Someone came up to me after church today and asked about foster care, I could see the worry there. This was a kinship question, and I knew right away this would be a family I would be dropping off gear for, maybe a meal and praying for often. It made me think about the purpose of work, the value of productivity both compensated and non compensated. It made me think about how I am modeling work both at home, and in the world, to our children.
When we started taking care of children, I did not think of it as work. I thought of it as a way to share our families warmth. Overtime I have learned, providing good quality care to vulnerable children, is indeed, work.
I am able to help with multiple need based clothing closets, and have seen the need grow. We have had Head Start, foster families, single mothers and newly immigrated families, come in recently. Of course this is an unpaid job, and there are days it feels like really anyone could be doing it, so why me? When this person approached me at church today it was a reminder. I need to keep helping, doing this work of service, because it is needed. It is not about me as a person, but rather about the work being needed. Part of our families faith is deeply rooted in social justice and the commitment to find ways of serving.
When a set of brothers left our house I sent bags of clothing, rain boots, new matching rain coats from a friend, backpacks and sweet stuffed animals and blankets they had come to love in the month with us. The bags were packed with clothes from different homes that made their way to us, the backpacks were from a Together For Good backpack drive, the shoes from Once Upon a Child when we needed to try on many to get the right fit and fun character.
I received a text from a social worker that motivated me to jot this blog. Her note was as follows:
Thank you for your service to these boys. It is the most consistent routine they have ever had, I see it in their behavior. They are calmer, they use some self soothing that is new. You are one of the good ones.
I have thought of those boys often this week as I go through the daily routine with our youngest, as I wash loads of dirty clothes from spring mud and line up rain boots. I think of them and I think of the other twelve placements we have had, truly hoping our families choice to work, in this specific way, has blessed them.