I am sitting in a very hot room waiting for a pack of teenagers to head my way. I am their teacher. I look forward to every moment of that teaching time but I have to admit, I am relishing the quiet of this room to collect my thoughts before I am overtaken.
Teens are an interesting bunch. They have so much energy and a certain power that resides in their youth. I think that is why many people covet the teen years and wish them back. If the teen years are good, they are very good. If they are not- they are terrible. This is where foster teens struggle. They are in what some would call the prime of their lives and yet things are just not right. Their family is broken, their hearts are broken and often their wills are damaged. Is it possible to work in a life that has been through so much?
I have to answer my own question and say, “Yes! It is possible.”
I caution you though, that much of the work that is put in is often not seen for many, many years. It appears (often) that the investment is a bust. The teenagers that I have fostered, adopted and mentored seem to carry on in the way that they were walking before I came into the picture- nothing monumental changes. Yet, I have it on good authority (from others who have gone before me on this path) that the kids have come into their own in the end. They have fallen back on the information, love and support that they received in their time of need and used that to make better decisions for their futures.
It is difficult to foster/mentor a teen. The intricacy of their lives is often impossible to understand or correct. Yet, the need for teen fostering/mentoring is enormous. Daily more teens are added to the hard to place list. They deserve a shot at normalcy. They deserve the best. If you are interested in fostering or mentoring a teen, contact the local family services organization. They can point you in the right direction. If everyone touched the life of one teen in their lifetime- the world would be a remarkably better place. What an awesome opportunity to change the course of the future for one child. They will respect it in the end. That has been proven.