Sunday, April 24, 2011

Development Team

There's been a lot of things going on in the "development" world here on campus.  A few weeks ago we had a PhD student from the States come to do a training series on a variety of issues like domestic violence and poverty.  After that I started teaching weekly training's on Friday mornings.  I'm 4 weeks through the series and it's been great!  So far we've covered:
1. The effects of abuse and neglect on child development
2. Attachment development and disorders
3. Behavior management
4. Crisis Management
We have a few more topics to go before summer hits, things like teaching life skills, working with biological families, and sexual abuse issues.  For me the most exciting thing is that we not only have our Back2Back staff coming, but also a few of the children's home workers as well as some local community members who recently started foster parenting.  Lots of good conversations are happening, and there's change coming!  It's an exciting time and I can't wait to see how the ministry develops.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Faux Family

Sorry the blog has been quiet lately, a power outage last week fried my computer charger so I've had limited computer access. But I thought today I'd write about a wonderful faux family experience I had here this week. Faux family is what I like to call people who aren't technically my family, but feel and act very much like family. I'm incredibly blessed to live in a community with so many "family members". Yesterday I had Lasik, which is something I've been dreaming about for years. My eyes were pretty bad and I couldn't wear contacts, and there's a fantastic doctor here who did the surgery for about 1/4 the cost in the US. Another staff woman, Kathy, had it done a few months ago and offered to take me when I was ready. So I went under the laser yesterday. Before surgery my eyes were around 20/400, and today they were 20/30! They should get better every day for a few weeks which is super exciting. Since I live by myself, Kathy took fantastic care of me, I'm feeling quite spoiled. She emailed my family to let them know how it went, helped me put drops in my eyes, brought me dinner and then jelly beans (my favorite candy), fixed my eye goggles so they didn't hurt my nose, and sat in the dark and talked with me for a while when I couldn't sleep. Today she brought me medicine to help me sleep, muffins, homemade chicken pot pie, and a movie. Other staff prayed with me before surgery yesterday, and another one brought over arroz con leche for me today. I love having such a great faux family, I feel incredibly blessed and loved here!

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Four

Today I taught part 2 of a 9 week training series for our staff. It's like foster parent training but more focused on what we experience here. This week was probably my favorite topic and also the hardest, attachment issues. So I spent the last few days thinking about "the four". Probably anyone who knew me when I was a social worker in the States has heard all about "the four". The four kids that taught me basically everything I know about attachment issues, who I put everything on the line for in my job and still lost, who I walked through things that I still can't talk about without crying. The four that consumed my life and my job, who never ceased to confuse me or amaze me. The four that I still miss and worry about. I remember their birthdays, can rattle off their medications, and if I think hard could maybe give you medicaid numbers. I happen to know that as of this week they're back in the system and my heart breaks for them. It's hard for me to not be there now, to not be able to see or speak to them. It's hard to not do the if only's. If only I would have spoken louder or stronger. If only I would have made that judge listen to me. If only that attorney wouldn't have been so nasty to me. But God isn't in the "if only" business. He has plans for these kids, they're not forgotten and tossed around to him. He loves them and knows their pain even better than I did. So I have to trust that God has these kids and cares for them better than I ever could.