On three separate occasions this week I have been reminded of one of the great privileges that we are allowed as Braid, whether as mentors, facilitators or staff.
The first occasion was the launch of our newest team.
Rebecca and I had traveled out to the southwest of the city and awaited the arrival of our new team of wonderful mentors and their wonderful facilitator.
As we waited on the corner of the street we saw the young person’s coach from Edgewood arrive. In the end seven of us ended up at the front door.
We apologized for there being so many of us, and some of us offered to remain outside. But, the caregiver insisted that we enter and said, “Let’s make a party.”
The second occasion actually occurred over the course of a few weeks.
We received a referral from a new agency for a youth who lives with their grandmother, who like so many of our caregivers are raising multiple grandchildren.
It has taken several attempts to reach this grandmother because she is overwhelmed by the foster system, raising grandchildren, and her life circumstances. All of which she has shared with us. Not as an excuse, but as an invitation to join her in her life’s journey as it is.
The third occasion was talking to a mentor who reminded us of the occasion when her team was invited into the home of their youth for their visit as the youth had been “grounded.”
While in the home the team experienced their day-to-day life that included all the challenges that come with being impoverished in any number of ways, including physical and emotional poverty.
The gift that I was reminded of on these three occasions is the trust of caregivers to open up their lives to us and to welcome us in.
In the first instance it was a literal welcome into the house.
In the second, a welcome into the struggles of life.
In the third, a welcome to be trusted members of the family’s larger community.
This is not always the case with all of our caregivers. There are obviously exceptions. There always are in life.
Yet, I find myself grateful for those caregivers who are willing to make themselves vulnerable and to allow a community of strangers into the fabric of their lives. Caregivers who also have little reason to trust and yet challenge themselves to learn to trust. And hope. And lean into communion. In a vulnerable way.
Allowing us to bring the gift that is us. You. To their family.