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Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Scary Rollercoaster Ride

A roller coaster, that could describe life pretty well, it is full of ups and downs and twists and turns. Some parts of the ride are fun, and some are downright frightening! Well, my ride these past few weeks is nothing short of frightening. Even so, I must admit there have been some interesting and awesome twists and turns as well.

I have shared here in the past that I raise my grandson due to my daughters severe mental illness that most often is left untreated. That combined with substance abuse issues just made it not really safe for her to have her child at that time. While the circumstances leading to us raising him weren't ideal, having him here with us has been a major blessing!

Well, recently this same daughter recently gave birth again. Circumstances were a little better, she has five months of sobriety under her belt(we are very proud of her) and she has been working with the mental health professionals in regards to her medications and therapy and such. While those are great things, and she has come far this past two years, other circumstances were very similar. Still no home of her own, no job, no income, no real stability or follow through.

Someone in social services became aware of the situation and placed a call to CPS(child protective services) These people deal with so many similar situations on a regular basis that when they saw her history(the drug abuse, mental illness, outstanding warrants, legal issues, the fact she has another child she isn't raising) they immediately removed the baby. The day before Thanksgiving. This was heartbreaking for us all. Because we are out of state, we were unable to get her while she was in CPS custody. After the long holiday weekend when they had their team meeting and time to investigate they determined to return the child to our daughter. They saw she has been clean and sober and working with all involved agencies regarding her substance abuse and mental health issues.

The very next day though they told her she had to leave the home she was living in as her current boyfriend also has an open CPS case and his worker felt my daughter was a threat to his child! So here is my daughter with an infant less than two weeks old and no place to go. She went to a friends and was working on entering a program that would help with housing, and clearing up her warrants.

Thursday, she goes to the doctor as she was having some pain. They admitted her to the hospital right away! She is having rather serious complications from child birth. They wanted to do surgery immediately, but her infection is so bad and not responding to medication that it is too risky. This surgery wont be pleasant as it involves removing dead skin and tissue and muscles. They are trying an alternative form of treatment that is non-surgical and will determine later this morning whether or not she will have to risk having the surgery.

Here is where alot of scary, interesting, joyful, tearful, twists and turns take place on this particular roller coaster ride!

The baby; where is she going to go for this period of time? This may be a 1-2 week process of surgery, hospital stays and healing for my daughter. The first answer seems obvious, she'll come here. Well, it's not that simple. My daughter is fearful we wont return her baby to her just as we didn't her child we are now raising. I try to reassure her circumstances are different this time, while not ideal, and I may not like her current circumstances I see no urgent reason that I shouldn't or wouldn't return her. But my daughter really needs to be able to relax and rest at ease that her child is taken care of and will be returned so she can just concentrate on getting better. What are we going to do? She really knows nobody responsible enough to care for her child for such a period of time...

Somebody pops into my mind instantly! This is a story in of itself, but just goes to show how everything really does work together for the good.....(Romans 8:28)

There is a homeschooling forum I frequent, in all honesty I probably spend too much time there. I have been hanging out there for more years than I can remember. So long many of these amazing women(and a few men!) have become true friends. I know it sounds crazy you can actually call someone you never met "friend" but I have experienced just that many places on the world wide web, including here at blogger.

I actually have met about 50-60 of these amazing women though just this past May at a get together here in California known as The Big Fat Meet-up. Ladies came from all over the U.S. to attend. It was three days of major bonding. One lady in particular, while I didn't get to spend alot of time with her those three days really caught a place in my heart. So much so that a few months later her and her whole family came from Arizona to spend a few days with my family. She is a beautiful lady with an amazing family. She has an awesome husband, and three truly beautiful and amazing children.

Since our visit we have talked on the phone a bit, sent packages back and forth and gotten to know each other a little better. If you haven't figured it out yet, this amazing person is who I called to see if she would care for my precious grand-daughter who I haven't even met myself yet. At first we were looking at 48 hours and my friend graciously said yes! Then we learned it could be weeks. I couldn't get a hold of my friend just then and started making plans to go get the baby myself as my daughter was agreeable at this point. When I do get a hold of my friend, can you believe she agreed? Keep in mind this lady has never met my daughter and mostly heard only the negative things about her.

This wasn't a simple task either, as it is a 3 and a half hour trip each way to where my daughter was in the hospital and already late at night. My daughter was totally agreeable to the arrangement, so my friend drove the long drive late at night with one of her own children. With only a few minor snags in the details everything worked out wonderfully!

My sweet granddaughter is in a loving home being spoiled rotten I am sure, my daughter can rest easy and I am free to focus on my daughter. My daughter has been calling nearly hourly for support and reassurance and if I had that darling little baby here, my focus would be on caring for her, not to mention keeping Austin happy, as I am sure he would be overwhelmingly jealous! He doesn't even let my older children sit with me without trying to push them away! So with all that going on, there is no way I would be available to my daughter in the way I have been able to be. This time has been important as she is working through some guilt and other emotional concerns while she waits for a decision in the hospital.

I really don't see how this could have been orchestrated by any other than Him Himself as everything just worked out so well, and it all started with an online chat group! Who would have thought?

One more good thing out of this otherwise messy situation; my dear friend got some pictures as we have had none other than those first ones taken by the cell phone following birth.

Is that not the most beautiful baby you've ever seen? I had no idea from those first small photos just how precious Autumn is!

Another beautiful thing in all of this is that I believe this has really began a renewed interest in my friend to do infant foster care and perhaps got her amazing husband on board as well! If you've read here long enough you know how I feel about foster care. It takes an amazing, completely unselfish person to do foster care, and that is exactly what my friend and her whole family is!


Andrea said...

God is good! ALL THE TIME!

God bless *lady in AZ* and her family!

Red said...

You know I am not a religious person so I will say fate stepped in and did its thing.

I think of your daughter often and the plight she is enduring. I am hoping beyond all hope that everything works out for her and that she stays on track. Kudos to her for keeping her chin up.

William Cooney said...

Religious? Non-religious? God is behind this? Humanity is behind this? Such questions seemed quite inconsequential as I was practically moved to tears reading this post. The important thing is it seems to be working out for the time being. People really can be quite wonderful given the chance.

I am soo pulling for your daughter (having endured the nightmare of untreated bipolar disorder myself). It's funny but it was others who helped get me started me on the road to recovery. I feel strongly that without our fellow human beings, we are quite lost.

Keeping your family in my thoughts . . .

appleleaf said...

What a gorgeous baby, just like her brother! I'll pray for your daughter and you and the rest of your family. Good on her for staying strong those first difficult months.

Larry C. said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I hope everything works out for Jess this time! Tell her I said hello & I send my best wishes!