Wow. Something I have to forgive myself for. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ve had a lot in my life I’ve been guilty about… like… REALLY guilty about.
I guess thing thing that haunts me the most is that when I worked for the child protection agency for my state over 7 years ago (omg, where did the time go?!) I was assigned a family to my caseload. It was about 2pm on a Friday afternoon when I found out I had less than 24 hours to go see this family, because they were on the brink of homelessness, due to the behavior of the parents.
Ironically, they were getting kicked out of the shelter I then went on to work for two years later. But I digress.
Anyway, the parents were kicked out of the shelter due to drug seeking behavior. I had about 2 1/2 hours to find them a shelter to get them through the weekend. Dad had been kicked out (and banned from) the only emergency shelter in the area. Fortunately, I was able to convince mom to move in there with the kids – two remarkably cute girls. I worked with the family over the next few weeks, and built a file, waiting to see which direction this would go. I don’t remember what the final straw was, but we wound up getting an ex parte (emergency) order from the court to remove the children from the home and put them in foster care.
The day I went out to serve the parents with the court order, they had vanished – took off to a shelter up north. By the time I called there, they were gone, and no one knew where they went.
Fast forward several years, and I’ve been working at the same homeless shelter the family was kicked out of. I’m chatting with a colleague from another agency, and we some how get to discussing previous jobs. I mention this family, and he tells me that he knows who they are – they ended up across the country, and the mom has since passed away. I can only imagine how those girls are doing – I pray they have a better life than they were lined up to have when I met them.
So, today, I forgive myself for not being able to act sooner to take action to help these kids. I own that I did the best I could, and I am not at fault for anything that happens to them.