Older Girl called yesterday to tell me that she loves and misses us.
Her parents have moved the family to No-Name, Kansas...population 400. Older Girl is (once again) the caretaker of 4 year old Younger Girl...while their mother goes out all day and "spends time with friends."
My sister in law has to return to California for her court date - the DUI, meth and marijuana possession hearing and sentencing. She has told Older Girl that she'll be ordered to do some community work and then the charges will be expunged from her record.
What kind of fantasy world does my sister-in-law live in?
In the meantime, Older Girl is miserable. No friends, no money, no furniture (only a futon pad for her and her sister to share for a bed), no food and the incessant fighting of her parents.
Oh, and her older sister (the one recently diagnosed with schitzophrenia) is also addicted to online gambling. Just like her daddy.
I suppose I am so angry because my in-laws insist on keeping their family "together" and then they neglect them. Utterly. As in, they spend what little money they have on drugs, alcohol and gambling. So the kids go hungry, wear worn out clothes that don't fit, and sit alone in the house while their parents are out cavorting. They are subjected to drunken brawls that happen during the twice weekly poker tournaments in their home. And one or both parents frequently pass out from the booze or drugs, resulting in the kids sobbing hysterically because they've been threatened not to call 911. So all they can do is sit and wait...hoping that their parents aren't dying...but never really sure. Once, my brother in law collapsed from his drunkeness and he hit his head on the coffee table. Blood was everywhere and the girls could only check his pulse and do nothing else. He would have throttled them if they had called for help.
Older Girl: I am so angry at them, Aunt Jill. They promised me that things were different but they are exactly the same. Mom doesn't want to spend time with Younger Girl at all. She has nothing to do with her. And all mom and dad do is fight. And it's boring here. We don't have any furniture, no tv and it's unbelievably hot.
Jill: I'm sorry to hear this honey. Things will get better when school starts and you meet some new friends. You did such a terrific job here in Colorado and I just know that you will do the same there. You just need to give it some time.
Older Girl: Well, I'm fighting with my parents. They're blowing it again.
Jill: The thing you have to remember is that your parents are doing the best that they know how to do. They don't know any differently and rather than talk "smack" to them, you've got to give them some "slack." Plus, you're doing something really important by taking care of Younger Girl.
Do I want to send her a one-way bus ticket? Yes.
Do I want to offer to give my sister and brother in law all of the money that we will spend on the adoption to become guardians of their two kids? Yes.
Is it wrong for me to want to do that? Yes.
Is it worth trying in order to save Younger Girl from a hard, harsh and neglected life?