Social Work is one of those careers in which you can truly make a difference in people’s lives. As a school social worker, I act as a liaison between the school and students’ families, essentially bridging children’s personal lives and education to make sure their needs are being met. You can imagine how many students I wish I could just scoop up and take home! I always come home telling my husband about the stories of some of these kids and their families and how blessed I have been with the opportunity to help them. Because of the line of work I do, I often keep my personal spiritual beliefs to myself and never really discuss being Christian with students or colleagues. One, because I work in public schools where all religions should be respected and taught and two, because I want those I work with to know I will always respect them, and work with them regardless of an affiliation with a religion. But there are some things in life that just present themselves where I can't help but think it was the higher powers that be, that helped facilitate them.....
I spent the last couple weeks before my winter break gathering presents from donors, wishes from families, needs they would like for the holidays and truly playing a little elf. But all while doing this, I was trying to find housing for a student (who we will call Ryan) who was soon to be homeless. The apartment his mother and him shared, would no longer be available for them to stay in after that week. His mother wanted nothing but the best for him but was slowly realizing she could not keep a roof over their heads even working two jobs. As a mother myself now, I can not imagine being in her situation and the worry and stress over trying to make sure her baby was well cared for and had a place to come home to. I was emailing, and asking around of anyone who was willing to open their doors to this young man while his mother went to live with a friend in another state to get her feet back under her. You see, he was just a semester away from graduating from high school and his mother did not want to have to move him during this last crucial semester in his high school career.
I received an email from a fellow colleague wanting to know how he could help a family this holiday season. My initial thought was, really sir!? At this point project adopt a family was about finished. Only a few days left of school....but I never want to turn away someone who wants to give. How could I take advantage of the fact someone wanted to help? Well, I did have one situation I wanted to ask him about :) As this colleague came to see me about the options, I started laying them out and then said "or you could always take in Ryan?" He paused and then started asking me more questions about him. The situation, the background information, everything you could think of that you would start asking if you were going to take in someone to your house. While we were sitting in my office discussing this, I had a knock at the door. I told the person at the door to come in and deliver what they had for me. What this person gave me next was unreal, given the timing of everything that was going on. He was delivering a thank you note Ryan had wrote to me, as this was something the teacher asked his students to do for one person in the building before break. Of all the people Ryan knew (and he didn't even know me all that well), Ryan chose me. He knew I was fighting for him, advocating for him, and ultimately helping his family during this struggle. I looked at my colleague and I said "you won't believe this, this is a thank you note from Ryan for everything I have done for him". Right then and there, we both knew what needed to happen. My colleague picked up the phone and called his wife. Ryan ultimately now has a place to stay for the remainder of the year and has been given such great people to care for him during this time. Now tell me that ain't something someone from up stairs wasn't helping orchestrate.... :)
Peace, Love, Laughter and Wine