My first day at work was wonderful. It felt a little like plopping down on the couch. Some of that may be because a few folks are away for Christmas so it’s a little quieter but still, since my office is located in a residential facility for foster kids, I hear them giggling in the hallway quite often and felt so comfortable that I was able to express my delight about the atmosphere to my boss. His response was to roll his chair over to the door and shout, “Hey Davey, comere!” He likes that atmosphere, too.
My office has a soothing and modern paint job but smells a little like farts and old coffee. One of the file cabinets is covered in signs that read, “File at your own risk!” and “Open one drawer at a time!” There are also several sizes of car seats.
I have already been identified as a mark to my colleagues. I think I gave too much away when I talked about my excitement regarding my brother’s child about to be born and my love for babies in general. A few hours later, the social worker who does placements and the head of the program were agreeing that some Friday there will be a baby that needs a place to stay for the weekend and I’ll be helpless. They’ll load me up with equipment and diapers from the store room and that will be that.
They see me as a mark.
When I told this story to my husband, while also protesting that I wouldn’t ever actually do it, he said very quietly, “It would probably be OK every once in a while.” I love that man.
I must admit, it’s hard to sit in the office all day and listen to the social worker call around to find a placement from December 23-27 for a quiet teenaged mom of a 3-month-old who is succeeding at getting her life together while she’s living with her current family, who are going away for Christmas. I think, “How hard could that be to take out to the suburbs with us for the holiday? My family would be cool with it? Only monsters would not be.”
This is why I’m a mark.
While thinking about t this girl on the bus this morning, my eyes started to tear a little. This job might break my heart but I think it also has great potential to mend it again and to stitch up the world a little while it’s at it. Because I’m pretty sure that someone will take her in. We have 500 families in the local database who have volunteered to be available for just these kinds of phone calls. How cool is that?
It’s nice to know I’m not the only mark - the only fool for Jesus - out there.
as chaperone - I'm just home after a fun and busy week on an island, chaperoning Calvin's cross-country team's annual "running camp". A whole lot of cooking, cleaning, ch...