Tag Archives: restoration

The Craving

I’m jonesing for a fix. I can feel it in the leaden weight of every single cell of my body. In the itch behind my eyes. In the sharpness of my voice. In overreaction after overreaction.

The daily hits just aren’t enough anymore. I need something more, something better.

I used to be able to hide it better. This growing need. I could gloss over it with big smiles and peppy speeches. But it’s harder to form the “I’m fine” answers that used to roll of my tongue so easily.

I crave it.

When my friends discuss their holiday plans my twinge of jealousy has nothing to do with exotic locales, or warm ocean breezes, or exciting adventure. It’s this. The good stuff. Pure and uncut.

I see hints of it everywhere I look. The comfy couch. A bean bag chair in the playroom. My son’s fuzzy blue blanket. Mattress ads on the radio. They’re taunting me…

I need it.

REST.beach bed

So here’s me, where life stage, a stomach bug and week full of appointments have taken their toll. I’ll be the one heading to bed early tonight.

Today’s post is part of Lisa-Jo’s Five Minute Friday challenge:

Now, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Happy Endings

I sat in the waiting room of the Ministry of Children and Family Development today. We had a meeting with our adoption social worker. There was a woman beside me whom I’ve never met and will never see again, but she was so familiar.

It was none of my business and perhaps I should have politely tuned her out as she spoke to the receptionist. But I didn’t. The person she was supposed to be meeting with was running late, but come hell or high water she was determined to wait.

“I don’t care how long I have to wait or what it takes. I want my daughter back.”

She wasn’t belligerent or aggressive. She didn’t raise her voice or make threats. But she was fierce. She had a primal energy. And I knew that we were kindred. Because I am a Mama Bear too.

In my mind I imagined a gritty backstory. Traumatized by her drug dealer/pimp/corrupt cop boyfriend, she is fighting her way back with the help of a inspirational social worker. I picture an Aboriginal Robin Williams/Sydney Poitier at her side instilling a never-say-die attitude in her. The music swells as she sees her beloved child again, but alas, there is the evil ex-lover and his scuzzy lawyer. I hold my breath and suddenly Wylie Coyote drops an anvil on the bad guys. Cue the laugh track. Now roll credits, as they all ride off into the sunset.

But this is real life. There are rarely bad guys dressed in black and good guys in white hats. Just screwed up people trying to prevent the even more screwed up people from hurting the innocent.

I don’t know this mom’s story, but I can only assume that it must be a tragic one to end up in the waiting room of the MCFD. When child protective services are involved, no one escapes unscathed. Not the biological parents whose lives were already out of control. Not the professionals who have to make impossible decisions and navigate an unwieldy beauracracy. Not foster families who open their homes and their hearts to someone else’s pain. And certainly not the children who find themselves at the mercy of a system which can’t help but damage the very ones it was designed to protect.

I can’t help but feel like some sort of scavenger. If things work out as we hope, we will be wading into someone’s very worst nightmare to find our own happily ever after. I know it is possible; in fact, it is what makes adoption such a beautiful thing. But it is a beauty born out of loss and pain.

I worry about that mama bear. I hope the system can do right by her, and by her daughter, whatever “right” may be in this particular case. Chances are, the damage is already done. There are no carefree happy endings in the foster care system.

So here’s me, looking for a bittersweet ever after.

Everything Must Change

It snuck up on me. A conference on social justice that we had signed up for months ago – before we realized what a crazy, busy season of life this would be and before head colds swept through the family. Part of me was thrilled to escape a house full of snotty kleenexes and whiney patients; another part was wishing I could curl up on the couch with them. But I’m sure glad I didn’t.

I listened to some amazing authors and speakers tell story after story about the projects they were involved in. Impressive campaigns to rescue young girls from sexual slavery, reform the mental health system, lobby corporations on behalf of migrant workers, battle the HIV/Aids pandemic, and on and on and on. Brilliant, driven men and women who, let’s face it, would intimidate a saint with their passion and selflessness.

Just the other day I felt completely overwhelmed by a counter full of dirty dishes. How can I face a planet full of suffering and injustice? Even now I can hear the siren song of mediocrity. Leave the world-changing to someone who is smarter and more powerful than you. You can barely keep up with your own busy life, how can you possibly do more? You do more than most people, pat yourself on the back and turn the T.V. back on.

I had braced myself for a heaping dose of guilt; for pictures of starving children with distended bellies and flies in their eyes, for stories that would rip my heart out. Perhaps a stirring rendition of “Man in the Mirror”? And I did dirty my shirt sleeve wiping tears and mascara streaks away (note to self – next time bring kleenex).

One man told the story of touring a hospital in Africa. The staff were kind, but overwhelmed. There were 4-5 babies in each crib. As he walked through, he was startled by an inhuman wail. Turning around, he realized it was the cry of a young mother as a white sheet was placed over the face of her infant daughter. Only a short time later he heard it again, then again and again – almost every 10 minutes during his visit there was another anguished scream.

But this was not the theme of the day. The story I heard repeatedly was one of hope and faith and joy. Each of these powerhouse leaders told stories about their relationships, not their causes.

My friend from Guatemala who is supporting his 11 siblings…

My friend who has schizophrenia…

My friend who cannot feed her children…

not sad stories, but inspiring individuals.

Yes, they are strategic. They are seeking restorative justice and systematic change. But this is not charity – they are simply looking out for their friends.

That’s something even I can handle. I may not understand the complexities of political change or walk with the movers and shakers in society. But I can be a friend to someone who needs it.

There is so much wrong with the world, so much that needs to change. It seems overwhelming. Yet, the greatest requirement of my faith is incredibly simple: love God and love others.

Can I do that? Can you? Can you make the world a better place for one person? That’s social justice. That’s where real change starts.

We can do no great things, but only small things with great love.” ~Mother Theresa

So here’s me, finally washing my dishes… with great love. 😉

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