Monday, December 29, 2008

One Daughter

The little brother, little sister, and Tigger several years ago, our last family Christmas together.

Jenn with Auntie Mum THEE English Aunt.

Probably J's last family get together, shortly after this the kids were taken into foster care. Look at her joy, the light in her eyes. Lord save her again.

But to know this, we have to go back and start at the beginning.

Being 16 is not the time to have a baby. I knew that, I wasn't stupid or so I thought; so then why was I pregnant? Because I had gone "all the way." The really strange part of this story is that my mother set this up. My mom was loving, sweet, charismatic, charming, and probably bipolar or manic depressive. She decided it was time for me to have a husband and a family of my own so she brought a guy home and moved him into my room. I ain't lying. I was lonely, and well yeah he was kinda cute in a coarse kind of way. He had a steady check, as far as mom was concerned. We had nothing in common except teenage hormones.

That is how my one child was conceived and brought into this world. One daughter. Jenny.
A lot of the time I was really lousy at the parent thing. I'd just take my daughter up to my mom's house and give her to her, for weeks at a time. My baby and my mother had a very special bond. My mama made magic with babies. She was one of those women who knows what a baby wants, when it wants it, and how it wants it, and they quit crying. Miracle baby worker. I was 17 and my baby skills were on the slim side. So my teen solution was give the baby lady, the baby.
My mom would only go along with that too a point. She had migraines and those would usually get me a call to come pick up your baby.

We had strange lingo, when the baby was mine she said your baby. When it was hers it's Nanna's baby, Nanna love it to death...

The poor kid was pretty mixed up. My mom's ability to not only care for her but also provide for her made me feel very inadequate. She had a great room set up for her I had a crib in the living room with me next to the refrigerator with the TV on top of it.

I can't really remember how old Jenny was when I met the hippies. Now I am thinking do I really want to go here? If you don't want to know, quit reading and come back another day.
That will work. I can't skip this part because it helped and hurt our situation and it may have had a huge part of my daughters struggles.

Hippie women presented options to me in parenting styles. They showed me back packs, and baby slings, simple ways to haul a child around and simple ways to get places. While they showed me how they did their mothering thing all calm, cool and groovin, they also encouraged me to step into the roll of being my child's mother,and included in that, "here have a puff of this."

I took the plunge. I chose the child and the hippies, and began trying to make a life for us. A life that had fringe elements in it. It seemed ok at the time, kind of a everybody is doing it deal. I went with them because they supported me. Instead of taking my problem away they helped me solve my own, that so much of this occurred stoned seemed a minor issue.

Fast forward, I'm having a party. Jenny is in a play pen and a bunch of guys are laughing. The way they are laughing is alarming. They are getting my two year old drunk. I freaked, party over, go home. Poor baby. The mother is looking for a hole deep enough to crawl into.

Fast forward, I get a phone call from my junior higher, she is sick can I come get her? She was spending the night with some friends and got drunk. She had the spins, did I know how to help? I put her foot on the floor. She was funny and pitiful at that moment and I didn't want to come down hard on her then; because she was so awful sick, as in green skin, matching vomit sick.
We discussed it later. She buffaloed me it wasn't the first time.

Fast Forward, at 15 she starts to run away from home frequently. Home is now stable, mom quit with any fringey stuff years before. Mom as in me, has become a new believer during these years and is born again. Before Jenn is 16 she is pregnant. My heart sinks. Different people are telling me she has problems with drugs and alcohol. I don't believe them.

Fast forward, a tiny premature baby enters our lives. I repeat my moms behaviors and basically care for this child better than her mom can which makes my daughter furious and despise me.
Her hippies are into crack cocaine, not a pit of the old evil weed. It's seriously kicked up a notch.
I do see a pattern emerging here in generational dynamics. But I don't see a solution.

Fast forward,next year another baby, when these 2 little girls are 3 and 4 they come to live with me for the first time and this will last years. Mom is hitting one of many bottoms, that are never low enough.

Fast forward, the girls have bloomed, they are learning and getting secure, they are a joy to me.
Their mom gets pregnant again and wants to marry this guy. Mom has declared she has recommitted her life and is getting right with Jesus. Can they live with us? Big decision here.
Did not happen quickly a lot of thought and prayer went into this.
We said yes.

We lived in a huge 4 story house that had enough space for everyone who lived there to have their own space. We asked Jenn not to be sharing a bed with M until they were married while under our roof. They agreed to it, yeah right, in your dreams. It wasn't long before the 4th pregnancy was announced.

This is a hit list so far of the trauma and drama that brought us to where we are now. There are whole chapters between these little bleeps. What I want to focus on is showing you who my babies mother is.

When full of her love for the Lord she did street ministry in down town Santa Cruz. She shared food stamps with the hungry, invited them to church and talked with them about how they got there; and how much God loved them. She was amazing. She took the Word of God so literally that in her mind if Jesus Christ himself spent the majority of his time with the unwanted wounded of the streets, then she would be there too. She chose to roll model her ministry after Jesus. That's my kid go straight for the top. We shared a lot of good times during this period and we were close.
Close enough that when an opportunity came up for an apt for them, a them that is married, it was a natural process to have my two girls try to go again with their mother. They were 7 and 9.

What came out later was how much they hid from us, drinking drugs,abuse. A big black closet full of secrets. ugly secrets.

Daughter breaks off contact with us. No communication.
We pray in tears, afraid , "Lord deliver them from evil."

