As I approach the four-month anniversary of the day my niece became a part of my family I wonder how my sister could have done this to her daughter. I mean how could she carry this child for nine months bring her into this world and not do everything in her power to protect her. How she could choose drugs over her child. How she could neglect her in the way that she did. It is truly a heart breaking situation.
When my sister was well into her second trimester she tried to hide the pregnancy from me in hopes to abort it. How could I let her?! I had warned her many times to take care of herself but she never listened to anyone, not even the sister who knew what it was like to have a child very young. When my niece was born she did not want her because she said she wanted a boy not a girl. I had thrown her a baby shower, bought my niece almost all the necessities for the first few months. My sister would call me screaming and ask me to take her because she could not handle her and I would for days at a time. Little did I know the drugs she took while pregnant where causing withdraw and my nieces irritability. My husband and I offered to adopt my niece and raise her as our own but my sister refused. And the years passed. My sister was in an unstable relationship with the father and all she did was party. My mother who is also a prescription addict became the primary caregiver because my sister was never around. I tried so many times to take my niece but my sister refused and even with full DCF (Dept of Children and families) investigations my niece was left in my sisters custody.
My niece was led to believe she had an eating disorder and every time I tried to get her to eat she would cry, it took a few weeks but she eats now. The problem is that now food is all she thinks about from the moment she wakes until she sleeps. She did not bathe daily and had no clue how too, she does now. She rarely brushed her teeth, you better believe she does everyday. School, well she rarely attended and when she did she was so distracted that she never paid attention. School has become a huge struggle for us, while she loves to go to school I cannot get her to focus and pay attention and she puts in no effort to learn. There are dozens of issues we are having at this moment from all the neglect and I can’t even imagine what might have happened that we are not aware of. Sometimes I do not know how to deal with it, it’s overwhelming and saddens me because all I want is for her to be happy and have a normal life. She is in counseling and I am hoping this will help her overcome all that she has had to experience and suffer at such a young age.
She seems happy overall. She tells everyone my kids are her siblings not her cousins and she asks me if I consider her my child now and I tell her yes. She told the therapist all the stuff we do with the kids like family nights and our bbq hangouts. The therapist told me I have done great with her so far and that with time she will overcome it all. She has experienced so much new and positive events with us it’s amazing to see her come to life. We took her school shopping and she almost cried she was so happy, no one had ever taken her school shopping. I used to always buy extra supplies and drop them off for her in the past but that’s not the same as the actual shopping experience. It broke my heart to know she had never experienced such small events.
Her father is also non-existent in her life. I did reach out to him but honestly I think he was just relieved I would take her and I did not request child support from either of them. They have to want to be in her life and they make no effort. That is the hardest thing to explain to a seven-year old and I try but it’s hard to make such a young child understand. I remain hopeful and I know if anyone can help her it is me, overcoming my own family struggles I know I can pull her through with time. She is a part of us now and she feels it. It’s been over a month since she’s even brought up her mother or father I can only imagine what goes through her little mind.
I can’t help but wonder how my sister could do this. Not once did she ever express any motherly qualities or attention for her child. I just don’t understand, if she never wanted her why she chose this path instead of allowing me to adopt her in the beginning. It would have saved my niece from all the pain and neglect. Amazes me at how selfish people are.