Sunday, July 20, 2008

I dare you.

I got to thinking tonight. I miss blogging. I was going to sit down and put in a couple hours of work to get a head start on my twenty, but this seemed like much more fun, so here we are. You and me. Spending a little time together.

While I have you. Go check out Klin at Monkeying Around The Jungle. This lady is a therapist, and let me tell you. She's pretty freaking awesome. In the little time I've known her through blogging, she has shared some AMAZING insights with me. She's changed my life, and I bet she doesn't even know it. I love her. She's a gift to me. Go tell her how amazing she is, because she deserves to hear those words. She totally does.

She has a recent post about becoming a "proctor parent", which she explains is similar to foster parenting, but only now to those that have been in trouble with the law. She writes, and read this closely: "As a society, too many children are being thrown away. I am very opposed to this. How do we expect people to make good choices when they have only been shown poor choices? They haven't had a safe place to grow up. They haven't had their needs met. They have been physically and sexually abused. They have been told they are worthless and have been shown that when an adult gets upset they become the punching bag. I want to show them that they are a person of worth. They can succeed by making right choices. They are not for hurting. There are different ways to live. I want them to know that God has answered their prayer to be safe and to be loved."

My heart felt two things when I read those words. Joy and sorrow. I was that kid. My brother, sister, and I were those kids. Days, weeks, months passed and how my heart ached that some one would notice. Some one would hear. Some one would see the bruises. Some one would realize the extreme oddities in my home. It would have only taken one adult.

I've decided to be that one person. We have a family in my neighborhood that needs extreme aide. The family is made of a single mom and three boys. The mom is timid and seemingly a ditz. The boys are "good" kids, under the correct circumstances. The two older boys are friends with my two oldest children, and under close watch, and countless explanation of our house rules, we fare well together. We've chosen to be a safe place for those kids. I did a lot for that family last year: clothes, food, shoes, Christmas. I finally felt like they'd gotten over the hump, but 'twas not so. The boys were here just a couple weeks ago, were asking for many meals, and it finally dawned on me that they weren't eating at home. The boys had not eaten in THREE days. The more I thought about it, the more I became angry. I excused myself, gathered what extra food I had in the house, and sent it home with the oldest neighbor boy, and invited him back for a pancake lunch. I thought for the rest of the day and I decided to call the mother. I called her and I told her to not speak. I told her I had been watching her home closely, her boys closely. I told her I knew about the drugs done at her house, I told her about her boy that was getting hit by one of her "friends". I told her I knew they had no food. I told her if she didn't make some sudden drastic changes, that I would call the authorities. We had that conversation, and I didn't see or hear from that family for about 2 weeks. Didn't hear from her, but saw that the flocks of men we no longer at her house. Gone were the drugs, gone were the parties. I was thankful, but I was saddened, because I missed the boys. I decided to call her. I told her I was able to get her some aide through my church, so they could have some extra food, that she should come meet with me and couple church women today so we could get her some help. I told her I missed the boys, that they were welcome in my home any time. About an hour before our meeting today, her boys came to play. The meeting came and went, we chatted, good feelings were felt. She turned to leave and she said "Misty, you are the best". Phew. There is a God and He loves me. He loves me, her, and those boys.

I sighed and shooed the last of her kids out the door so I could make dinner, and said a quiet prayer. I'm glad I have those boys. I'm glad those boys have me.

One person can make a difference. One person can change a life. One person can provide safety and love.

I needed that one person, and I didn't get that. I challenge us all to be that one person in some other child's life. It will stir with in that child a life time of change. Do it. Look for the opportunity.
I dare you.


Kami said...

Misty, I can't even exress to you how amazed I am at your courage. To do that took a lot of courage, I would be scared to.

Your heart? Full of the goodness that the Lord seeks for all of us.

Thanks for the dare, you are changing the world, one person at a time.

I <3 you!

4funboys said...

I'm glad it worked out for these boys this time...

I work with at risk kids ... this is a rare story. More often than not, it doesn't go down like this for kids.

This has God's fingerprints all over it!

Amy said...

You have reminded me to stretch myself, to look beyond what I want to see, to step outside of the safety of my own solitude. God is not happy when I stay there. Maybe it is not much, but I know my brother's kids need more than I have been giving. And my own daughter... I just need to hold her. I love you, Misty.

Misty said...

4 Fun Boys,

In response:

I'm aware that this situation is rare. Not the abuse, but the outcome. I lived this story for 16 years of my life, minus drug use in my home. But. In the next breath. It's not too much to ask for some one to take the time to love a child. Perhaps they can't swoop in and rescue them, BUT, they can be kind. They can be loving. They can show a child that they have value. I'm also aware of how flawed Child Protective Services is. I know many, MANY child go neglected and unnoticed. Many children live beaten AND abused. I did. Even as a teen in high school. But, I stand by what I've challenged - - FIND a way to help. FIND a way to make a difference. As I am aware you have found a way, yourself, to help. Miracles happen. Even the tiny ones we don't get to see first hand. I know the random acts of love and kindness that fell into my lap when I was a child helped me to feel whole, even if only for a short time. It's important for me, to give that to some one else. If some one doesn't know what to do - seek counsel. Get help from the authorities. Ask the questions. Find a way to pass your light on to a child in need. Children are our future. They are innocent and worthy of this goal.

