History of Erin Boat

History of Erin Boat
The Unnecessary Backstory (the beginning)

Most Recent Post

Most Recent Post
End of an Era

Quote of the Moment

Quote of the Moment
Link to Writing Blog

Current Favorite Song

Current Favorite Song
But Anyway by Blues Traveler

C is for..... everything!

Monday, April 4, 2011

C is for Crazy, which I am. C is also for the Classes I take, and C is for Chelsea, my best friend. C is for coffee and chocolate, and cream. It's for custody. For children. For College. For Creativity.

I don't know what to write about today. There are so MANY things I could write about. Of all those C words, Custody is the one that jumps out at me the most, but my feelings on it right now are so.... vague. So up in the air, that I don't know what to do.

Two and a half weeks ago, I was looking up what the requirements were for foster homes, and what the rules were about fostering a child from another state. I was contemplating my schedule, seeing what I could change and how it would work. I was re-writing budgets, and mentally re-arranging furniture to make room for my sister in my home.

Something vague happened and she ended up out of her foster home. She was sent to a temporary foster home for the night. That's normal-ish. She woke up the next day and was brought to the DCF office, to wait while they looked for a permanent foster home for her. Again, normal.

No one wanted her.

No foster family would take in a girl with several hospitalizations in the past year. So that night, she went to another temporary house, and the next day, back to the office. And again the day after. And the day after.

Our mother couldn't take her. Her father wouldn't take her. My aunt can't handle her. My father doesn't meet the requirements. Our grandparents can't. Who else does she have left? Just me. So here I was. 20 years old and trying to get temporary custody of a 13 year old.

I was trying to figure out how to squeeze her in between my classes, or how to fix my work schedule so I had time to help her. Or at least time to give her a good morning and good night hug. It just wasn't working. I couldn't figure it out. Every time I found a solution to a problem, another one cropped up.

Do I make enough money to feed her? Pay her electric bill? Do I have the space for her? Does a futon couch count as a bed for her? Is the living room a suitable sleeping arrangement? Can our closet hold her clothes? How will I get her to school? Or will DCF insist on her having her home schooled like she is now? Will she be okay home alone all day? Does she need a private tutor?

and the kicker: I'm 20 years old. Will I be able to make her look at me as a guardian, or just a sister? Do I know enough to do a decent job at steering her in the right direction, for now?

Before I managed to find a suitable answer to my questions, they found a foster home. I was relieved, in a way that I now feel guilty for. I don't think I'm ready to be a parent. I already don't know how I did it when I was at home. Certainly, 20 years old isn't old enough to parent a teenager. Her foster family don't speak much English, and its lonely with no one to talk to in the house. But she's somewhere at least. I can't imagine how much emotional pain she must have been in, and is still in, knowing that, at 13, no one wanted her. I know how much it hurt me when my mom kicked me out at 16. But I still had one other parent to take care of me. She had no one. And I was older. She's in that awful stage that is the beginning of being a teenager. God, I hated being 13.

My mother gets out of her thing (more on that lateR) in a few weeks, and will get my sister out of foster care. The other is still with the family who will adopt her. That's the plan right now.

2 comments:

Teri S. said...

I just can't even imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. You're such a good person, Erin. I know how much you love your sisters, it shows in everything you write. I truly feel for your sisters, and what they are going through. I wish there were easy answers for you, but there just aren't. I can say that you're stronger than you think you are, and are capable of a lot more than you realize. There will come a day when things aren't so difficult, just give it time, and have faith in yourself, and that good heart of yours.
(((hugs))

April 5, 2011 at 3:07 AM
welcome to my world of poetry said...

Having faith in oneself is a must to get through life, I went through a stage after two berevements within 2 months years ago and lost confidence, but with the help of some books and cds am now as positive in outlook as I can be, You must have had some not so good times in your life but you also must have had some good ones also.
Focus on the good.
Yvonnee.

April 5, 2011 at 1:18 PM

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