Warning: This one is not for the kids.
Here is the story of someone I know, we’ll call her “June”. I don’ t know her well, but oddly, I know these things about her:
June’s parents split up when she was in grade school. Her mom had a lot of boyfriends through the years and when June was 13, one of them raped her. Several others raped her in the next couple of years. By the time June was 15, she was pregnant and fed up. She dropped out of high school, married the baby’s father and moved in with him. The relationship had problems and before long, CPS was involved. CPS took the baby. Neither parent was situated to raise this child so her paternal grandmother took her in.
Now June is 16, childless, divorced, and not about to go back to her mother’s because that was a bad deal too. So she starts finding boyfriends just to feel loved. She chooses poorly though and none of them are very good to her. A couple years later, pregnant again, she marries that baby-daddy. He is totally crazy though and when the baby is 7 months old, tragedy strikes. Baby-daddy shakes the baby – to death. He goes to prison. June goes nuts. Now she’s lost both her babies and she falls into recreational drug use just to survive.
Within months June is pregnant again, this time with someone from the old neighborhood. He turns out to be a true jerk and when she tells him she’s pregnant, he runs for the hills. She literally never hears from him again. No matter, though, another guy does love her and promises to help her with the baby. They marry and when the baby comes, he will legally be this man’s child. She has been drinking and using drugs through the pregnancy and when the baby (Adam) is born at 27 weeks, CPS takes him because of tox-screens. She cleans up her act, does everything the court asks and when he is 11 months old, June finally gets him back. By now she is pregnant again and when Adam is 14 months old, Edie comes along 5 weeks early. She has reflux and other issues and she is a handful. Worse she is clearly NOT hubby’s baby. When she is 8 months old, June’s husband drops or throws her and she sustains a skull fracture. Both kids are taken by CPS.
Sadly, what CPS does not know is that June is already pregnant again. 3 months later, Freddy is born at 26 weeks. June hopes to keep him but because the other two are in custody, the state’s hands are tied. When he is finally big enough to go home, he goes straight to foster care.
I will continue this story in a few days. I am writing it because knowing her story as I do helps me to look at the other birth-mothers I’ve met as a foster parent and realize that no matter how much they’ve screwed up, they quite often were, literally, doing their best! More to come . . .