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.
Last summer, of course at the very beginning, Luke had an accident and broke his foot. We went from, “I really hope that isn’t broken,” to “I think that might be broken,” and then finally, “I’ll be surprised if it isn’t broken” over the course of hours as it started to bruise and swell up. The x-rays the next morning were sickening. It is definitely bad when even I can tell that it’s broken since my expertise in radiology is limited to, “yep, that’s a foot”- it was really broken.
I had a completely unexpected and hilarious conversation with my seven-year old this week. For some reason, he was really interested in the photos that are on our refrigerator.
Luke was looking at them and asking questions about when they were taken and he came to the photo of Ethan and him holding Jackson about two weeks after I had him.
Luke looked at me in utter surprise:
This is a difficult post for me to write not because the subject is difficult, but because I’m writing while in the grip of much pain and in the fog of medication. Such is my situation right now due to my chronic illness made worse by the serious car accident we were in.
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.
I’m usually quite a planner. If I have an idea of where stuff is going, I’m okay. But, throw me in a situation where anything could happen… well… let’s just say I’ve been known to dissolve into a useless puddle of tears and indecision.
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One of the first primarily philosophical books on Christian thought I ever picked up was Escape from Reason by Francis Schaeffer. I started reading it during the end of high school and the beginning of college as I was being challenged about my worldview.
The interesting things about worldviews is that we all have them and we are oftentimes unaware of them and yet, they color everything we see to the point that true objectivity is probably just an ideal. It is impossible, to say the least, to separate out our experiences and cultural history from our thoughts about things if we fail to think through them and give them adequate consideration.
When I was a little kid, I loved to swim. Before I swam competitively though, there was a certain amount of fear mixed in. My parents did a good job of teaching me to have a healthy fear and respect water. I had a near drowning experience that made me realize the fine line between fun and danger (just so you know, it is never a good idea to fall asleep while hanging on the pool wall during your swim lessons as a 4 year old).
Some fear is healthy. Living in fear is not nor is the absence of fear.