I have known Emma's Mother, Nikki, since she was 12 yrs old. She became pregnant in her teens and parented her first daughter. She was encouraged to place her second daughter with her Aunt and since she was using Meth at the time, she went along. She immediately became pregnant again and was living with a toddler, her Mother, Mother's boyfriend, brother, brother's girlfriend, and Gma in a 2 bedroom trailer, everyone was a drug user. She kept Emma for a couple of weeks and the Aunt convinced her to leave the baby with her, she was hoping to persuade her to place the baby as well. Emma screamed for hours at a time and the Aunt couldn't handle it. She called Nikki and Nikki called me to ask if I would go get her for the weekend. I was thrilled to do so. We agreed she would meet me on Monday and she didn't call me back until Tuesday in the middle of the night. She had decided to leave the baby with us.
A short time later Nikki was kicked out of her Mother's house and called me crying. I drove several hours to get her and she moved in with us. I was terrified she would want the baby back and decided to try to help her parent. She lived with us for a few months and we helped her get an apartment and get out on her own.
The first year was tough on all of us. I insisted on an open adoption and she wasn't so sure. She told lies to her family telling them I stole the baby. She made threats to her friends that she was going to try to kidnap the baby. She eventually signed herself into a treatment facility and got back on track. She has slipped off the wagon a few times but we made an agreement early on, I would love her regardless of her drug use and issues and she was always free to see her child sober. She does not call if she is using and is honest with me about her drug use. I know I can completely trust her to be honest about it, she has tested it a few times but has been clean for a while now.
She has parented her oldest and youngest daughters for the most part. Her Mother has had legal guardianship for years but Nikki has them most of the time b/c her Mother struggles with drug issues. She, too, has been clean for a while and both have left their nasty boyfriends. Both women live together and are raising the girls. Over all they are doing well.
Emma was a difficult infant. She had colic and Salmonella when we got her. There is no way Nikki could have raised her those first few months, she was a very sick baby that never slept. She wishes she would have placed her youngest with us, to. She was born 364 days after Emma was born and DFCS stepped in within a couple of weeks.