PokeyAnn said...

I love, love, love you! You know all the reasons why! It took a bit of my childhood pain away to read about what you did for those boys. For a moment, someone was there for them, for a moment, they knew they were safe and cared for. And even if it's only a moment, you and I both know how precious those moments are. How much they will cleave to them in the future, how much power it has to heal them in the future. And hopefully even in the hear and now they will be able to get what they need and the family will be able to grow together and change. You amaze me so much for doing this!

LaskiGal said...

You've given us all yet another reason to step up!

You are amazing. There is a light in you, Misty. A very, very bright light.

Anna-borderline-bonkers-banana :) said...

Oh Misty, you bring tears to my eye with this post. You are so amazing! To see the issues and deal with them and help because you know and can see what needs to happen. You are so brave and , gosh, I hope that if I am ever faces with a situation like this I can be like you.
The love of God shines through you.

just jamie said...

That's the best dare I've ever received. And Misty, YOU are an angel. Everything about you is just a treat! Miss you.

My Full Hands said...

You gave me chills, really. It is too true that it is easy to get caught up in the percieved chaos of our own lives and not recognize those around us who really, really are suffering. Especially the children. What a blessing you are to those boys and their mother. May you be blessed for all you do and all you have and are overcoming.

Holly said...

Wow, and here I am, annoyed most of the time when there are tons of extra kids over. I need to take more time to observe them. You are a remarkable person, my friend, and you are making a difference in this world.

Lara said...

I think maybe situations like this are the times you can use your own experience. So many of us aren't even aware of these things because we haven't lived it like you have.

You rock.

Mandi said...

What, I wrote a whole huge reply to this yesterday and its not here, :(

Just wanted to let you know you have been tagged - go see my blog!!

kathyann said...

Hi Misty,computer is still down so I've borrowed Beth's laptop again!
Gosh I do miss coming here regularly to visit!
Misty I know why we are drawn to one another,you are so like me in so many ways you could be one of my daughters!
I am so proud of the way you handle this sitution with the young mum and her boys,thanks to you this lady has found a real friend to herself and her boys,it took some guts to do what you did and now I hope and pray that with your help this lady will stay on the right path!!
I was a foster mum to many abused children and think of them often and wonder how they are getting on now,many of them will be teenagers and I do so hope that our family values have stayed with them!
Recently my daughter Ceri had to give evidence to the police about a neighbour who was abusing her little girl and she too was being starved,from what this little girl told the social services she was taken into care and she is now living happily with a lovely foster family getting the love and care she never got from her own mum!!Thanks to you hopefully the family you helped have put thing right before it got too far and she had them taken from her!
We too have helped so many families is so many different circumstances,with food,household items and support,I, like you could never see anyone stuck and will always help out where ever I can and my this has rubbed off on my girls too,we always say there are people far worse off than we are and although we don't have much we will still give what help we can.I just think if we all just tried to think of others the world would be a better place!God Bless.
Take care,Love from Kathy and the girls

Marie said...

Hey Misty, I am back from my hols and playing catch up. I love this post and I applaud your courage. You did what any loving neighbour and good human being should do. It puts me in mind of a little boy named John Ryan Turner who died at the age of 3 back in Canada some years back. He died of starvation, neglect and abuse. His neighbours watched it happen, day by day, but nobody spoke up. I knew one of his neighbours and she was the wife of a military policeman . . . I am so glad that I don't have to live with that on my conscience as she must. I have reported people in the past and would again if I had to. It's worth it. I love you Misty and what you stand for. ((((hugs)))

Klin said...

I am crying. I just love children. All of us. Life doesn't have to be painful in some of the ways it is.

I realized that kids do well at my home when the neighbors were complaining about some kids and I didn't have the same experience they were describing. I decided to ask the kids why they were good at my home and not others. They told me that they didn't want to make me mad. They knew I loved them. They knew my rules. They knew I would protect them. They told me that they knew they could come over anytime they needed to and that I would get mad and give them "the look" when they broke rules. I would also sit down and talk to them and tell them what to do to make choices.

This was the difference. I talked to them. I taught them. That came easy for me. Why not help others?

I am so glad you are able to reach out and let this mom know that she needs to make changes.

Love is the only house big enough for all the pain in the world. Thank you for helping with the pain of those boys. You will be repaid 10-fold in ways you won't even begin to imagine.

You are so amazing. I am impressed by your strength and perseverance. I also think you have the most beautiful children.