Friday, January 21, 2011

For Every Action, there is a Consequence.

When you toss a pebble into a pond, it does not just sink to the bottom, never disturbing anything.  It causes a ripple . . . that goes on and on.  Tossing a pebble is not a bad thing, but the ripple it's self . . . does it have negative consequences????

Almost 12 years ago, my now ex husband and I adopted a sibling group of 4.  Two girls ages 12 & 13 and two boys ages 8 & 9.  They came from . . . shall we say, less than ideal conditions in Fresno California.  We were told that ALL were healthy though understandably there were some "behavioral issues."  Nothing a little love can't fix . . . right???? 

We added these four children to our already busy household of 5 other children. Girls ages 12, 14, 16 and Boys (1 adult & 1 deceased at 18 years old)

Nobody mentioned (and I didn't think to ask) about the biological Mom's alcohol use during pregnancy.

Eventually, it was clear that EACH of these 4 children had various levels of fetal alcohol syndrome/effects.  The worst of which were the boys.  (I was later informed by a doctor who specialized in this type of disorder that usually it is the youngest children that are the most affected because the nutritional level of the biological mother decreases with each pregnancy, and therefore becomes less and less able to fight off the abuses of alcohol on the fetus).

The youngest child (age 8 when they came) had severe anger issues, NO impulse control and unfortunately no ability to feel empathy for ANYbody or ANYthing.  Needless to say, the next 10 years were difficult to say the least.  There were MANY police & court interventions and many criminal charges racked up over the years.  Consequently there were many many placements into juvenile facilities for this young man.

Something else that I wasn't aware of is this.  When your child is placed in a juvenile facility, the court orders the parent to pay "cost of care."   This eye opening revelation came crashing into my world when I was ordered to pay $720 per month "child support".  But, Because of the fact that I really couldn't afford that amount the Court ordered that I could pay $200 per month, but the additional $520 per month would continue to acrue.  This lasted for the majority of about 4 years.  48 months x $520 = $24,960.00 !!! 
This son is now nearly 20 years old, and HATES me. In fact, one of the incarcerations was for "domestic violence" against me. (I think I asked him to take the garbage out or something) One of the offenses was for stealing a car, driving without a license and totalling the car (my car).  One of the offenses was for stealing a strangers car.  One for domestic violence with a weapon against his brother.  etc. etc.  The local police know him well, and regularly check up on me as this young man has threatened to do me harm. He does not live with me now, but doesn't live too far away. But I repeat . . . He HATES me. Go figure.  At this point my debt to the state has been whittled down to under $6000.00 and I continue to pay religiously every month.

Now . . . to the ripple effect . . . One of my daughters is getting married in February.  She has decided to have a "destination wedding" in Jamaica.  She has been planning and saving for this for two years.  I'm SO proud of her.  She is so excited for this wedding, and I am excited for her.

Well . . . guess what.  Because I still owe the state $$$ for the "cost of care" of my son.  I can't get a passport!  Ripple, Ripple, Ripple.

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