It is that time of the year again…festive season and holiday time. At the children’s home it’s again that bittersweet time when the children are preparing for the holidays. For me and the staff at the home it is a mentally and physically draining time. Last week we said goodbye to one of the children who has been in the home for ten years, practically grew up there and it was a mixture of joy(for her starting a new chapter) and sadness(because she had made her home at this place). Some of the children cried like there was a funeral watching her leave with all her belongings she collected over her stay at the home. For the others it was a question of “when will it be my time”. Needless to say I had a busy afternoon trying to console the ones who remain and getting them to see that this exit was a good thing.
Now back to the Christmas planning, it is hard to make plans for those who have nowhere to go and just the thought of them being left all alone when others are gone is heartbreaking. Well I have been trying to find host parents, at least someone who can have some children over for the day or weekend over Christmas. Not an easy task… We also have as plan B a Christmas day celebration so that there is Christmas at home and a good feast for those who will still be in the house by then. And there will be presents for everyone.
It is hectic and I am always sad around this time. What makes me upset though is those guardians who have made no effort to change their circumstances over the years so their children can come back home. Orphans and foreign children I can understand their predicament but children who come from dysfunctional families will always feel the unfairness of not having anywhere to go yet your parents are still alive and probably having a jolly good time for the holidays. Well safety of the children is first and we will not expose them to a risky holiday. Not to speak of all the emergency placement requests I will be getting because of children left all alone or exposed to drugs and alcohol this festive season.
One moment of exceeding joy mixed with tears was when we read out Christmas messages to the girls yesterday. One of the girls who is 12 made a speech about what she is grateful for. I can tell you that what touched me the most coming from this girl who is thought to be mentally challenged was the acknowledgement that the children’s home is her home now. She thanked the social worker (me*biggrin*) and in tears said that when she came she did not speak a word of English but now look at her giving a speech of thanks in English. My heart went out to her and I realised nomatter what we do these children do see and they do appreciate. I realised also that on some level, whether she lacks some cognitive abilities she knows what love is and she has opened up to receive it. These are the moments I live for.
Well I look forward to a busy December with my kids as I call my clients. I am learning motherhood this way and I love it.