I don’t generally talk about my personal life on my blog. Typically it’s a little bit of an escape for me. But lately, the overwhelming sadness has taken over our lives. I haven’t actually cooked much of anything in weeks, other than just plain vegetables so I’ve been trying to spread out the recipes I’ve made as much as possible.
So I’m not sure exactly why I’m typing this now. But here it is. A cry to the universe for some answers or the tiniest sprinkle of peace.
Also, I ask for your forgiveness in advance for the potentially morbid future posts.
9 months ago a little man came into our lives.
That was the day after we met him. Cute, isn’t he? Well, we think he is.
The funny thing is, I didn’t want kids. I was horribly abused as a child by people that were supposed to love me, and I was afraid I didn’t have the capacity the love a child. But when we walked into the trailer he was living in, my entire world turned upside down and inside out. I fell instantly and unequivocally head over heals in love with him.
We were asked to bring him home and raise him as our own. Not really sure what to do or think other than that he needed a home and that he didn’t even recognize his own mother and she didn’t want anything to do with him, we did. We bought him his first crib, and he’s been with us ever since.
A number of months passed and his mother never once asked after him. Never contacted us. We tried to get medical release papers, every person in the family asked, and she couldn’t seem to make time for it. Until she needed money, then she asked for some in exchange for giving us the ability to take her son to the doctor and get him the shots he never got, and the checkup he hadn’t had since he was born. After we said no, we didn’t hear from her again. And nobody could get in touch with her.
My whole family was supporting us, “Let her hang herself,” they told us – meaning not to call DCF until she had no chance whatsoever of getting him back. They didn’t want him going back to her. After all, she smoked pot in the same room as him, she smoked in the house with him, she let him eat a cigarette butt and laughed it off. And we could count on one hand the number of times he’d been OUTSIDE.
We just wanted to do what was right for him.
When we finally called DCF, she decided to perk right up and suddenly be interested. Oh? Interested now that someone is looking? Where were you the past how many months when we needed to take him to the doctor?
She got her case plan in November and has been following it. APPARENTLY taking a bus to parenting classes shows dedication.
We are the ones that have stayed up all night with him when he was sick/teething.
We are the ones that comforted him through the pain of his first tooth.
My husband is the one he took his first steps to.
He ran for the first time to me.
We got him his first book.
We got him his first crib.
We took him to the library for the first time.
And to this day, he still doesn’t recognize his “mother.” He still reaches back for us when we take him to visitations. He squeals and runs to us from her when we go to pick him up.
But we’re not his biological mother. We have no rights. Nevermind the fact that he doesn’t KNOW her despite weekly visits and the fact that he supposedly “needs his mother.”
We’re nothing, other than a place holder in his life. Could we get a lawyer? Maybe. For what? To lose thousands of dollars that we don’t have on a situation we never had a hope to win.
After all, Florida is about “keeping families together.” At all costs, especially the child – the one the “system” is supposed to protect. And we have absolutely no recourse. We’ve offered to adopt him, but nobody cares – the mother is the one that has all the rights. We’re essentially just foster parents.
We have learned that children are possessions and that while we’ve been fighting to love and protect this little person, while the court has been trying to return property to the original owner.
He’s our world. He’s our heart. He’s everything we never wanted or expected in our lives.
We KNEW from the beginning that we would be hurt. We chose to love him with our whole hearts, not holding back for one moment because we knew he deserved better. We knew a day might come when he’d go back to a home where he’s note even wanted, much less loved.
What we didn’t know is that our whole family would turn against us once we called DCF, and that I would end up along except my husband and the family I married into (and love very much).
What we also didn’t know, is just how much this would hurt.
We’ve been living for months with this hanging over our heads. We knew for a while we’d be losing him soon, but we have been trying to live every day in the moment as much as possible. We’ve been hanging onto some small sense of false hope that the stars would align themselves and protect him from this trauma…. of being pulled away from the people he knows as his parents to be given back to a girl he doesn’t know, that doesn’t know him, that abandoned him.
But the fact of the matter is, we’re losing him. And the time is almost here. Less than 3 months to go. In just a few short weeks he starts overnight visits. No, she doesn’t have a roof for him, but my also-abusive aunt (remember the one that told us to let her hang herself so she’d never get him back) does, and that’s good enough for DCF.
Working, taking care of a child, and trying to keep your head just above the most earth shattering depression is more difficult than it sounds. We know we have to be strong for him, and thankfully when he’s near us we are blessed with near super-human strength.
But the moment he’s out of our sight, the tears flow and our just-barely-glued-together hearts crumble, heavy with the knowledge that after court on 6-20, we will see him walk away from us for the last time.
Support and love welcomed. Questions are not.