The randomness? Hard to believe, but this is not a dirty house. I've pulled children from dirty houses. Trust me. This is not That. This is me pulling things out in order to pack strategically. But 8 rolls of wrapping paper? How does a single-ish girl even COLLECT 8 rolls of wrapping paper? And how does a single-ish girl PACK 8 rolls of wrapping paper?

and wanting to kiss these cheeks so badly.

Her mommy's too.

Many blessings coming in this move ....
... I won't ever *really* be able to tell you how my little girl from my last post turns out. We did, however, wrap up our camera project and oh, how I wish I could really, really tell you the joy she captured on film.

What else?

A 3 day trip to the Olympic Peninsula. One last, stolen getaway before the chaos of the move and the beginning of graduate school. Lots of time in the car. Lots of time discussing, sharing, relating, discovering.


Crescent Lake. A long, clear, beautiful expanse I wanted to jump completely in and let it swallow me. Fear of hypothermia, however, is a dream killer ...

Places on maps exist in real life. I need to remember that more ...

An hour or so here at Rialto Beach does a soul good and makes a girl happy. {Pick me, marketers! I can do soooo much better for your tourist advertising than capitalizing on Forks ~ which is a sad, sorrowful place coincidentally ...}

I'm not so readily armed with details, but hints are my forte. Piano forte!! It was a lovely weekend. I am a lucky girl.

And sooooooo popular with new four year old friends named Michael:

I am not the mermaid, but I am the face immediately to the left of the mermaid. Lifelike, right? Thanks, Michael!!

And now, on to finishing my last {4} days of employment with the County. Time to assimilate and process and develop some closure.

... at my current position, I've found I have an issue. I have a little girl on my caseload who has no childhood.

Specifically, I have a little girl who, in her current foster home, has a shoebox of belongings, an envelope of letters and one drawer full of clothing.

That's it.

That is the totality of what she owns.

What she is missing is not just the material goods to call her own, however. She is missing a family. She is missing her future family, her past family and is blessed to have found a gem of a "right now" family ... but. But.

She knows This is not It.

It's not the lack of material goods that break my heart. It's seeing her lay all of what she owns side by side on her bed and listening to her tell the same story over and over again.

That's what breaks my heart. It's listening to her talk about her "real" family vs. the family she hopes one day will want her. It's having her remember her birth family and having nothing to hold, nothing to look at, nothing to validate that she has this entire history that was very Real, and she has a family she misses wholly.


So she compartmentalizes.

Don't we all?

This hurts, so I deal with This here, but I don't deal with It here, because when I'm there, I need to feel / think / focus / BE / somebody else. At a foster home, no fault of the foster home, she's part of the temporary, in and out, loved but not a birth child flow. Her items are in a shoebox under the bed. It is not her bed. Her clothes fill a drawer. It's a dresser shared by multiple children.

She can love her birth family once a week for two hours.

She can be at school and learn.

She can be a giggly part of her foster home.

They are all separate. Those worlds do not collide. She does not talk about the other parts of her life during the Other Parts of Her Life.

I understand this about her. I was very much like this right after my divorce. I talked about it with These people, but not Those people and Work was Work and Church was Church and I was fragmented and not connected and it helped.


For a season. But not that long. Truly ... honestly ... it was exhausting. And people are not straight lines. They are circles. We are connected to ourselves, every bit of ourselves; ourselves are connected to every part of our lives and we are so very connected with each other. Totality. {The heart of God.}

Today I dropped off several disposable cameras to many people in Little Girl's life. They will take pictures. She will take pictures. I will develop the film.

And when we are done, there will not be gaps. There will be pictures to hold. She chooses to compartmentalize or not ~ that decision is hers.

But in that shoebox under her bed will be mounds of pictures of the people she loves. And no matter what happens in the next few years, there will not be a missing gap of information (as is so often the case with foster children. They are ghosts in family pictures for the amount of time they spend in foster care). This is her reality, no matter how much we wish it could be different.

We need to help her choose to face it in love. In the end, we cannot give her her childhood back. But what we can give her is the sense that what this is, Is, and that what her life is, is what she chooses to make it. It's real. I'll give her the tools to help make it real. She can look at the pictures. Or not. She can live in her fragmented life. Or not. It is so entirely up to her.

I hope she chooses a gentle path for herself.