Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How do you respond....

It's not every day that I get a call from my sister.  Let alone a call from her while she is in tears, begging me to tell her how to sign her rights as a parent to the children I am guardian of...  away.

You heard me right.

It was so surreal hearing her voice.  A voice that is so similar to my own.  She kept crying.  I was in complete shock.  I kept asking her to calm down.  The girls are my primary concern, yet I told her, "Please don't make this decision when you are so upset.  Please wait until you are calmer.  I don't want you to regret this."

It's what I've been wanting.  I want to protect those girls from the evils of the world that she exposed them to.  And yet I am trying to play Jimney Cricket, and be a voice of sound reason to her.

I kept asking her what brought this on.  I kept trying to calm her down, but she was crying so hard.  I thought maybe I heard a baby crying in the background, but it was brief.  She sounded so tired.  So defeated.  Like she was an army of one standing against an army of one million.  Kind of like life has beat her down so many times, that she refuses to give it the satisfaction of a good fight.

My heart broke.  I was at work... and I'm pretty certain it fell out of my chest, and I rolled over it with my office chair a couple of times.

M can't understand my connection with her.  He has no love for her, and was thrilled to hear that she is at this breaking point.  He is ready to call the lawyer, go to the justice of peace and get married, and move on with being a "real" family.  I on the other hand remember that she was the one I always played dolls with.  I remember cleaning our room for her because she never was much interested in cleaning.  I remember her taking her Lady Lovely Locks dolls to school for show and tell, then coming home w/o them, and mom being so upset at her for losing her new dolls, but my sister saying, "but mommy... she wanted them, so I gave them to her."  I remember fighting over boys with my sister... and neither of us wound up with any of them.  I remember nearly punching a school mate at the bowling alley b/c she always gave my sister heck, and I was fed up hearing her hurting my sister... again.  I remember how proud she was of me when I graduated from high school.  I remember coming home from college, and staying up late at night with her watching Practical Magic.  I remember her being my only sibling who backed me up when I left my abusive ex husband.  I remember calling her when I needed someone to talk to.

So many people can't understand why I still love her.  But she's my sister.  I will always love her.  I don't agree with decisions and choices she has made.  But she is my sister.  She is my blood.  She and I look a lot alike.  We sound a lot alike.  We act nothing alike.  We shared cut knees, and Barbie doll clothes.  We share the same family.  We share the same blood type.  Heck if one of us needed a kidney... the other could probably provide it.

So I'm listening to her cry.  Speechless.  She is begging me to tell her how to sign the girls over.  I finally get her to tell me why she is so upset.  She is moving away again.  To Arkansas.  This Sunday.  My throat closed, and breathing became difficult.  She is going away again.  This may be the last time the girls or I see her... for a very long time.  Scratch that... the girls won't see her.  They're not ready.  I probably won't see her either.  I'm not ready.  She is going away again.  She is choosing to leave with her boyfriend again.  The same decision she made two and a half years ago.  All over again.  I ask her why.  She tells me that her boyfriend has a job offer... making $20.00 per hour.  She says that she can't be pitted between her boyfriend and their son... and us and her other children.  I can tell this is breaking her heart. 

I tell her again that she doesn't have to do this.  That there are other ways.  She tells me that she isn't as strong as I am, and that she couldn't raise the girls as good as I can.  She tells me that she has to go with her boyfriend back to Arkansas because she has to stay with the baby, and can't bear to be with out all four of her children.

So she's leaving again.  At this point, I am happy that I have protected the girls from knowing she is close.  I am happy that I haven't given into her pleas to see them.  They know nothing about this, and I would like to keep it that way.  Their brother knows about the new baby, and he worries about him, but he has kept it to himself, and hasn't brought his sisters into this insanity.  So admirable for an 8 year old.  He just loves his sisters so much.

I called dad when I got off the phone with Jess.  I let him know what transpired on the phone.  He in turn called mom and made sure she was in the loop.  I know they want to see her one more time before she goes.  Who knows how long it will be before she is back again.

A good friend of mine told me that this is a sign that we need to adopt them.  There is so much to that, though.  M and I might have to get married.  I am a marriage-a-phobe.  How do we even begin the process of adoption...  I e-mailed the Children Services branch in our county, and inquired how we could go about fostering to adopt the girls.  The lady who responded wasn't terribly helpful, and told me I need to go through an attorney or the probate courts.  We have been looking into the Dave Thomas Foundation to get a grant, and from what I understand, we need to be going through an adoption agency before they will consider us.  I am thinking of writing them a letter, explaining our situation, and seeing if they can't help us at all.  Adoption is expensive.

So that is where we stand right now.  I'm still trying to keep a straight face around the girls, and shower them with all the love and affection I can.  V has been struggling in school.  She has graduated from biting into hitting, yelling, screaming, and name calling.  She's very aggressive, and doesn't listen at school very well.  We are hoping this is a phase, and we've just been gently reassuring her of our love, and hoping she will pull out of this too....  quicker than she did the biting.  It's all part of the Reactive Attachment Disorder, though.  She will push and push and push until she realizes we aren't going anywhere.  DQ continues to talk out of turn in class.  She has been on yellow and red more often than green this year.  We just keep trying to redirect the behavior.  I had her write sentences the other day, "I will not get out of my seat or talk out of turn in class."  She did it with little complaining.  Maybe one of these days we will get through to her.  Until then... we just keep trying!

Aunt TT


  1. You are doing everything you can for those girls. I respect that. I'm confused though.... Why would you have to go through the adoption process if she gave you custody willingly? Or would the signing over custody be the beginning of the adoption? Whatever happens, and however it happens, it will all be so worth it in the end. Kudos to you for keeping the girls out of all the drama. I understand completely that you love your sister, but they don't need to be hurt anymore. I'm sure with time and space, later on in the girls' life you will find a way to let her be a part of their life in some way, if she/the girls are willing. Good luck to you!!

  2. Becky,

    We have a wild card in this situation. The biological father. He views the girls as a meal ticket, and tried to take them from me in Early 2010. He visited with them until Oct 2010, and we haven't heard from him since. I am tired of living in fear that he may try again.

    Also the state we live in still charges the biological parent child support... unless we adopt them. Then the child support will be stopped and my sister would owe only what she hasn't paid to the date of the adoption. She has another child to raise, and think about... so I believe it is in her best interest to let us adopt them due to that.

    Thanks for asking!!!