Greetings, CASA supporters!
I had a proud mama moment this past weekend.
My daughter, just shy of 4, worked up the courage to jump into the swimming pool all by herself. From the side, mind you, not the steps.
That may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme, but to a 4-year-old, it is very much a Big Deal. In the past, she demanded that her father or I catch her, refusing to risk the water splashing into her face or rushing over her head.
But over the weekend something clicked, and now jumping in from the side is all she wants to do.
I wish you could see her, in her mermaid swimsuit and orange floatie.
She pauses at the edge of the concrete to make sure we’re watching. Stretching out her arms like airplane wings, she begins the count. Sometimes it’s to three, sometimes it’s to “eleventeen” or twenty.
Then she pushes off, tucks her knees in and cannonballs into the pool. The water rushes over her head; sometimes she comes up sputtering. But now she immediately starts paddling for the steps so she can do it again.
May is National Foster Care Month, and it occurred to me that many of our foster families approach this important work much like my daughter approaches the pool. They stand poised, ready for the call from the caseworker. When it comes, they plunge headfirst into the child welfare system, a roller coaster ride of appointments, assessments and visits.
It’s not always a smooth entry. Sometimes they feel underwater, sometimes they sputter a little. But the incredible work that foster parents do – giving traumatized children a safe place to land – is absolutely vital to our communities and our state.
Without dedicated, determined foster parents and extended biological families, our children would continue to flounder. We at CASA are proud to honor foster families throughout this month each and every year.
May we all feel so strongly called to something that we fling our arms out, push off from the shore and jump right in, free of inhibitions and trusting in the process. Indeed, what a splash we could make if we all jumped together.