Let's see, I'm really not sure where to begin...
The story really starts years ago when I was a young mother with a two year old and a fussy infant (9 years ago to be precise). There was the sweetest young girl who would love on my kiddos in the church nursery and she came home with me one memorable Sunday after service. Our little one cried, no screamed all the way home (about 40 minutes in the car) which he normally did because he was not a fan of driving anywhere!
So she stole into my heart that day, just along for the ride, just getting to know us a little bit and us her.
Her family was in turmoil, in fact they are still in turmoil. Early on I saw her older siblings floundering, my friend and I reached out to try and help (Leah and her husband were the youth leaders at our church at the time). It seemed too late already (not that anyone was giving up). This dear one (only about 13) still had shards of innocence left and I was desperate to save her (I know I'm not The Savior - but I thought maybe I could lead her there). I remember saying to Leah I would take her right now if I could - we could stop the cycle, but we both knew her mother wasn't ready to consent to letting go of her "baby". Later her mother would ask me to let her live with us but my friend would choose not to because she was too deeply ensconced in her already crazy life.
Instead, she would come and stay a week here and there - we would feed her, love her, lecture her, laugh with her and end up losing her again and again.
She has battled uphill against poverty, against drugs, against authority, against both neglect and abuse. She has been angry for a very long time. She has seen too much, tried too hard and been let down too often.
Lately she has walked back in our door, plopped down in tears on my sofa with her own small girls at our feet. I am once again desperate for answers to give. It's not enough to give money - it doesn't get used well nor does it plug the hole. It's not enough to feed and love them for a day and go on with life as usual.
That's why the posts about "going" FPFG has been giving are reaching into my soul. If you haven't read them...please do.
I've been wondering beyond the immediate comforts we usually offer, a meal, some cash, love or even opportunities ... what is the key? Are there ever any real answers that pull people out of their struggles? That really lift them up? What hope can I give her? Is there any possible way to change the story before it reaches her girls?
Finally, someone has at least one answer called The Open Table. I'm not sure it's for us but something like it might just work here. So I'm pondering, what is the key to unlocking possibilities for my sweet friend and then others in similar circumstances.
It's not easy to put this story out for all to read. It feels like a story of failure because there was no great rescue, there is no happy ending - yet. It's personal to me and yet it's really not even my own story. But SHE is not a failure. She is trying hard, she is fighting, she loves her children and she works hard. It seems to me I need to fill in the gaps. Just like I do for my own children...it didn't occur to me until recently that you don't have to legally "adopt" someone in order to have adopted them. She fills a place in our hearts.
What else can I say? I think I just spilled my thoughts, my heart and a bit of my soul on this page.
That's what I love about Flower Patch Farmgirl - she can be funny and make you think all at the same time! Me? Drama and deep words will have to do;)
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