I've always been a passionate advocate for people to join the foster care community. It has been of the greatest ways to get outside ourselves and focus on others, by meeting needs of the most vulnerable children in our nation.
Rarely though do I discuss the cost. The time, energy, emotional, and physical demands placed on you by hurting people and the toll that takes.
Over the last 17 years, being the primary nurturer and caregiver to children from hard places alongside raising my own birth children, I've been spat on, kicked, punched, and physically, mentally and emotionally wrung out, as one human trying to do my best to give life in all its fullness to children, who many times may never understand the blessing of being raised in a safe and secure home.
Just this last week, I was told "they would be very happy to be my murderer. I will stab you in the neck, I hate you so much." (over the top responses are normal here, this was because I told them to turn the TV off). And within minutes, being asked to drive them to their afternoon activity.
Pain, confusion, jealousy, always wanting more to fill the enormous gulf inside them. We are not therapists, just families that are struggling along like everyone else.
Rick lives his life very transparently, which you see in our Sunday Lives, where he answers your questions, makes himself available to other builders, and to clients at all hours of the day and night, along with people travelling through who might like a 'quick peek 'through the homes at the village. What we don't discuss, what you don't see, is the work done behind the scenes - juggling plates, schedules, casework meetings, appointments with specialists, all the things that carers everywhere do without fanfare or acclaim.
Recently I read an article that talked about "compassion fatigue" and how after repeated exposure to trauma inducing experiences, after lengthy dealings with people and situations of great emotional, mental and physical pain, we can get to a place where we almost feel numb. Where we have vicariously suffered the trauma of those we are helping and we are done. Empty.
And so here I am.
Last night, after doing all the daily rounds, and knowing my husband would not be home until almost midnight after another home delivery, I retreated to my room for a shower and bed. On my pillow was a card from my daughter and son in law, with beautiful words and a voucher to go out for a 'date night' (what are they?!?!). It was one of the most touching things anyone has ever done for me, especially on the back of my daughter just giving birth herself. It lifted my spirits in unimaginable ways.
So with Mother's Day just around the corner, and knowing we will be at the Hawkesbury Expo that weekend, (May 12-14) we would love to offer some gifts.
If you are a carer, a mum who is looking after special needs children, or know of a mum who would love to be made to feel special for just a little bit, please reach out to us. We would like to send you/them a care package for Mother's Day to say THANK YOU.
To the world you may only be one person, but to one person you are the world. They may never acknowledge you for it, it might all feel hopeless and you wonder why you are bothering, but we know only too well the benefit to society of your efforts. WE SEE YOU!!! We all benefit from mums (and dads) who are doing the hard yards on the daily!
So send us an email, or comment on this post and share your story of who you might like to bless and we will pick some very deserving tiny home loving mums and send something special.