Woke up today excited about presenting. Emotionally and mentally I am back up to about 90%... physically, probably at about 80% of where I was before surgery, but it's a huge step up from where I have been while presenting in days past.
Yesterday we met with THE people from the San Antonio region of DFPS (Department of Families and Protective Services). The Program Administrator and several Program Directors who have such huge responsibilities I can't even imagine being them. Imagine having a unit where 700 children at any given time needed your staff to match them with families and get them into permanent homes. I won't share lots of details with you, but I was very impressed with the people we met with and with some of the bold changes they have made over the past year or so to speed up the time it takes to get kids home. They are still plugging away at other challenges as well, fighting one battle at a time through the state bureaucracy that is as big as the state is. And you know, everything's bigger in Texas.
If you know me personally you know that I would not mention this if I wasn't sincere and felt that they were amazing people. I'd just keep my mouth shut if they were jerks. :-)
We then had dinner with a private agency program director who I greatly admire who is doing great work in recruiting and preparing families to adopt older kids. We had an energizing conversation.
I believe this is my 4th trip to San Antonio in the past 7 years to speak to staff and have matching events. There are several people who have been in their jobs these whole seven years and it is really fun to meet with them again and catch up. I also am able to meet more people each time who are doing very hard work and doing it well, despite great odds sometimes.
Today I get to give 4 presentations all crammed into one day. The first is called Disruption Prevention and it is a modification of the 12 Parenting Tips I learned from Parenting 12 kids in 12 years. The second is Developmental Stages in Foster and Adopted Children. This afternoon I get to give my favorite presentation of all the ones I give called the Myths of Matching, followed by the Methods of Matching which is a system of selecting a family that I created to help workers make a more factually related decision for children.
I'm very excited today. It's going to be a great crowd of people -- they have invited many people to be here -- AND the people we met with yesterday -- the administration, are also going to be there to hear me all day. It will be a fun group who are eager to learn.
And, most importantly of all, one more kid might get a home because of something I say today. I'll never know it, and I realize that, but if one worker here's one sentence that motivates her not to give up on a waiting teen .... it will be worth the trip.
Finally, Bart talked to our young smoker who chose not come home last night, causing me a great deal of stress as I tracked him down from here. He finally did come home and Bart and he have talked and things are back to the equilibrium that allows me to relax.
So, life I love ya -- all is groovy........