I’m in a bad way this week. Too much work, not enough time. The usual thing. I’m doing a lot of feeling sorry for myself as I sulk about my incredibly difficult life. (I’m rolling my eyes now.) Then this afternoon, because I hadn’t really checked up on my usual favorite bloggers, I headed over to Mom’s Night Out and was immediately humbled by what I read there. Kathy of Mom’s Night Out is a foster mom, and, as if that doesn’t sound difficult enough, she’s the kind of foster mom who takes especially troubled kids, kids who are in crisis or just released from the hospital, kids who fall through the cracks because they’re not the right age to receive government funding for behavioral support.
From today’s post:
“So, here comes Andrew. At four years old, he’s my youngest yet in the program. He’d been in seven placements already. The previous placements were all family members and he’d been abused and neglected in each of them.
“He came into our house one ANGRY little guy. Huge behaviors, spitting, kicking, throwing things, hitting, crying, CUSSING like a serious longshoreman. His tantrums – and I use that term loosely, because they were really rages – lasted up to three hours. For real.
“This went on for weeks. Every single day, at least once a day. Sometimes, two or three times. It was a bumpy ride for us all. We went past the ninety days, and I changed the classification of my home so that he would not have to move again.”
Four years old, seven placements, abuse, neglect. Wow. To willingly take on a child with all the issues that go with that kind of mistreatment is heroic. I complain when my kids bicker, when they forget to put their uniforms in the wash, when they whistle constantly while I’m trying to write. I am so in awe of someone who has the strength and generosity and compassion to parent a little boy like this to a place where he finally feels safe and relaxed.
Well, Kathy had to say good-bye to Andrew, who is returning to his mother. He hasn’t lived with his mother for three of the last four years. Imagine the heartbreak for Kathy. Here is some of what she said about it:
“What matters is that Andrew got under my “professional” foster mom skin. What matters is I love that little boy. What matters is that, when I tried to pack his little plastic forks and spoons that he got for having good table manners, he said, “No, leave them here for when I come back”. What matters is how hard he hugged my neck when he left, and how hard I cried after I closed the door.”
Head over to Mom’s Night Out by clicking HERE and read the full post. My kids are still bickering and the cats are literally climbing the curtains and life feels overloaded, but after reading this I realize that there are other people out there who really have every right to complain and yet they quietly go about doing God’s work here on earth — shouldering another’s burden, bringing a smile to the face of a little boy who has known far too much sorrow for someone of his tender age.