Dear ML

Dear ML,

I wish that I could find a way to express to you how truly unfair this situation is, and how much I grieve for you. The kicker is that in a way, you already know. You know deep down that your mom hasn’t been taking good care of you. The fact of the matter is that she just isn’t a good mom. She doesn’t beat you, but she doesn’t care for you the way she should. She doesn’t make sure your needs are met, and you are so often on your own.

But I know that you love her and that she loves you, and that is what really makes this situation suck. Because there truly is no solution. There is no way to solve this problem. Your mom is in her mid fifties, she isn’t going to learn anything now that she hasn’t before. She isn’t going to just stop being mentally ill because a judge orders her to. But she loves you, and you love her. She wants to take care of you, but she can’t. So what can be done? You languish in foster care while your mom tries to learn things that she probably can’t? Or for the court to take away your mom’s rights, despite how much you love each other? Or for the court to send you back into a living situation that likely will only get worse with time?

There are no winners here, my darling. But I want you to know that that isn’t a reflection on you. You are vibrant and fun and worthwhile. It isn’t your fault that everything around you is broken.

If I could fix it for you, I would do it in a heartbeat. If the court terminates your mom’s rights, we would adopt you in that same heartbeat. But deep down inside myself, I know that there is no right answer. Nothing I can do for you will make this better. I would give just about anything for the power to help, but I have nothing. All I can give you is a place to be safe while the tempest rages on. I can read to you and pray with you before bed and check your homework. I do it willingly, but I know it isn’t enough. It never can be, and I am so sorry.

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