732 days ago, I entered the court room hoping to be granted temporary custody of my then 4 year old niece, A. I had been granted emergency temporary custody the August before, but this would allow A to stay in our care until K could prove to the courts that she could live on her own and support A properly. Think: Janelle Evans from MTV's Teen Mom.
The courts down here change judges every two years, and we had a new judge for the last court hearing. He made it clear that there was no doubt who the better parent was, and if it had been a divorce case, I would have walked out of that room with full custody, but because it was a familial custody case, he sent A to live with K again, with a few conditions. Little did I know, she wouldn't stick to these rules and people would purposefully keep it from me for the first year, continuing their enabling ways. (Really, I shouldn't be surprised by this. My therapist has to remind me of this often. They will likely NEVER change.)
You would think, after losing your child for several months, you might be more apt to get your life on track, alas, K has not. She continues to make the most ridiculous decisions ever and never in the best interest of her children. Yes, children. Less than a year after getting her daughter back, she gets pregnant by a guy she'd only known a few months.
K has not had much, if any stability in her life since A was placed back in her care. At this point in time, without lots of therapy, I really don't think K is ever capable of properly parenting or doing the right thing for her children. She will never put their best interests before her own. It's not shocking any more, it would be more shocking to find out she did do something right. And no, it's not because I think the worst of my sister or hope she fails at life, but it's a pattern, it's what she knows. It's how she's comfortable living. You can only change what you acknowledge and she doesn't acknowledge that anything is wrong.
A went from being in full-time preschool, with lots of friends, to being yanked out and not in school for six months. She would go from family members house to family members house until they got her into one of the poorest daycares in town. A's still not in a very good school. I'm fairly certain K has not had A for seven days straight since she got custody of her. She always gives her to various family members to babysit, same with the new baby.
A needs stability in her life, our home gave her that. K took it away from her. A judge took it away from her, too. At some point, the court system in America is going to have to open their eyes to see that we should expect more from biological parents, than for them to merely survive. Why can't we want more for the future generations? Why can't we want them to THRIVE? Isn't this instability just going to perpetuate the cycle? At what point is the court system going to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!
Children are not your meal tickets. They are our future generation. You should want more for them than you had yourself. You should try your best to give them more than the bare minimum.
My aunts and uncles sat by and watched me and my siblings not being taken care of properly, and they did nothing. They were all talk and no action. I promise A one thing, I will never, ever give up on her.
As for my sister and father*, she may be able to say you never gave her up, but she will be able to say you never gave her the life she deserved, and you took that chance away from her. I hope you're able to look at her in her beautiful brown eyes and explain yourself one day. I hope it was worth it.
(*My father paid for her legal defense. I place most of the blame on him, because if he hadn't paid for it, I'm pretty sure we would have A still. He only paid for her defense because he hates me and this was a game to him, even if it cost him tens of thousands of dollars.)