Today's foster care story is about my lack of compassion or some other short fall.
I'm really trying hard to have a thankful attitude right now.
Little One just brought home a trash bag full of clothes from his visit. The bag was torn all over in a way that looked like an animal tried to get into or out of it. Without even opening it up I could smell it.
When the worker brought it out of her car for me, I brought Little One in the house and left the bag on the front step. In the rain.
When I did bring it in, I opened it up on the floor and dumped it out instead of sticking my hands into the bag to grab the clothes out.
As I labeled all the clothes with his initials in Sharpie, I was overwhelmed with the smell, and not of the Sharpie. I was also annoyed. Annoyed because it was clear no one had gone through these clothes to see if they were worth passing on or if they were the right sizes. Annoyed because on this day that I want to be preparing for a happy birthday night, I'm now burdened with 5 new loads of laundry. I have to find a place to keep all these things for Little One, just in case.
You see, even though they are crummy clothes in all the wrong sizes, they are from his parents. I need to label them with his initials because he's foster. We plan to keep him here until his case resolves, but it isn't always up to us. Those things, however junkie or broken or inappropriate they may be always have the potential to be the last things. The last things he gets from his parents. The last things they give to him. The last time they think of him. Someday, if he never goes "home" again, they will be his last ties to a family he can't remember.
And still more confessions.
I'm washing it all. Even if I end up putting it in storage in "his" box, it has to be washed.
Every time I handle the clothes before washing them I use hand sanitizer. I really want to change my clothes and shower. I have the creepy crawlies. You just never know what will come with those clothes. Lice, fleas, spiders, ants, ringworm or who knows what other sort of icky, nasty there could be.
I want to have a different attitude. I'm willing myself to see good in this. To see hope where there doesn't seem to be any. I want to believe that maybe this time is it. Maybe this time the birth parents "get it". Maybe now they see how important their kids are. Maybe now they'll kick their habits. Maybe now they'll put their kids first.
I need to hope that this child's path has been made straight by the Lord, even though to me it looks like a winding mountain path.
Moving on, today it The Littlest Mr.'s birthday. He is 7. After school and baseball practice and piano lessons, we'll celebrate. We'll have his chosen dinner; hot dogs, mac-n-cheese, pretzels, Sun Chips, soda and zucchini cake. We'll have just a few presents.
In a few days we'll do the birthday thing again. This time in pink as it will be Little Miss's birthday. She'll be 3. Then 3 days later, it'll be Little Mr. turning 11. Fast forward 10 more days and Little One will be 1.
That's a lot of cake and candles folks. A lot of wrapping paper and frosting. 2 more unusual dinners requested by kids.