I had an interesting trip to the grocery store this afternoon. The interesting part really had nothing to do with the grocery store, but let's just start there and try to work our way through things. I'm writing this post for a few reasons. The first reason is because I'm trying to work through the awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. The second reason is because I'm trying to find the lesson for myself and the rest of humanity. That said, here goes...
I took my boys grocery shopping while the girls stayed home with dad. For those who don't know me, that means it was just my 6.5 month pregnant self along with some handsome little men (3 and 9). We were making our way through the store with 2 carts and by the time we left for the parking lot we were broke and using 3 carts for our plethora of groceries. (Shopping for a family of 6 going on 7 is no joke my friends). I loaded up the van, put the carts away, and we were headed to Starbucks for a little treat when we noticed an odd altercation at the back of the parking lot. I won't get into the details since there's a lot of he said/she said in any domestic issue.
This was one of those moments when you see people in trouble and you say a prayer but God pulls at your heartstrings and you know you need to do something. In this case there were 2 small children involved (2 and 5). In hindsight, maybe I should have kept driving...but that's not where the spirit led us today. The beautiful thing is my husband admitted he would have done the same thing. It feels so good to be married to someone who follows the same moral compass I do. Anyway, the people I was trying to help didn't really want help. Well...I think they do, but it's complicated. Thanks to my amazing network of friends, we did manage to set some wheels in motion. However, there's some follow up that needs to be done.
If you find yourself in a situation where there are children being placed in a dangerous situation, the best thing to do is involve the authorities. Today, I discretely contacted a friend who called the non-emergency line and got an officer out to help. Another friend witnessed the scenario and both she and I will be calling Human Services in the morning. The adults can seek help when and if they are ready, but my heart truly goes out to the children. It would be a good idea to save the numbers for your local authorities and if you find yourself in a situation where children need your help, you can quickly get in touch with those who have the tools and resources to help.
I'm still not sure how I'm feeling about the situation in general. Did I do the right thing? Did I put my children in a potentially dangerous situation? How am I going to feel in the future when the children involved follow in their parent's foot steps? Is God urging me to become a foster parent? I really don't have the answers, but I do know I called my friend who works in the judicial system with children and families and I thanked her for all she does. I also hugged my spouse and my children even more than usual because I appreciate the simplicity of my life.
Please pray for those families in turmoil. If you are in a bad place, please know we are praying for you; and there are people who care about you and your children.
Sending hugs from my happy little corner of the cornfield tonight.
May your paths be abundantly filled with sugar, lemons, sunshine, and love.