Best Advice, Ever!

writing-challengesThe site that hosts my blog, WordPress.com, has this terrific tool for bloggers called the Weekly Writing Challenge. Today’s challenge, in essence, what’s the best or worst advice you’ve ever gotten? A perfect writing prompt for today’s thank you.

When my husband and I had guardianship of our three grandchildren there was so much to learn “on the job”. Navigating the educational, social, emotional, and basic daily needs of three kids between the ages of 5 and 12,was not a job for the faint of heart; which is not news to any parents out there reading this post. My family was super supportive in almost every way imaginable, however, where we lacked some expertise was in the legal system.

social-work2I work in an agency that provides services to many a foster and adoptive parent every day. The knowledge of and skill at negotiating the intricacies of probate courts, family courts, home visits, intra-state compacts, and state child welfare agencies, can make the layperson’s head just spin! In order to learn how to maximize the services that the grandkids might be able to access, I needed to call on the experienced and dedicated social workers who walked by my office door every day.

On my worst days, there was always someone I could find to offer a suggestion or recommendation. The struggle was typically evident on my face or in my voice, as I was asked by Michelle, Tina, Dana or Ardelle, “How’s it going with the kids?” The biggest challenge I faced was during the court hearings to determine whether or not the kids would return to their mother, or stay with us. An emotionally and physically draining process, plenty of advice was freely offered by my colleagues, and one bit of it early on is what kept me going: “Everything will be alright in the end; if it’s not, then you’re not at the end.”

After two weeks, that included four days of testimony, money spent on a hotel for my stepdaughter, and trying to keep a sense of normal in our days; it was time to let go. I had to believe we’d come to the end [of our legal battle], and that everything would, in fact, be alright.

The words of wisdom from my caring and insightful co-worker, were still ringing in my ears as I said good-bye to the kids and sent them on their way to Arizona. I’ve shared that advice with others since it was imparted on me, and I’m thankful for the committed ladies who families like mine every day!

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