My year long internship at my community site is drawing to a close. I am already grieving and plotting ways to stay on as a relief worker, though I don't know when I would possibly have time.
I have come to love so many of the teens I've met and talked with; they return over and over because their needs are often not met right away because of our bizarre system that seems to fail kids over and over despite the best of intentions. One of my favorite kids was sent back home this week. It is breaking my heart. I really wish I could bring him home with me for the rest of his high school years. He has touched me and my life so deeply. I am afraid I will never find out if he succeeds in finding a better life before he becomes jaded and chooses worse coping skills. Last week he was practically sitting on my lap, needing love and a mama, even though he's bigger than me and pretends to be a tough guy.
Another of my favorite teens is back this week. It seems like things are moving in the right direction, but who really knows? I would bring him home with me in a heartbeat too. He would drive me crazy but I would love him anyway. What's different about that than my own kids?
I talked to a beautiful young woman who wants to be a doctor, but who will be lucky to finish high school at this point. She has a lot of challenges ahead of her. Her baby daddy isn't interested and her mama chose a man over her.
I am so in love with this work, with the staff, the kids, everything. I will be lost without "my" kids. I have tried not to get too attached, but my heart tricked me in the end. I am broken up about leaving.
I know CPE is next, and then internship at church - those will fill me up and teach me and form me in other ways. but I will will always carry these other people's babies with me. I have nothing but hope and love for them.