Grandpa: Superman isn't brave.This was the first time I had heard this concept. I now quote that at my Scout group every year. I explain to them that Courage and Bravery mean doing what you think is right, even when there's a very real possibility it's going to hurt. If you can't get hurt, you can't be brave. Your acts, as Grandpa says, may be good and decent ... but not courageous.
Angus: Did you take your pills this morning?
Grandpa: HeHe. You don't understand. He's smart, handsome, even decent. But he's not brave. No, listen to me. Superman is indestructible, and you can't be brave if you're indestructible. It's people like you and your mother. People who are different, and can be crushed and know it. Yet they keep on going out there every time.
Well, last week it hurt.
Johne came to me asking for help with a potentially abusive situation. He asked me, point blank, to foster him. My immediate reaction was to say no. Instead, as I said in my previous blog entry, I reached out to his dad. Over the course of the next week+, he made a sizeable impression on my family, and when the very real possibility of him needing a foster placement came up, we as a family decided that yes, we would handle that responsibility.
Then, DHS got involved. His mother, in defense of her position in all of this, accused me of grooming (don't click on the link unless you want to say ... eeeww!) her son. She accused me of brainwashing him into saying the things he had shared with me to DHS, as if I had put those ideas into his head. She called the police on me, and reported me to DHS.
Great way to return a favor, yes?
So, I've now been interviewed by the police in the matter. I've had DHS sit down and talk to my foster son (who, fortunately, more or less laughed in their face). For a short time, I was in danger of losing it all ... my foster son, my kids, my freedom.
All because a kid reached out to me for help and I reached back.
Intellectually, I know what I did was right. I stand by every decision I made. I knew the potential consequences, and did what I knew to be right anyway. I know that I'd do it all again if I need to. I know that all that means I should be feeling courageous.
But right now, I'm not feeling courageous. It's taken every ounce of self control I have to even blog about this. To those of you that know me on Facebook have watched this all unfold and have stood by me ... I appreciate it! My courage and my self control are hanging on by a thread, still, but that thread may have snapped if not for the occasional "give me a break" or "WTF" popping up in my comments.
I know that I'll survive. I'll pull it back together. Hopefully when Johne reaches again (I'm confident he will), I'll be strong enough to reach back, even knowing what to expect.
For those of you just catching up with the story ... Thanks for reading. I'm not going to shy away from this, not going to let it interfere with who I am and the good works my family does.
Sometimes courage hurts!
PS: I'm trying to participate in momalom's "Five for Ten" ... it sounds like a good idea. Wish me luck! Click the badge on the right (or here) for details.