Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I  have managed to survive the summer.  I'm not sure how...some of it is actually kind of a blur...but I am here, and another school year has begun.

There are several things I could write about...so much has happened.  I could write about how we got a new puppy.  Or how the other day, when I had the puppy outside, the boys locked me out of the house.  I could write about many of the boys' antics...but I think I will take a moment to write about something more serious.  Something that has been weighing heavily on my mind, and something I have not written about before.  While those close to me know that the older two kids are not biologically mine, most people either think that I look young for my age...or probably, more likely, that I got pregnant at sixteen.  The older two have been in our custody for several years now, due to abuse and neglect on their biological mother's part.  While we try not to remember the past...there are always echoes and shadows...things that cannot be erased.  The biggest lesson I have learned throughout raising children is that those former years really are the most important...everything you do and say leaves imprints.  Some wounds do not heal.

When Marissa was little she had blond hair that would curl at the ends.  She had big, blue eyes, and perfect little lips.

"You are my 'Rissa, my only 'Rissa
You make me happy, when sky's are gray.
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take...my 'Rissa...away."

I remember singing that to her.  She called me her "Mo Mo," because her mother would hit her if she called me "Mom."  Whenever we had to send her back to their mother's house...I would silently sing that song to myself.  I kept a binder, filled with notes and pictures, throughout the custody battle.  I would cry every time they came home with another story that they couldn't tell Daddy, because Mama warned them not to talk.

I remember crying myself to sleep every night...wondering what it would take before the children would be taken away from that situation.  How far would things go before the court decided that, hey, maybe that house isn't safe after all?

Please don't take my 'Rissa away.

They finally did get taken away...from their bio mom.  I was overcome with relief.  They were safe now.  They had two parents who loved them, and would protect them.  Everything would get better.  What I didn't realize is how much that would affect who they would become, and how they would deal with life.  I feel like those years fractured them...and I scramble to gather all the pieces...to glue them together...but I've never really been good at putting things back together.

She took my 'Rissa away.

The little girl that is now turning into a woman is angry.  She's angry at the world...and I don't blame her.  She's angry at me.  I try to be strong, and put up a wall to protect myself from the hurt...but it's difficult.  She doesn't know about everything we went through.  She doesn't know that I fell in love with her and her brother before I even fell in love with her daddy.  She thinks my words now are hollow.  Her words are filled with hatred.

I look at my younger three and hope that someday they will understand why their older siblings are upset all the time.  I hope that they will always know our love, and never have to feel that way.  I wish the older two would accept our love...and not feel that way ever again.

Hold your children.  Tell them "I love you," every single day.  Even when they are old enough to roll their eyes...because they need to know and feel that love.  I just hope, that maybe when they are adults, all those eye rolls will be worth it because they will have realized, all along, how much they were loved.  Until then, I need to brace myself...I need to ride out the storm.

Hopefully one day the skies will clear...and on the other side, I will find my 'Rissa again.

I will always wait for her.