...


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