Ever have one of those days where from the moment you wake up you are just in a blah kind of mood? Whether it was because you were tired from staying up way too late watching the game, the weather had finally turned from sunny and warm to arctic cold, or you just woke on the wrong side of the bed? Whatever your reason, we usually wander through the day just going through the motions, and we just can’t wait for a new day so we can be happy again.
Well very recently I had one of those days. I just felt a little off, and to be honest, I was content to be that way all day. I couldn’t wait to get home and just relax! Until I received that ONE phone call. You know what call I’m talking about; it’s the “one” call where you look at the caller ID two and three times deciding whether to answer it or not. Fortunately I did answer, and I am very grateful that I did!
In my position as a Community Engagement Specialist at SaintA, I have the privilege of being a part of our agency’s efforts to inform the community about the need for more foster parents and to explain the various services we offer to children and families. The Community Engagement team goes to various fairs and community events and works with organizations to help express the large need for safe homes for the children of Milwaukee County. And we have events to show our gratitude to our current foster parents for the work they do.
Another enjoyable part of my job is leading prospective foster parent orientations, where we explain to people who may be interested in being a foster parent the licensing process, what will be expected of a foster parent and what a foster parent can expect from SaintA. We also answer any questions the participants might have. Doing these orientations gives me the opportunity to get to know the individuals a little better and to help walk them through the process of receiving a license. And we also talk to them about some of the trauma the children we serve might have experienced and the services we have that can help them and the child.
Remember that phone call I talked about at the beginning? As I stated before, I was having a blah day, and the call turned out to be from someone who recently had been to an orientation. The couple had a few questions, but they were primarily calling to tell me they were sending in their application. They thanked me for answering their questions, taking the time to explain things, and being patient with them. At the end of the conversation they expressed how excited they were to be taking this step in their lives.
This call could not have come at a better time for a couple reasons:
- Because I work closely with SaintA’s incredible placement and licensing teams, I get to attend some of their team meetings. I hear first-hand about the need for homes for the children in foster care, and this family was on the road to providing a safe place for a child.
- At a recent meeting, our Chief Program Officer Denise Pilz talked about “The Book of Awesome,” which discusses how we should not forget about the little things in life; that those little things are the things that make us happy and bring a smile to our faces.
- My blah day turned into a GREAT DAY!
It was the little things like answering a question that to me seemed minor but to this couple was the most important thing in the world. It was taking that extra minute to spend with the couple, giving them my undivided attention. In my mind, I’m just doing my job, but to this couple, and hopefully many more, I was helping them make a decision that will forever affect the life of a child and their family.
Our slogan for foster care is “The Need is Great, The Rewards Are Greater,” and this is very true. We are in need of more foster parents on a consistent basis. And while it may seem daunting at times, I encourage you to look at the little things around you and find the things that make you smile.
Even when you are having a blah day, be sure to answer that phone call because you never know if that is the one call that will change your whole day!
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