Hailey Branson-Potts has a story at the LATimes that will wreck your soul: a profile of Mohamed Bzeek, a Muslim in LA who takes in foster children with terminal illnesses:
The children were going to die. Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway — the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County’s sprawling foster care system. He has buried about 10 children. Some died in his arms.
Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.
Of the 35,000 children monitored by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services, there are about 600 children at any given time who fall under the care of the department’s Medical Case Management Services, which serves those with the most severe medical needs, said Rosella Yousef, an assistant regional administrator for the unit. There is a dire need for foster parents to care for such children.
And there is only one person like Bzeek.
Being a foster parent is something I’ve considered over the years, but it must take a special kind of person to repeatedly be a foster parent for children who are terminally ill. The willingness to endure the psychological toll of caring for these children, and still have the wherewithal to welcome new in new ones, time after time. It is unimaginable.
God bless people like Bzeek.
Melissa Lafsky lays down some harsh truths about what it means to commit to spend the rest of your life with a single person (and how weddings bring it all out):
Everything you don’t absolutely adore about this magical human you’ve pledged yourself to is going to now manifest itself in wild screechy detail. You will fight about things you didn’t even register during those blissful days of moonlit walks and Sunday afternoon sex. Eventually, you will have to face a stunning reality: The person you are marrying is exactly who she/he is, and will never be anyone else. Not now, and not once you’re married. Whether that’s a beatific thing or a source of night terrors all depends on you. (Note that I didn’t say it depends on your partner. If you don’t like what you’re marrying, then it’s on you to either get over it or call it off. Sorry!!)
All your interactions will be weighed with a new gravity. When you do fight, it’s fighting as a COUPLE THAT WILL BE MARRIED. Those things that were mere annoyances are now albatrosses draping your shoulders for eternity. (Seriously, it’s no coincidence that Coleridge’s Mariner ranted to a wedding guest).
Tracy Clark-Flory wrote a piece reporting on “love fraud,” where scammers convince marks to fall in love and send them money. It’s a fine piece, but I was really hit by this last paragraph:
It’s easy to hear these stories and think, “What dupes.” But who isn’t looking for some form of connection and understanding online, whether it’s on Facebook or OKCupid? We broadcast so much of ourselves — sometimes unwittingly revealing our greatest hopes and fears — and romance scammers use those personal details to target a collective craving. That’s the real enabler in these cons, and its one most of us are vulnerable to: The desire for love. As one user wrote to a troubled poster who expressed still finding enjoyment in talking to her scammer despite having found out the truth about them, “Stay strong – someone will eventually come that will be honest and not wanting to play with your feelings.”
Sorry the updates have been sparse all week. I’ve spent the past five days at an intense photography seminar with the amazing Jerry Ghionis. I have a TON to say about this that will definitely go into a blog post about the entire experience early next week. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share this interesting opinion piece I came upon by eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren (via Kevin):
[I]nspiring marriages don’t happen by accident. They require highly informed and carefully reasoned choices. Commitment and hard work are factors too. But after decades of working with a few thousand well-intended and hardworking married people, I’ve become convinced that 75 percent of what culminates in a disappointing marriage — or a great marriage — has far less to do with hard work and far more to do with partner selection based on “broad-based compatibility.” It became clear to me that signs which were predictive of the huge differences between eventually disappointing and ultimately great marriages were obvious during the premarital phase of relationships.