Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The "Clean Your Room " Syndrome

One may think that showing all our dirty laundry is a bit TMI. But for me it's not. This is the reality of our life, the path we choose and the choices our children, forever and temporary, have made.

 A couple weeks ago we made the decision to add a 6th child to our home. This particular child's mother did provide me with some clothing items. However, she had her own serious issues to deal with and it took a while for her to get her bearings and provide me with a bag of clothes. In the mean time we bought some clothes and shoes for this child. Almost instantly, this child lost his new shoes. I have been looking for them for several days now. Yesterday I gave up and called all 6 children to the living room and announced that is time to  "Clean our Bedrooms". Less than a minute later this pile of "dirty" laundry landed in front of the washer. Now mind you I don't believe that 90% of it has been unfolded let alone worn since it was last washed. But I do feel confident that all of it has been walked on, rubbed around in their floor and probably used to wipe up what ever drinks they have managed to sneak to their rooms.

Now our new "Shoe Boy" looked at me like a deer in headlights. He even ask  me 3 times if he has to help clean. Did I really mean "him"? Seriously? Well yes,"Shoe Boy" as long as you are living in this house you will help clean up after yourself. I still got "Really? But I didn't make a mess ". Sorry for your bad luck of landing in what I feel may be the most cluttered foster home ever, but yep, everyone here cleans up.

I will say, once he was over the shock he cleaned up without much hassle, just the occasional redirection but what kid don't get distracted when cleaning.

Often times I wonder what we are thinking taking all of these children into our home and being repaid with complaints, messes, poopy diapers and piles of laundry.

First let me say that I would love to be able to quote a verse from the Bible and go on about how we are commanded by God to take care of  orphans.  However, even though it is true that the Bible says all this.... That is not why I personally foster. I do it because I believe in people, I believe that people can change, and that even though we all mess up our lives at times, most people are good.

I also do it because I was once a single mother, struggling to manage life with two girls who were struggling with life after divorce. I didn't have a drug or alcohol addiction, I wasn't codependent and I had a decent job, but life was hard. I barely kept my head above water financially and emotionally I lived on autopilot. I don't know how I would have managed life in general if I had of also been burdened with addiction or a victim mentality. I do know what it is like to be in over my head and feel like there is not one person around that is willing to throw me a life preserver.

And then there are the kids, Misunderstood behaviors, distracted, broken kids who have been broken by poor choices and bad actions of a lot of people other than themselves. The kids that are making my house a mess and my life complicated and at the same time giving me hope that they can at some point return home to their parents, or be adopted, but most importantly break the cycle of poor choice making that landed them in foster care and their parents at rock bottom. Maybe I am delusional to be believe in them all, but I do and therefore I stay on this roller coaster.

So for me, a full day of washing not exactly dirty clothes is not my ideal way to spend my time. But it is what I will do in order to survive another chaotic day in this life that we have chosen..or this life that chose us.. either way laundry is the reality of our life today.