Some days are filled with obvious and miraculous reasons for hope. Some days our girls are making therapeutic progress and embracing the love that we offer, with open arms. Some days the pre-teen girls sit together on the suite floor playing Barbie's and laughing with a heart that believes there is "better" ahead for them. Some days our teen girls actually get along, giggle about cute boys and beg to watch some ridiculous, mind-numbing reality show about dance moms. Some days feel hopeful and normal.
Other days don't offer much of anything in the way of reasons for hope. There are days when anger gets the best of a thirteen year old. She is so angry that she does not know how to gain control over all of the triggers from her abuse and memories of rape. When her anger bullies her, she ends up throwing a few punches and destroying several rooms, all while firing up the fear brain in our other girls, who thought domestic violence scenes were in their past.
Yet, on the darkest days, if you look close enough, you can see glimpses of hope. I have the audacity to hope. I hope, because I look into the prettiest, darkest eyes of a ten-year-old girl who is eager to move in to HOP because the Easter Bunny DOES show up here. She has all of her earthly possessions packed up shoved in this garbage bag and nervously picks at a hangnail trying to avoid eyecontact. Most of her things are torn and small. She loves these things and we treat them with the respect that a couture gown would receive. All of her items are washed, dried and neatly folded. They are then placed into her beautiful new dresser with crimson lined drawers. She is unsure and reactionary with reflexes that would outwit a feral cat. She is posturing mean and angry. That is ok with us. We WILL win her heart and help her heal. We believe in the "slow work of God" (Teilhard de Chardin), so we show up, day after day and love her well, because we have the audacity to hope for her future.
I receive court rulings, recommendations from foster care workers and reports about all of the "deficits that will be permanent" as a result of trauma, and they try to leave me breathless and angry. Hope often feels eclipsed, and it is not always readily discoverable. BUT, hope is there-just waiting for me to grab ahold and with all of the tenacity that I can muster, CHOOSE to remain hopeful.
This is not the end. This present trouble is not the bitter end or the finale! I know WHO has the LAST WORD! I choose to walk around spreading Light to dispell darkness. I find it is MUCH more effective and productive than just making sure that everyone is "aware" of the darkness by announcing all of the hideous forms that it takes on.