Almost six years ago, I got the phone call, and boarded a flight south. Unsure of what I was doing, or why I was going. Over the course of the next few days, there would be ideas, opinions, thoughts, and a mess of confusion with two young kids caught in the middle. Late night hushed talks that left everyone wondering one thing: Where would the kids go. A topic that needed to be discussed but made me wonder.
A week later and I would be walking those two kids into my house. Into a mess of a house, with two wild younger kids. No direction, no point, helpless, tired, and chaos were the only things that could sum us up.
At the end of the long days it was decided. There was no one able or willing to take the kids. They would go to foster care, and eventually up for adoption.
The grandparents, while concerned, did not want to be anything more than that, and deep in their loss, said there was no way they could take them. While my mind screamed “I just want to be the uncle” I walked them into the house, showed them their rooms, and collapsed with thoughts of what I had just done. And what was I going to do now.
That was a very long six years ago.
The kids are down visiting the grandparents…
A phone call later, found me in my lawyers office, in a panic.
The kids had mentioned something about wanting to live with them, and they were wondering why I hadn’t said anything. The topic caught me off guard, sure, the kids and I have talked about it. Mostly Madison and I. Her mentioned wanting to live with them, me telling her it wasn’t an option.
I get that shes a teenager, and she just wants to go somewhere other than here, because lately, HERE just isn’t cool anymore. And that’s ok with me. I don’t mind her talking, questioning, asking, and even looking into other things. But I have told her, that before a decision is made, its something that will be talked about, and decided together. Not as herself making a choice she thinks will be best for her, because shes in a mood.
The question sent chills down my back.
The last I heard they wanted to be the grandparents, and I have respected that. I have sent the kids to spend summers, and spring vacations with them. I have never asked them to reconsider their decision, although when I had lost the kids a few years back, I did ask their grandparents if they were still unwilling to raise them, and I got the same answer then as I did six years ago. They simply wanted to be grandparents, they were done ‘Raising’ their kids, and wanted to be grandparents. That was all. And that, was ok. And is ok.
But why this sudden change?
I admit, I was in a complete panic. Not knowing where to go, or who to ask, or where to turn. Visions of loosing the kids all over again rushed through my mind. Not seeing them again. Living without them. I contemplated leaving in the night and taking them to another country. While I still could. Before I was trapped in the cycle of state vs. me – loosing the kids again, is not something I can go through, or put them through again.
My lawyer listened to me talk faster than I think I ever had, and when I finally stopped and stared – wide eyed and frantic, Im not sure how he didn’t laugh.
He told me not to worry about it, that the kids were mine, and I hadn’t done anything wrong.
We discussed a few things, he told me that I wasn’t in any immediate danger, and really the worse they could do – if the kids DID mention something about things not being right – was investigate. I may have started panicking again, but he told me that I was doing nothing wrong. The kids were mine, and I wasn’t loosing them.
But its left me with an uneasy feeling. Its taken me back to the start of this whole ordeal. The loosing the kids, the fighting for them, the getting them back – and now this. Leaving me wondering a host of thoughts. Did I really fight for them, just to have them turn and say they didn’t want this? Am I forcing them into a life they don’t deserve?
I have always said I will do whatever is best for them – but once again I am left wondering. What is best.
Is this something I should be worried about? Something I should be thinking about? Something we should be talking about? Is this an option, one that might happen? Or is this just typical teenage behavior, wanting what they don’t have, wanting to go where someone lets them do whatever they want, wanting something new, something different?
I don’t know sometimes, just when I think its complicated, it goes up a notch. And I am left living my fears – that I wont ever see them again. That they wont return. That it was all for nothing. That we will be starting it all over again. And I cant do again, again.