Wednesday, March 9, 2011


She sits next to her mother waiting almost annoyingly, yet hesitantly for the social worker to call her name. I have seen this family at my last few visits to Family Services to pick up the babies from visitation. One time the girl's hair has been blue. Today, it was blond. It seemed to me a cry out – look at me, but don't, really. Her young boldness exuded alongside of her quiet reserve – a contradiction sitting right next to me.

Another young mom ventured in the safe doors with her school-aged boy. I have met them before as well. She tries hard, but she is tired. I don't think anyone helps her. Yet today, she was blessed. Her social worker met them in the lobby with a box of produce for them to take home. There was no holding back or hiding. This young family was excited. If only for a few minutes, her burden was lifted.

Other children come and go. It is hard to tell who belongs to whom. Some of the adults are grandparents. Others are foster parents. Some are so young that it is hard to believe they have children of their own.

It is 5:00 and a line of children moves towards the gym to play. I don't know when these kids are going home, but they are taken care of for now.

The locked door opens and my toddler and baby run through into my arms and the arms of my angel. They were ready to go home. I chat a little with their mother and with the two social workers who work on my case. By 5:20 we are in the car, babies kissed, well wishes made, off for another week.

Grace. That is what it is. Grace that these children have a safe place to come. Grace for teens who want to give up. Grace for moms who need a hand to hold them up when life is tough. Grace for every day for every person, including me.

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