a million little parts of my being.
i have two extremely important children entering and leaving my life right now. at the end of the month, the child for whom i've been advocating as a guardian ad litem will be finally leaving the foster care system ... 4 years later.
in a week, i will be meeting with my first child client in therapy.
a going. a coming.
to my g.a.l. child,
when i first met you four years ago, i had no idea where your case was going. i had no idea if you would be returned back home or if you would find a separate forever family. i did not know if you would fall into that oh-so-scary netherworld of not going back home and not having a forever family to go to. you were 10 when we first started visiting. you are 14 now. there is a lot that goes on developmentally there. you are not the same child i first met, but you are the same person. you were a fantastic 10 year old. you are a fantastic 14 year old. you know so many things now that you did not know before. unfortunately, you now know how slow the system is and how heart breakingly long closure (if it comes) takes. and now you know what it's like to have adults listen to you. you know how to use your voice. you know that you are worth believing.
you are so worth believing.
you have a long journey in front of you. 14 is old than 10, but so much younger than anything older than 15. my hopes are for you now. and also for your 15 year old self ... your 18 year old self ... your 30 your old self ... your retired self. my hope is that you find out which stories mean the most to you in your life and to pursue those whole heartedly.
again, because you are so worth it.
good luck, kid.
to my incoming therapy child,
i do not know anything about you besides the fact that you are 6. 6 is supposed to be a fun age - imaginative, sassy, figuring things out, figuring you out. but the simple fact that somebody thinks you need to come speak to me says that something might not be going exactly well somewhere.
i am terrified of you.
i have worked with families and teens and kids and mommies and babies for 11 years, and i am terrified of our time together. will you think that coming to see me will be helpful? is it more your mommy or daddy's idea? will you run out of the room screaming because you are scared or mad or tired or don't know how you feel?
i want you to know that all of those things are ok and that whatever journey we need to take together, i'm in. i'm all in. i hope you like playing and coloring and making art because i'm learning a lot about those things and am excited to do those things with you ... if you want to.
because even if you are "just" 6, you know what? we're going to be working on who you want to be and what kind of feelings you're feeling. your six year old self is awesome. you might not be able to tell me, at least at first, but trust me, kiddo.
i'm going to be listening very, very, very hard to all the different ways you might tell me those things.
these days i'm unable to separate out the hope and anticipation and concern i hold for the people i work with. some days, many days, i just hold the fact that i hold all of these feelings simultaneously. and, especially now in the middle of school/work/internship/wedding/reading/writing/research, that is a lot to hold.