Fast forward; Tigger and Piglet are sent to us after 6 months in foster care. The little sister and brother are given to the Dad's custody. He is currently homeless and they are with their mother. This family is now separated, and the two older girls moved from their home and siblings to a foreign land, Mississippi. They went into immediate culture shock and just freaked.

Learning to cast all my cares upon you, Jesus. This time we have a secure home. Their mom is not in their lives to hurt them or manipulate. That is a plus, the minus is they love her, she is rejecting them and that hurts.

They are thriving, growing, adjusted, and basically happy, in an uphill/downhill/ teenager way.

Piglet has just had a huge victory of faith. It reminded me of her mother. I had fear for her mother, because I saw that the enemy of our souls wanted to take her out, destroy her testimony. I was so blessed to watch Piglet take a tough spiritual test and pass it so well.
A little fear came creeping in, can she handle it? Will it push her? Will it make her crave these moments? Jenn had the potential to be a huge evangelist and work with masses of people. Unlike her mom whose little blog reaches 20 people on a really busy day. This girl could have impacted masses of people. It was there we could see it, and then the lights went out. She withdrew, she turned around, and went back to the prodigal pigpen, to wallow another time....

She has not escaped yet. At times we thought she was getting her life together. It is our hope.
The truth is we don't know anything anymore. That's the way she wants it.

How does God want it? I don't know but let me get out of the way. He knows what she needs.

I'm not really sure about this post. I want you to know Jenn to pray for her. She hates it when I talk about her and if by some chance she stumbled onto this she'd be mad. So I have tried to just make a list, a non threatening recounting of the time line, with everybody's unwise choices starting with my own. I want you to know there was a time when Piglets Mommy was a prayer warrior, a teen leader, a camp counselor, and always her beloved street ministry.

Lord please restore the years the locusts have eaten. More importantly there was a time when I had a daughter who wanted to be near me. She liked to lie beside me in the bed and talk. She thought deeply, was searching for truth but war raged in her flesh, drove her to distraction, to hasty decisions , to a path separate from home.

My prayer is for this broken families healing. For my daughter who I miss, for her daughters who also miss her. Whatever she has going in her mind to fuel this mess, Lord I ask that you'd put the fire out. Protect them, keep them safe, keep them for yourself and don't let the enemy touch even so much as a hair of their heads. BUT do as you need to do, to bring her back into a right relationship with you, and then I pray for us. She was my only child. Only God can heal our hearts.


Anonymous said...

How brave of you to share this Karen.
jenny and you all will be put on my praying list.

Becky said...

That was a ton of information. I will prayerfully process it. I can feel your strength in HIM come through this post. You have gained a wealth of wisdom from your experiences. God Bless.

Angela said...

Lord I ask that you'd put the fire out. Protect them, keep them safe, keep them for yourself and don't let the enemy touch even so much as a hair of their heads. BUT do as you need to do to bring them back into a right relationship with you, and then I pray with us.
amen amen amen Matthew 18:18-20. God's Word SHALL not return to Him void.! "I will contend with those that contend with you, and your children I will save." Isaiah 49:25b
Thank you Karen for sharing your heart. "The truth shall set you free". I love ya girl!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

What a story. I'm so sorry to hear all this, but as you know God does not lead you to anything he can't get you through, at least that's what people keep telling me. I've come to believe it.

I will pray for your daughter and the children. They are very, very fortunate to have you.

All those things you did when you were young made you who you are today, you can't regret that.

And by the way, who you are today is a fabulous person, one I am honored to "know" through this blog.

What a story, I'll say it again.

Heidi said...

You said somthing that really slapped me in the face my dearest friend. 'Her mom only has a blog that reachs 20 people on a busy day' - well guess what? Maybe those 20 people or just 1 of those 20 people need you everyday. I would LOVE To be the first one to stand up and say I need you everyday Karen. You are always on my side and I know that you pray for my family. I can feel that - SO weather its 20 or a hundred its the one that needs to hear at that moment of decision that matters. Your daughter will not be lost, prayers just take a while to be answered at times and only our Lord knows why.

Heidi said...

Oh, I forgot to say - I LOVE YOU!!! and pray for your strength, for the kids strength and for your husbands strength. It takes a special man too doesnt it. :) I wish I could throw my arms around you right now and sqeeze the living daylights out of you, but this will have to do for now!!!


Laura ~Peach~ said...

hugs and many of us have come from or been in the most bizzare situations but at some point we made a choice and a decision ... Jenn has as well... hopefully God will touch her in such a way to give her a different choice... until then we pray.
Love and hugs

Big Hair Envy said...

I cannot begin to imagine what you and your family must have been through....and are still going through. One day at a time is all you can hope to accomplish. Let God take care of the rest. He has a plan for Jenn, and only HE knows how things will end up.

((Hugs & Prayers))

I neglected to post the South Beach link earlier. It is now up.

Unknown said...

I admire you for your strength and courage in this post.

It takes a special person to humble themselves like you just did.

If Jenn reads this, she should be proud of you, and feel your love.

I pray for her, you, and your precious granddaughters.

Karen Deborah said...

Heidi your comments brought tears to my eyes. and to all of you, thank you. I very rarely ever talk about my daughter to anyone. Most of the time I just push the whole thing out of my mind. But a mother can never really forget her child. I gave her life and for that there are no regrets.

imbeingheldhostage said...

wow. beautiful, poignant writing. It's devastating to see so much potential go to waste!! I think we're in hard times. Times with the adversary is fighting extra hard to take the valiant ones. I'll be praying!!