Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday I hit a brick wall...head on.
It took a few days for me to even begin to recover.
And even as I sit down to write, I am not sure how to explain the meeting in Madison. I was so excited to go...couldn't wait to hear from the head of DCFS. Back in August, he had given us his "blessing" to move forward. Challenged us to get families signed up. I did just that.
At one point, a man leaned over to me and whispered, "You know we are having this meeting because of YOU. He heard what you have been doing in Milwaukee."
Shocked. What do you mean? I was just doing what I was told to do.
Now...the head of DCFS sat there and said, "No matter how you try to go around it, you just can't get around statute 48.072. You are going to break the law if you place children in a Safe Family home." He went on with lots of social work talk - "plucking a child out of their home and putting them with strangers...blah, blah, blah...best interest of the child...blah, blah, blah...detrimental for a child to be moved from home...blah, blah,blah." I was still stuck on the "illegal" point.
He has it all wrong!
The executive director of Safe Families was there. Thank God. He said, "I have sat with people in your position in 40 states...and I have never met this type of reaction." 40 states! 40 states have heads of DCFS who are welcoming Safe Families. And our state says, "No. No thank you for wanting to serve...for free...the children most in need."
As the meeting went on, I realized I was outmatched and out of my comfort zone. Everyone in that room is a social worker...or a professor...or a senator...or an appointed head. Me? Stay at home mom here. Terms were used that I didn't understand. Statutes were referenced that I had no clue about. I was out of my league.
I called Joe on the way home. He took it much harder than I did. He said to me, "I have been hanging on because of Safe Families! I have been taking this failing business because I thought God had a bigger plan for our lives...a plan to start Safe Families here!" He was devastated.
We moped all Friday night.
Saturday, I spent the day thinking. We vowed not to talk about it.
Sunday, I woke up ready to fight. But I thought, I have no idea where to go or how to do this. I was frozen with the knowledge that I can't really do this. This fight is too big.
Then, I sat down to read Radical. God spoke to me. "In direct contradiction to the American dream, God actually delights in exalting our inability. He intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need for him. In the process he powerfully demonstrates his ability to provide everything his people need in ways they could have never have mustered up or imagined. And in the end, he makes much of his own name."
Is that where you have me, Lord? Do you want me to be in this completely impossible place...but still move forward?
Posted by Traci Weldie at 5:24 AM