An encouraging letter. This is why we do what we do…
Hi Bart and Karen –
There is so much to thank you and dozens of others for with camp this year! Do you take these moments to stop, and reflect how the memories of brief weeks will impact these kids beliefs for the rest of their lives? Beliefs about themselves, about their abilities, about others, about God, about the ease of making friends, resolving conflict? It’s just such a wow. As I watched craft after prize after treasure emerge from their bags, things they had made, things important people had made for them. And the photo books! I’m a curmudgeon photo-wise, given that I have trouble with self love and photos, but their bringing these back out, just now and then, is enough to make me give up my Ebenezer chains and click away.
What really is important is this sense they have of “I did,” “I made,” “I jumped… rode… built….” I know it might sound odd, but I’m very pleased/relieved that you also found the boys’ tears to be concerning when I picked them up. It was great to have my own report to Allendale about it validated, because I guess I can sometimes be overdramatic myself. So, again, thank you.
In the end, on that score, I have been encouraged to A) acknowledge and empathize with their feelings of sadness and B) not let it drag out for 2 1/2 hours. Their adoptive “grandparents” from CASA just kept saying what a good sign it was that the experience was THAT meaningful to them. Which makes sense — in all my years of specialized/therapeutic foster and adoptive parenting, I have never encountered a case this complicated and twisted, where the boys’ roles are almost reversed with their bio parents. There is so much love among them, which is rare and wonderful, still the pains so deep they’re kind of inexorable. A week with no visits, no therapy, no double therapy. Whew.
Tonight, for the first time, Nick (name changed for confidentiality) brought up the *possibility* that Zack may or may not be HIS actual counselor next year, as long as they were in the same cabin, and Nick didn’t get any older, lol. It’s nice to see the boys processing in a healthy way.
So I hope we will be seeing you and other members when our schedules align!
Now, take the moment to breathe in what you’ve done for others, and the meaning of your work!
Dan (foster father)