I have finished another semester of school. Sorry I was gone so long, I was struggling over a paper. It was about the educational challenges of youth in foster care. Before I started the paper I didn't realize how disadvantaged they were in school. The graduation rate for foster kids is terrible. The homeless rate is high after they emancipate. There are programs that help but without a good mentor/parent life is hard. Imagine not having anyone to rely on or to be able to call on when you are having challenges...or when you just need someone to talk to. It was the most depressing paper I have ever had to write.
Actually, it made me wonder if we are doing enough. When you know there is a problem what do you do? It is so much easier to ignore it. Sometimes it seems as though there are so many issues and so many people hurting that it makes it hard to determine where to put your time and efforts. Obviously we have chosen the children who are a product of abuse or neglect. It is not an easy road. But someone has to do it. Why not us?
Our teen who we are trying to adopt has been pressured by her biological mom to come and live with her. The problem is this mom has failed to protect her daughter in the past. Her daughter does not trust that she can rely on her mom. It wasn't too long ago that we were rescuing the mom so how can she rely on her. She knows that here she is safe and we will always support her. She is learning how to be a part of a family here. She has missed out on so many life skills and she has so many more to learn. She has had so many firsts in our home. She finally has someone who nags her about her homework and grades. Someone who cares whether she is successful in life or not. She hasn't had that but she has needed it. But, in the end it will be her choice. She is 16 years old and will soon be 17. IF she becomes a member of our family it will be because it is what SHE wants. We love her and want her to be our own but know the pull of the biological family.
This last Sunday Joselin joined us for church and lunch. We have been talking a lot lately about things. She told me that sometimes she wonders about "what if?" I asked her what if what? She said, "what if I had open to having a family". Ah, she admitted that she never thought that she needed a family. She already had one in Guatemala and didn't need another one. She admits to rejecting us. So, I asked her if she was willing to accept her family now. She said she didn't know. I told her that as long as we are still living then it isn't too late.
We went to church and lunch. Sarah and I drove her back to Columbia. On the way back she said yes to me. I asked her what she meant by that. She said that, yes, she does need a family.
Yes indeed, we all need a family.(and I think she is shrinking because Anthony hasn't grown that much!)