I always say this blog is my place to vent, yet I haven’t even posted about the one thing that I NEED to vent about. I guess that’s because I initially wanted to share this blog with family and friends once I felt comfortable enough — but posting this I know my family would be upset. However, this is MY safe space and so I will now vent and release all my current frustrations with this particular situation, but first, I have to tell you the actual situation.
It all started 11 years ago when my sister (biologically cousins, raised as siblings) came to live with us. She’d been taken from custody of her biological parents (her father is my cousin, her mother is family through marriage) and placed in family care through CPS at just a week old. (I swear she was like a month old, but I’ve been told otherwise.)
I don’t really want to touch exactly why she was taken away because that’s a messy situation. Plus, I would hate for my sister to find it on my blog because she does occasionally read it.
To make a long story short, she has a half-sister who’s a few years older than her. There was a concern about her safety and ultimately there was enough evidence to fill their concern so she was removed from home and her mother lost custody. There was a big custody case and several court dates too.
Her mom (let’s call her Jane for privacy reasons) was told not to have any other kids because they would be taken away too, but she did it anyway, obviously. The cop who arrested Jane after the court cases, saw her at a graduation in town…WITH the baby a.k.a my sister! He spotted her and a few days later the cops and CPS were at the door, taking her away from them.
(So now here’s a quick little rundown on her living history prior to coming to live with us.)
She first stayed with her great-aunt & great-uncle, who were extremely overprotective of her. Her parents couldn’t see her if she wasn’t awake and even if she was, her great-aunt had to be around and they had limited time with her. I don’t know what happened with that, but she was eventually moved with another family member.
She then moved up north, onto a military base with her aunt, uncle and two cousins. Her uncle however was deployed across seas and her aunt had a young toddler herself on top of a young child, it was just too much to take on top of the deployment. They contacted the social workers and finally, she came to live with us.
I remember it was the middle of the week and my parents got a call asking if they could pick her up. My dad took the day off from work the next day and then he and my mom went to go get the little nugget. I went to school that day as the baby of the family and came home to being the middle child of the family in a matter of hours.
It was cool and weird. I had a sister all of a sudden, I wasn’t the only girl anymore. She was such a fat, chubby little baby that I just wanted to squish her cheeks all the time. She was welcomed into our family with open arms and we’ve never looked back since.
Growing up together she was raised as my sister… my brother and I never saw her as anything other than our baby sister. She was raised and treated the exact same way as us. There were no special treatments just because she was biologically our cousin. Everyone knew her as our sister, my parents always called her their own. My mom always had to explain how she was theirs but that she didn’t have to get pregnant to have her. (She’d get a chuckle out of it because it’d leave people puzzled.)
Since there was a court case and she was legally placed in my parents custody there are/were certain terms and agreements her biological parents had to abide. She basically wasn’t allowed to be with them without my mom or dad being present. But my parents, being the selfless people they are, wanted her to have a better relationship with her parents. They didn’t want her to grow up and resent them for not allowing her to know the people who gave her life.
Things were actually pretty easy and manageable with them until she reached the age of 4/5. Once she was ready for pre-k, things got complicated. Her parents wanted to be apart of her first day of school and my mom felt obligated to let them be there. She was after all “their” daughter. But truthfully, it just made things messy. From then on out every first day of school included them, which resulted in my mom having to pull aside the teachers and explain the situation… year after year after year.
Every sports game or award assembly they were invited, sometimes they’d come. They used to come a lot more when she was younger but now that she’s branched out into other things, they don’t always support her. For example, about 4 years ago she got into cheerleading, something she’s always loved.
Before my mom’s stroke, they’d go to her games and support her. But this last year, when she really needed the support, they didn’t show up… ever. I text them every week and told them when her game was, where it was and what time but they didn’t come. I was the only one sitting in the stands, supporting her.
I remember this one day specifically, I was going to text Jane saying that she had a game. I figured if I reminded her a couple of hours before the game, they’d go. Before I sent the text, I told my sister and she told me to not even send the text. She said “nah, don’t bother texting them. They won’t come anyway because they don’t like me doing cheerleading…” How? How can you do that to your kid and not feel any remorse?
Last year, she’d gotten into church and catechism classes. Her friends were all taking classes together and attending church and she wanted to see for herself what it was about. My parents were surprised when she brought it up, but they made the commitment to go to church every weekend with her so she could attend C.C.D classes. (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine which are religious education classes through the Catholic Church.)
They started going to church in the summer, which she enjoyed. She loved church and wanted to learn more, thus resulting in C.C.D classes. When she started the classes, she was at the age where most kids make their first communion. But, she needed to be baptized first if she wanted to make her communion and she wanted to do it, so she did. The priest wanted her to attend class for a month straight and then he said she could be baptized.
Once the time came around for her baptismal, they day of actually, she recieced a message from her father (we’ll call him John):
She was upset that day and I remember my mom noticed and asked why. She told her it wasn’t anything important, and she went about her day. But I’d seen the messages and I needed to tell my mom. So I did and she was hurt. Not hurt by them but hurt for my sister because this was something SHE wanted! Yes, my parents wanted her baptized but this was HER choosing and they couldn’t even support her!
Since then really, they haven’t supported her in much of anything. She made her communion later that year too and guess who didn’t show up? You guessed it, Jane and John!
My sister is at the age where she understands things fully. She’s fully aware of the way others act and she notices things her parents do or don’t do when it comes to her. She’s really wise beyond her years, sometimes too wise. And they’re stuck in the mentality that she’s still a baby, but she’s not.
There’s so much more I could rant about, but right now this will do. I’m telling y’all now, there will be many more posts on this subject because it isn’t an easy. Even more so now that I’m the one who’s raising my sister.
So if you read this, thanks and I’m sorry if I rambled and this didn’t make sense. I’m currently overwhelmed because my sister is in San Antonio, still, on a school night and should be home at 6 o’clock.. it’s 5:16 PM now so she clearly isn’t coming back on time. But thanks for listening y’all! I appreciate it!