Friday, October 5, 2007


Yesterday was hard. And sad. I woke up many times during the night after dreaming of what Gracie's day was like. Did she leave school early? Did they see a show? Did she have cake or ice cream or both? Did her grandparents fly out for the occasion? How many phone calls did she get? I thought about her all day and loved all of your birthday wishes. Thank you.

I took the whole day off and volunteered to babysit my great niece on the in-law side. I thought it would be distracting and far better than sulking at home all day. It was. Brooklyn is a vivacious two year old who, I hate to rub it in, loves me way more than she loves Cristy. :) She loves being teased and loves Molly Tomato. We had a nice day.

Her story is heartbreaking and like nothing I've ever experienced. Her parents are drug addicts. Bad. I mean, I guess you can never be a good drug addict but they're really in a bad place. It's been a big family secret and we just learned of it recently. Her mother is barely twenty and unmarried. She's been addicted to one thing or another since she was seventeen. Seventeen! & now she's shooting herion. She has infected track marks all over her body. On her neck and between her toes. And to look at her, she's a scared child. Nothing more.

The baby has been cared for by her grandmother (Cristy's sister) off and on for a while but we had to take her back to her mother last night. We had a police escort and they looked through her house and at her before we turned her over. Even though she admits to using, they can't take the baby unless she shows physical harm. It's a new law. The apartment complex was awful but their place was clean. She came outside and told us that she's not in denial. She knows she needs help but no one will help her. All the programs are full for months and every time she/they try to quit on their own, they just save each other by getting more when the other is in too much pain. It's a vicious cycle and I have no idea how it's going to end.

She knows her daughter is better off somewhere else but she's too afraid to use the courts because she could ultimately lose her. Her grandmother is too afraid not to use the courts because she could legally come get her in any drug induced state. It's awful. It's made their relationship divisive. They can't trust each other. &, of course, I'm on the side that protects the baby so I want the grandma to get custody. At the same time, watching this other "child" on this path is so, so sad.

I have no experience with drugs. I've never even smoked a marijuana cigarette. I have no experience with relatives or friends that are users either. Nothing. I can't imagine what it's like to lose control like that. But I also don't have much sympathy. She keeps saying "we're going to treatment tomorrrow..." but why not today? Why not yesterday? She has a baby girl and every day there's a chance she'll find a needle in the garbage or get out of the house when no one's looking or find one or both of her parents dead. Tomorrow isn't soon enough.

But we left her there. We had to. We hugged them both good-bye and said we'd do anything to help. We drove away and just prayed that she'll be okay. All of them.

What do you do with that? If the law says you have to take her home, how do you help? I know she loves this little girl but she can't take care of her. She can't take care of herself. How can they hear her say she's using and let her child stay? I seriously don't understand it.