Attending a funeral at the start of a new year is sobering, to say the least. When talk of health and hope swirls around like a wintery January breeze, I am reminded that death is a cloud looming ever-present.
I had the privilege of listening to a speech today that was meant to inspire educators. It was given by a woman who had overcome incredible obstacles in her life and had woven a beautiful tapestry from the pieces of her trauma.
Kids. They grow up so fast. (And nothing makes me sound older than when I say that phrase.)
My #4 child started Kindergarten this Fall. (It was a glorious day!) #3 cares deeply about how his hair looks; #2 is talking about what college she wants to attend; and #1 just breached 90 pounds and wants to play football. He’s in fourth grade. It feels too soon for this. Slow down a little, guys!
OMD has been acclaimed as ‘a window into the world of child welfare’, an accolade we carry carefully. Our volunteers are unique in that they are welcomed through secure doors, down fluorescent lit hallways, and into humble rooms that offer comfort to children in times of extreme stress.
Sure, we’ve changed our look over the years, but the soul of Office Moms & Dads hasn’t changed a bit. We began with five volunteers (ok, they were all my friends), one location and one handmade apron. Come closer, dears. Let me tell you the tale…
It’s July 20-something, and one of our offices has already reported intake numbers into the 20’s. Let me say it another way. More than 20 children have been removed from their homes due to severe abuse or neglect – one for each day this month – and this is only counting one child welfare office.
A letter from Executive Director, Sarah Desjarlais, explaining why OMD is getting lost this July.
Today was hard. I sat with two little girls for 5 hours. They were only 3 and 5 years old, but so sweet and full of constant energy. We cut out paper hearts, colored, cut and pasted, played with toys, and put puzzles together. The girls wanted to go play in the snow, but we could only look at it through the windows into the parking lot. It was a long time for them to be stuck in an office, but Child Welfare couldn’t find a home for them to go to.
“O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here — that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” – Walt Whitman
A Jew and a Christian walk into a bar.
…have I got your attention? Good. Because it wasn’t a bar, it was a child welfare office, but that felt too wordy for an opening line.