Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:


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Sunday, November 16, 2008

On thick-headedness

I've been thinking about this. How many people do you know who've had their kids put into foster care? If you're reading this blog, then right now, you know at least 1. How many parents do you know of who've had DCF/CPS called on them? How about an opened case?
Not many? Yeah, I didn't think so. Believe me, those of us who have gone through the wringer don't really talk about it. So...I've been thinking about it.
I don't know if your perceptions are like mine were, but when you think of a family who's gotten themselves enmeshed with the State, what do you think? Probably some ghetto family, maybe a single mom, seriously neglected kids at the least and some major issues with the parents. Now keep that image in your head. What about that same family, only after the case is closed? Now what's your image like? Kids still in foster care, Mom's rights terminated? Or maybe the family is still whole, but they've gone back to their old ways, proving this "lesson" hasn't taught them a thing?
Yeah, I used to be right there with ya.
Actually, after our own experiences, I could give you quite a few other hypothetical outcomes. But here's the thing. Not all families who've been through the system turn out like any of those scenarios.
Let me tell you about us. One thing we learned early on in our DCF experience was to claim your issues, and take responsibility. Yes, ma'am. It's not the state's fault you screwed up; it's not your mama or your daddy's fault; it's not because you didn't have everything in life you always wanted. Honey-child, it's YOUR FAULT. And if you can't admit that, claim it, and change it, well, you're gonna be spending a lot of time hollerin' at the wind. Speaking of which...
Another thing we learned was that no matter how fair or unfair, right or wrong, legal or illegal you may feel the Department's actions or rules are, well, they just ARE. You can take that to the bank. It's kinda like arguing with the wind. You can waste your time and energy screaming at it all you want. You can tell it to you won't be effected by it. But then again, you can't see it. You can't tell with any certainty whether it's coming at you from the north or south. You may think it'll come in a roar, but then it could always surprise you by whispering through your town. You just never know, and you can never truly control it.
Now if you are a thick headed kinda person (much like we are), it could go 1 of 3 ways. The 1st thing that could happen is that you don't learn those things I pointed out above. You spend the whole time trying to tell the state what to do, and ultimately, your kids are taken. After that? Well, Parent #1 is still ramming her thick head against the wall, screaming about how she was wronged and is gonna get her babies back...1 day. The 2nd thing that could happen is you could try to be thick headed with the state, eventually realize it's not getting you anywhere, "play them", and once they close out, go back to your old ways. How long do you think it'll be before Parent #2 gets another DCF/CPS case opened? Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. Then the 3rd thing that could happen is you can take that thick headedness, channel it in productive ways against the state (the key here is the word productive), learn from your experience (ya thick headed doof) and make sure that once the case is closed, it never happens again.
I'm proud to say that we fall into the same category as Parent #3.
The one thing I've been really thinking on is that many people don't realize that there are Category 3 families out there. We do our best to make sure our kids are healthy, happy, and successful in school. We pray that God will give us the serenity to accept the things we can't change (like the DCF rules we will live by for the rest of our lives), the courage to change the things we can (like the situations that may have caused the case to be opened in the 1st place), and the wisdom to know the difference. (can you tell Mr. P. and I come from a long line of 12-steppers?)
All I'm saying is that when it comes us Category 3ers, give us a little grace. We're not calling you out on anything when we make comments about our parenting vs yours. Give us a little support. We still live each day in fear of that knock on the door. And give us your prayers. God knows us thick headed people need 'em.

Til next squeak,


4 Squeaks from the Maze:

Cat. said...

Amen.

I seem to be saying that a lot lately in various places.

Mrs. P said...

Saying what Cat? Claim responsibility? LOL.
I find myself thinking that far too often these days, then I look at myself and think "Eeeeesh, shoulda claimed it myself right there."
Doh.

naejeirual said...

You just rock. I love that I've been able to witness how you've channeled your thick-headedness. I love that I can read your blog and nod knowing that I've been on both sides of the judging before, even when it hasn't involved family services. You have a talent for expressing some of the scariest and most frustrating scenarios in life as something bite-sized.

Mrs. P said...

Bite-sized! I love it!
I've been looking for a way to describe blogging to my mom for months now, and i think that's it. Bite-sized. :D
Lil bits of life, and thoughts all typed out and purged from my head.
Yay! Thank you Laurie!

 
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