November 03, 2009

Not Sure What To Do

Over the weekend, I received an email from my brother, Missionary Man, with an update of his family, and the things that are going on as they prepare to close up their home in Ethiopia and head back to the States for a year of home leave (or furlough, if you'd like).

It was a nice email, full of good news, prayer requests, and information. Nothing out of the ordinary. Until I got to the line that said "C______, thank your for your email, it was so nice to hear from you!"

It was a reference to my adopted sister, who is currently residing somewhere in Chicago, working in a company that works closely with a rehabilitation center, offering jobs to recovered addicts.

Without thinking, I hit a reply to all, shared some news, and a picture of Captain Chaos and Destructo Girl (fka Tiny Princess). No worries, the rest of the siblings, any my aunts and uncles enjoy the news and pictures of us.

When I logged in yesterday, there was an email in my inbox with a subject line of "To my lost loved sister" I almost relegated it to the Spam folder, as it reminded me of those emails you get from various foreign dignitaries requesting your aid for their welfare, which are actually scams to get your information and take your money. It was actually an email from my sister.

It threw me, because the last words that were said to each other were hurtful, angry words, and she made accusations to me about many things, including but not limited to the favortism my parents show me.

Things have never been good in my relationship with my sister...after all, how do you explain to a 10-year-old who's been the only girl and the youngest that the new sister she's getting needs an entire wardrobe while you'll only be getting a new pair of Sunday shoes, and a few necessities? How do you explain that your Saturday is now taken up with going along with your parents as they drop off this sister at her birth mom's home, and then have to go back a few hours later...and then to deal with the anger, the shouting, the yelling...none of which characterized our house until she came to live with us...

In this email, she talked about getting her son back.

Now for a quick history lesson. Several years ago (almost 10), my sister go involved with some people who were doing drugs. She started using. She stopped. She started. The usual cycle ensued. The lying, the behavior changes, the lack of money to do things like buy food, pay rent. Mom and Dad did many things over the years, including helping with money, paying for counseling, praying, loving but enabling...finally, it all came to a head, and my sister was pretty much cut off from my parents. No more money, no more help, not even phone calls being answered at our house. It, needless to say, caused a rift within my family, with 2 of my brothers taking my sister's side against my parents, believing that which my sister told them.

She packed up, cleared out her bank accounts, and hopped a bus to Chicago so she could be with the 2 brothers that took her side. Ironically enough, those 2 brothers were in the process of making decisions that would take them out the area within 6 months. She checked into rehab. Left the program, got involved with a man who was involved with drugs. She was arrested several times, for several things. She found out she was pregnant while in jail, and her son was born about 8 months before Captain, immediately given Methodone to clear out his addiction, and put into State care. Not even 3 months later, she told us she was pregnant again. This time, her daughter was born about 6 weeks early, put on Methodone, and given to the same family that had her son. She entered a different rehab center and found out that she was pregnant again. She went through the program, and her third son was born 2 years ago tomorrow. She was able to keep him as she was still in the program, just in the 2nd phase which is basically a reintroduction to society. However...based on her psychological evaluations, the State said she couldn't keep the youngest, and he was removed from her care about 6 months ago.

She has been working as an intern at some company in Chicago, living in a small studio apartment somewhere. She seems to truly be desirous of change this time around, and wants desperately to have her son. Her older 2 children were adopted by the family that had them since they were little. According to law in the State of IL, there is no recourse for her. She cannot fight for custody, even though she technically never signed away any rights. Simply because of her record, and her drug problems, they took the kids. Odd but good in this case.

Right now, I'm sort of reeling. It was not the birthday wish I was expecting. It was not an email I'd have expected at all. Ever.

And I'm sitting here today, watching my healthy children with their big blue eyes, and blonde hair sit and watch Veggie Tales, giggling, sharing a bowl of animal cookies, and knowing that right now, my biggest worry is whether or not they'll end up with a case of the flu after this sinus infection is gone...and there she is sitting in Chicago, not knowing if she'll ever get out of the situation she's in, or if she really wants to...wondering if she'll get to see her son again...and wondering if she realizes that she has done exactly the same thing her own biological parents did to she and her siblings...

It seems so at odds as I sit here, in my big old chair, laptop open, typing away, with dinner in the crock-pot, laundry in the washer and dryer, one baby now asleep, the other playing and laughing at Minnesota Cuke, the sun shining through my kitchen windows, not having to work to make ends meet, or just to have enough to live...

Sometimes I wonder just what God is doing when things like this occur. There isn't anything I can do to help my sister...if she gets outside assistance during this last phase of the program, she'll not graduate. She'll lose her job, her apartment, and her chances of full recovery and getting her son back. But, if she hits desperation point, she might fall back into using, and lose her life anyway...

I hate being able to only pray...but I know that BB wouldn't necessarily think it wise for us to get involved in anything...we can't have her come here if things continue to look up. We can't send money or clothing or supplies...sometimes I think that these tests are just too hard...


Anonymous said...

best thing to offer is prayers, a shoulder or ear..that's it. speaking from experience. they have to hit rock bottom and want it for themselves to get back out

hugs and love to you

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of this.. Praying really is about all you can do for your sister.. And please don't feel guilty about the life you have.. You made choices that have given you that life, your sister made her choices.. Her two oldest children are in a good home and you have the trust that her other children will be as well.. I know that's sucky advice but sometimes you truly do need to let go and let God.. He knows what's going on.. Blogger hugs and prayers your way.