It was 10 years ago when we spent the summer of 2004 getting Blessing House ready to be able to take care of children. Renovations were being made, the yard was being prepared, and furniture was being accumulated. We were working on getting a license and trying to coordinate funding, the hiring of employees, and spreading the word about Blessing House. The dream was coming closer to being real, but wasn’t quite there yet.
It was during this time that we held one of our board meetings at the house so everyone could see how the plans were coming. We stood in the backyard and looked at the three scraggly pine trees that stood tall in the middle of the yard. Someone suggested that we take down the trees because they really didn’t look very good or healthy. Then someone else mentioned that even though they didn’t look very good, they did generate some shade that would be nice for the kids when they played outside on a hot day.
Then Maureen who was also a social worker commented, “These trees remind me a lot about the kids we are going to care for. They are misshapen, have some dead wood in them, and are far from perfect. But even though they are far from perfect, they have character and they are a part of who we are. I think we should keep them.”
And so we did.
This morning I was looking at them again, and it seemed to me that the three trees look identical to what they looked like 5 years ago. No better, no worse. Still misshapen, still with some dead wood, and still far from perfect.
10 years ago, we really didn’t know what our children would be like, but Maureen did. She knew that Blessing House would be a perfect place for imperfect children and she wanted us to remember that. She wanted us to open our arms to all children and to welcome them, giving them a place where they would be accepted as they are, even if they were misshapen, carrying some dead wood, or were far from perfect.
And so we have.