When we first got the kids, they were rough. They fought and screamed. They stole and lied. They had boundless energy they didn’t know how to control. All thier lives, they had bounced around between parents and in and out of foster care. At one point all three had lived with the biodad of the two youngest children, but after a few months when things got too tough, the oldest was sent away. Eventually they were all taken away and sent back to biomom and then again to foster care.
The angel foster mom kept them for much longer than she was supposed to because she knew they needed stability. She was able to get them into therapy and onto medication. When they came to us, they were housebroken, and heartbroken. They didn’t know what life held in store for them, they only knew a gypsy lifestyle and pain.
I promised that was over. I promised that our house was a safe place and a permanent place. When they lashed out and said they wanted to leave, I lashed back that I loved them and this was their home forever. I promised that no-matter what, they had a home and they would grow up in our town.
Now the promise is broken. Despite my promises I couldn’t keep the littles safe from the oldest and I couldn’t save him from his own self destructive choices. On Monday we have our first court date for the assault charges against my oldest grandson. On Monday he faces the judge with a public defender by his side. Juvenile Justice is willing to work with us. Oldest’s biodad and stepmom are working hard to make sure they can take him into their home, but that is a hope, not a reality. They have created a wonderful stable home and they have developed a good relationship with him over the past four years that he didn’t have before he moved here.
Only the state’s attorney and a judge will make the final decision, and then the other state has to accept him into their juvenile justice system. He will have a record, he will have consequences, we are just hoping those consequences can be met, while he is being supported by someone who loves him. His father will have the extra financial burden and responsibility to make sure he gets to his therapy and meets the requirements of his sentencing.
His deceptively sweet personality hides his rage. His compliance and willingness to help makes me forget his dark side. Instead I see a stretched out little boy. I see an almost six foot child who yearns for a forever home. He understands that he is in very deep trouble, but he cannot fathom how far the charges will reach into his life. When we speak of the crime, his eyes glaze over and he shuts himself off from me.
I don’t know if he can be rehabilitated. I don’t know for sure that some day he won’t make the horrible choice to take his own life or someone else’s life. Will he make the choice to prove us wrong and turn his life around, or will he use the anger inside him to lash out at the world. I am an educated woman, but I still believe in the goodness of people. I cannot fathom the darkness of his heart or the depth of the pain in his life which put it there. I can understand the premise of his actions, I can logically explain what I believe to be his motives, but only he knows for sure.
I do know that he has friends here, and was making plans to be in the high school marching band. I know that he had friends in Scouts and wanted to help other kids. I know he has frequently helped a friend with her son who has severe autism. I know it will be good for him to be with his father.
my heart is breaking. I made a promise to always love and protect them and I failed. I made a promise that he would always have a home with me and now I have to break it. My dear friend Arthur says he hates when parents promise children they will always be with them and they will always be safe, because we never know what is going to happen and if something terrible happens, the child sees a broken promise and the adult feels his/her own anguish, plus the anguish of the child. I hate proving him right.