I started a whole new life (work wise) on Monday. I am totally and completely swimming in a sea of regulations, rules, and work. I start my training on the 20th, but before I can do that I have a long list of things to read and do. Just the regulations of law alone are enough to make me insane. Not to mention I have to take a test on it all the first day of training.
I have been shadowing workers all week as they do different things. I have been to court to watch workers like myself testify before the judges and DA's about whether the parent (most of the time, mother) is completeling her drug treatment plan and testing negative for drugs. I have supervised a visition between parents and child, and then today I visited a local hospital that had called for the third time today to report a baby born who tested positive for Meth.
I have to say it is going to be very difficult to find that place within myself where I can get over my anger and be empathetic enough to try to get the parents to a place where they want to help themselves enough to be responsible parents. Unfortunately, the caseworkers tell me that more often than not, parental rights are terminated. I cannot even imagine.
This morning when I dropped the girls off with my mom Rachel had the first ever "Mommy don't leave me" meltdown. I supposed I should count my blessings we made it this far, but by the time I actually did get out the door I was crying right along with her. As a drove to work after that, I thought about all the things I had seen in just my two short days on the job. I was so afraid I was being a dissapointent to Rachel, as a mother, and here I was working with mothers who felt no remorse for subjecting their poor unborn children to a life sentence of debilitating problems. It's going to really take a lot of learning on my part to understand the process of thought of some of these people. Well, understand may not be the right word. I don't know that I will ever understand, but you get the idea.
I fear the hardest lesson will be the one that comes with no instructions, regulations or books, and that will be the emotional lessons. Getting past my indignation and anger and finding compassion enough to try to help these mothers. I think the thing that is going to humble me the most is thinking that Christ not only gave his life for me, but He did the same for that drug addicted mother sitting across the table from me. If He can love her that much, I can learn to do it too with His help.