Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Bit of Background

I first met Frankie when she was 14. She was an attractive tomboy that didn't need anyone. She was tall and thin and had been in foster care since she was 9. Her Mother had been an alcoholic and had lost all 4 of her children after many abusive relationships with men. She eventually passed away before she could regain custody and a great aunt took Frankie in. Being traumatized by the horrible events she had witnessed in her short life, this placement couldn't maintain and I got her. Her SW told me she was impossible to deal with and whatever I did just don't try to hug her.

I love a challenge and being only 21 myself I thought I could fix her with love. After a while she began to trust me a bit and we were able to work through some of her issues. We had a wonderful therapist and she included me in everything. I had no idea at the time she was helping us forge a bond. She ran every time things got too close and I would chase her down and bring her home. As a real adult I don't know if I would handle things the same way but it worked her at the time, she felt I cared enough to find her and that's what she needed to know.

At some point her older sister stepped in and claimed she wanted her. I had reservations about her ability to handle her but it was not up to me. I would have adopted her and kept her but she wanted to go to her sisters so badly. Once she moved we maintained close contact for years, I went to her graduation and she was the only person in our wedding. It has faded out at times when she was using badly and was ashamed. She has worked for my DH over the years to make money and calls us her family.

When she gave birth to her first child, she struggled to bond with her physically disfigured daughter and we kept her for weeks at a time. She realized pretty early on she couldn't be stable enough for her and couldn't bond to her so the baby's paternal grandparents have now adopted her. When her son was born she felt a connection to him quickly but began using Meth and lost custody to her ex husband. Her third child is a girl and she managed to keep custody of her until recently. Her FIL OD'd last year and within six months they had to get a roommate and she OD'd 2 days after moving in. The officer that came out knew of the previous situation and called DFCS. She failed the drug test and they took her dd. She got another sister to take her and they just worked out that she would take guardianship of her until Frankie could get it together. Now the sister is backing out b/c it is too much work. She asked yesterday if I would do it and keep both Frankie and her dd here.

I am nervous she will not keep it together this time. She has a history of walking away from her kids but she seems to really want to do right by them. She loves her dd and wants to be with her. She has pressed felony charges against her dh for what he did last week an he will be gone for many years. She is saying the right things and is actively looking for work but I worry. I love her and don't know if she could handle losing another child, I don't know if she can handle raising her. She has made it clear I will be in charge of helping her be a better parent, she will go by my house rules, she will work, and she fully understands I have no control over if she gets her back that is up to the court to decide when the time comes. On the other hand, how wonderful to have the opportunity to help one of my girls regain control over their seemingly doomed life? We will do it, please don't let this bite me in the ass.

Her daughter has never been around other kids and has changed schools 4 times so far this year, her Kindergarten year. How sad is that? She will e coming to stay with us for the next 2 weekends to see if she can handle it. I am sure we will be overwhelming to her, at first.

More drama to come........

4 comments:

Carmine Crayon said...

wow, you sure have a big heart. that is a LOT to handle along side your own 7 children, plus, what about your other friend that wanted you to take her kids in? I hope you can come up with a way to have it work for everyone. Would Frankie's dd be 5 as well? Four 5 year olds?? ah!

My thoughts are with you...

Tudu said...

I have talked to my friend this morning and told her I can't take them at this time. She had been wavering a bit b/c the kids would be here for the holiday and now the baby's father is coming back out to help her.

Shayenne is 5, too! LOL I will have 3 in Kindergarten, 2 in 1st grader, a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader.

Mongoose said...

It's cute in your photo how everyone is just about the same height except Cyr and Patches.

Do you read Theresa's blog? The one with the 26 kids? You're gonna end up just like her at this rate. LOL (It's a good thing! The world needs more parents like you.)

Mammy said...

^^^They're right - you do have a big heart. My prayers are with you...