It seems like it has become trendy to complain about social services. You’ve probably seen the stories of parents ending up in the crosshairs of CPS because their 11 year old was playing outside by himself for an hour and a half while his parents were caught in traffic or heard of the case in Massachusetts where the state took custody of a teenager. Doctors at one hospital disagreed with the diagnosis of doctors at another hospital and alleged abuse…
I made the mistake of reading the comments on some of these articles and it was… ugly. Hideous. Wrong.
People were left and right on multiple threads bashing the work that child protective services does, saying they are just causing trauma by taking kids and they shouldn’t be allowed to do it anymore… and this is the tame version I am repeating here. People were asking why isn’t CPS commenting on cases and why aren’t they answerable for cases gone wrong and insisting that the whole system needs to be done away with.
I’m sure you’ve heard the sentiment. Maybe even felt it yourself.
There are two competing narratives going on right now regarding the work of CPS and foster care.
This week, I have to confess I got kind of annoyed with a sign. Yep. A Sign.
And all this offending sign said was, “Smile!”
I was taking out two of the boys to McDonald’s just to hang out when I was confronted by said sign at the register. Maybe I was just a little tired, but it seemed funny being told just to randomly smile by a sign that clearly had no self-awareness. I suppose that the management wanted to reinforce that McDonald’s was a happy place to be, but it’s symptomatic of an interesting trend.
This week didn’t turn out quite like I thought it would be. Last week was an emotional high since we are now officially adopting our precious foster daughter (if you missed it, you can read it here). I think I had expected that feeling of walking on cloud nine to continue… and it didn’t.
I love working in Photoshop; in fact, it is one of my favorite parts of my job. I get to take images and pull out the beauty from them, add text or graphics, and create. The way the program works though took me a while to get used to since it is very much unlike how I learned to create art by hand. The program uses layers to manipulate the images and that pull together at the end to create a finished product.
It’s eerily reminiscent of life in general. We don’t see all the layers of a person’s life at first glance, just the sum of everything. It’s even possible for us to turn off a layer so it isn’t immediately visible to those around us.
I am alive. My husband is alive. My kids are all alive.
I am so incredibly thankful right now.
Usually the first Monday of the month I post about one of my favorite influential books, but Saturday changed things. We were going to a music festival downtown when an elderly lady tried to make a left turn. Right in front of us.
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The barista came over to me and said, “Just to let you know, we’ll be closing in a few minutes.”
I looked up in shock at the clock. It had been two hours already that my dear friend and I had sat engrossed in conversation. It felt like we had just started talking too!
I had so needed that time to connect with my friend; she’s one of those rare people who I can talk about anything with and somehow, the conversation always ends up coming back to God and is incredibly uplifting and inspiring. I walk away feeling encouraged in my faith.