"...the most traumatic event in one's life will more times than not, become their mission."
...I was mowing the backyard over the weekend when she returned. A skinny thing, her complexion blanched as if fearing any contact with the sun. The foster girl of twelve requested, and was granted, another weekend visit. This one her third.
From a distance she appeared frail for a young lady approaching teenage status. Upon closing the gap between us however, a smile breached a set of chapped lips, her wiry frame boasting of hidden muscle. To live a day in her shoes, one would realize that most of her strength had nothing to do with the flex of her biceps.
I wrote a post of "the girl" roughly a month ago, a foster child being held under state's custody who's expressed a desire to join my family permanently, and have since been asked by many for an update.
We were granted three more days with her living under our roof. We attended one of her soccer games, watched as she assisted in the matchup's only goal. She revealed to us that she'd been grounded by her current foster parents since her last visit...punishment for a poor grade card, yet worsening an already volatile relationship within the homestead she's resided for the past two years. No outdoor activity, no cell phone, no computer, no communication. This explained her pale complexion, and my wife's inability to contact her through Facebook.
She'd also received harsh criticism for a movie we allowed her to experience the last time she visited. Twilight's New Moon. Rated PG-13. A movie we've let our own children watch countless times, considering it harmless.
As was the result of her past two visits, the weekend became an adventure. And as before, the girl and I shared a conversation upon the Sunday night of her departure. The therapy has increased. Professionals scouring for a reason behind her foster home's dysfunction, pushing pills down her throat like an ice cream in August.
The girl's relationship with her foster dad has never been a positive match, but has worsened since her twelfth birthday. This news haunts me with each passing day. He's a man of strict religious upbringing. Because of this, he expects the same compassion from every member of his household. Even a young lady who's childhood was spent under the tumultuous reign of a mother suffering from a mental disorder. Later deemed incapable of raising her daughter.
My angst dates back more than twenty years, to a time when I found myself living the very same nightmare that I hear from the mouth of this child. My younger years were also disrupted by a parent battling a set of ghosts from within her mind. An ongoing struggle to this day. Also the inspiration behind, "South of Charm," my soon-to-be-released novel.
I see this girl, and I see myself. I see her tears, and I recognize them as my own. She needs help, but not the type she's currently receiving. It's reached the point where unless alternative steps are taken, a dark future looms.
I've sent a lengthy email to our social worker. As foster parents, she's our licensed representation in all matters child-related. The letter was a jumbled mess of feelings, my point to make clear our intent to help this girl, to bring her home if need be.
A response was returned a day later. My email had been forwarded to our worker's boss, every worker in the building, and the girl's social representation as well. Accompanying the news was a one line message..."Thank you for your emotional, yet eloquent input. We'll be in touch."
I have no idea what that means. Sleep now comes a bit easier however, knowing that at least I tried.
Until then, unfortunately, the story continues...
There are those of us who are striving for goals...reaching ever closer to achieving that dream...ultimate recognition. But what of those who see goals as nothing more than glass slippers from a Disney classic...slippers left behind...goals unattainable due to lives held in Purgatory. What about those kids? Who's listening to their goals?
...thanks for reading:)