I wasn’t able to really talk about this for a long time due to an on-going court case and investigations, etc. but it was on my heart tonight. I had read a story from another writer about her Mom and I was thinking to myself, “I wonder if my Mom knows how amazing she is?” You see, a few years ago my Mom became a guardian of my niece and in many ways saved her life.
Our little princess was born into extremely bad circumstances to a mentally disturbed mother. Before she was a year old my Mom had received a call from the state of TN saying that they were told she could take her because she was removed from her home during an abuse investigation. While it was being figured out, she was taken to an Amish foster family. My Mom and Step-Dad had to think about whether or not they could, or would, foster or adopt (if that became possible) and despite everything most of us had said about how they were getting up in their age, they had serious medical issues, she had someone wanting to adopt her, etc. – they chose to keep her with our family. Little did any of us know what that would mean or the problems that would come along with it.
Although my niece was almost a year old she couldn’t crawl or even stand well with assistance. She had no ability to focus or make eye contact, she didn’t grasp for things and was mostly like an infant. Due to the abuse inflicted upon her and an Autism diagnosis, her and my Mother would have a very long and difficult road ahead. It wasn’t at all what my parents had assumed they were getting into, but despite all the odds they fought everyone, paid out enormous sums of money for assistance, doctors and teachers and won custody of our beautiful angel.
Shortly after there was a news article about how her mother had another child that she had killed and was convicted of manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree and various assault charges.
Because of my parents, she was given another chance and is doing so well despite her handicaps. I know my parents have a hard time some days. It isn’t easy to raise a child that was abused, let alone one that is non-verbal Autistic, but to see how far she has come makes me so proud of them. Whenever I get so mad and angry at the world around me, at the ugliness in life and the horrible stories I read on the news, I think about my niece and my Mom.
My niece is my son’s cousin, but also his very dear friend.
She and tot both have little quirks and differences that sometimes make their other cousins turn away. It’s always been nice for my Mom and I and our little ones to have each other. I get to watch my niece blossom from this broken weed into such a lovely little flower. I wish everyone could see how much she has given of everything she has and so much of herself, to heal her and give her hope in life. I know she doesn’t see it or feel how beautiful and amazing she is, because my Mom has always been a humble person – if not stubborn, but I admire her and look up to her. Not only because she’s my Mom, but because she is a really deeply good person.
So if you ever find yourself wondering what in the world is going on out there in the world and why is everyone gone completely insane, just remember, that in some small pockets of the universe there are people like my Mom and little girls like Gabby.
How You Can Help: While writing this I had come across a website called Grandparents as Parents, a resource page for grandparents like my Mother who are raising at-risk children. There are many resources available for caregiving families and also a section on how you can help out these selfless angels.