Have you ever been so excited and giddy about something then slowly realize you are the only one in the room who is? Have you ever wanted to celebrate but other’s hearts are not in it? These moments allow you, if you take them, to step back and look through a different lens. Not that the moment is different, but maybe your perceptions and therefore your reactions should be.
I began 2020 in July of last year excited for Seven Homes. This year, 2020, is Seven Homes’ 25th anniversary, 25 years providing care for children needing a safe, loving, and stable home. Children who found the healing they so desperately deserve in the comfort of a family. I was excited, with ideas running the gambit of how to recognize this milestone. I was grateful for all the families who have partnered with us. I reminisced about all the children who have come through our door. I was thankful for all the incredible staff members who have dedicated themselves to serve the least of these. I was in awe of all of our wonderful volunteers, and I was reflective for all the Board Members who have served this agency. I became giddy with my memories. When I looked that word up, it meant “a kid giggling with her friends over some adolescent foolishness.” Well I have not been an adolescent girl in quite some time, but giddy seemed to fit.
The year was 1994, and I was off with a friend on what many considered a bunch of foolishness to start a transformative foster care agency. Dr. George and I even dubbed this adventure a vision quest, with nicknames for each other. I will not share Dr. George’s avatar, but mine was “Puffy Buffalo”. We were really giddy indeed. Two grown men, one with a bachelor’s degree, Two Master’s Degrees, and a Doctorate, and me. I was all-in. I had quit my job, turned down a job where the Executive Director told me to name my price, and moved back in with my mom. Quite the adolescence foolishness from a giddy 30-year-old. Now some 25 years later I think the nostalgia for me of that early quest was running interference for where we found ourselves in January of this year as an agency all this time later. It appeared to me that I was literally the only person in the room with that lens.
If you hang around me long enough you will hear me say foster care should be fun. Almost 30 years of caring for kids from hard places, it is the one practice that has kept me going. Foster Care should be fun. You and I know the loss, the tough days and nights, the frustration, the anger, the tears, the joy, the laughs, the pride, and the love foster care can bring. You and I know the miracles and the tragedies that fostering encompasses. You and I know that fostering is not about us, heck it is not even about what’s best for our family at times, it is about doing something for a stranger that very very few people are willing to do. We laugh when it gets too hard and we weep when consumed with an overabundance of joy. In all that mix we get to do for the least of these. We get to have fun.
So, one day maybe I will share with you the adventures of Puffy Buffalo and his vision quest with Dr. George. This weekend I wanted to celebrate and thank each of you for helping us reach 25 years of providing care to the most precious amongst us. To Celebrate our successes in the midst of our failures. To know that our Ideals are not true or false, but are what we constantly strive to achieve, even when we fall short at times. Who knows, I might be around for our 50th anniversary. If I am, please just refer to me as Giddy and not senile. I would like to celebrate by saying Happy 25th Birthday Seven Homes and Happy 244th Birthday America. I now get to eat cake and have fun (I hope you do too).