Man, I have been having a hard time motivating myself to write here, feeling as if no one reads it anymore since you are all so silent. Logging into my counter today, however, has informed me that I had over 3,000 unique visitors in just the last month. So I guess y'all are mute. But thanks for coming back nonetheless!
(Side note: I never said y'all before I got to Texas.)
Today was a bit of a difficult day. I went to the group home for a birthday party for one of the girls. I had a great time, but while I was there I learned that three of the girls had left. One of them, age 14, went back to live with her mother, probably prematurely. Another, age 16, ran away. No one knew where she was for several weeks, though now they know she lives with her mother. Finally, an 18 year old moved out - at 18 they are free to do whatever they want - but she does not even have a place to live. She is going from friend to friend, crashing at people's places.
These kids come from broken homes and often abusive situations, and it is so hard for them to make good choices. Hell, it is hard for any kid to make good choices, but when you have issues in your life and lack the type of guidance most kids have, you are even more at risk. The organization I work with provides so much to these kids - not just guidance, but food, shelter, counseling, and a normal, healthy life - but at the end of the day, they cannot force the kids to accept it. It has been a difficult thing for me to acknowledge, the flux of children and the idea that one day they might not be there anymore, and I will never see them again.
Because the 18 year old is of age and is still located in the city, the house parents gave me her cell phone number. I should be able to reach out to her and maintain the relationship if she is willing. I hope that she is.