Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The top 10 list is going to be put on the back burner for a couple of blogs.

I want to interrupt this dental blog to talk to you about my this kid I know.
This is going to take me a couple of days to tell this roller coaster of a story.
There is some sensitive stuff coming but I want to tell you so that if by chance someone is dealing with this stuff they may feel a bit encouraged.

I am going to get right into it.
By the way I though "No Country for Old Men" stunk. (I don't care what Bruce S. says about it).

It was November of 1997 when our friends went home to see their family.
Real quick, our friends had been married a year and a half and had just bought their first home.
Things were going great for this young couple.
But things were about to change in my friends life.

They soon realized their nephew was in big trouble. We will call him Billy. Billy was 5 and a half (almost six) and had never been in school. He lived with his mother, grandmother and great grandmother in a one bedroom house. His mother was a drug addict, and as drug addicts are, didn't give a shit about anyone but herself. I know it is the worst kind of disease but when they bring others into the world and they don't shape up, they are giving that disease to someone else. She was in a bad place. It was taking over her life and she was bring it home.

This kid loved his mother, as most kids do. He would be all torn up when his mother would tell everyone she was going to go out and get milk and disappear for 5 days.
One time, one the mothers many boyfriends went to jail because he brought Billy with him to burglarize a house. This is how bad it was.
It was bad, real bad. My friends (rich white kids) were finding out things about Billy that they never knew happened to kids.
Now our friends through the years saw all this playing out. But it was just getting worse and worse.
It was the worst kind of child abuse. The kind that leaves scars so deep.
They realized they had to do something about it. And as they would say later, "anyone of us would do it if they saw a kid get abused like their nephew".
So our friends pitched a solution to Billy's mother. "How about we take the kid for 6 months so you can get your life back together?"
They told the mother, "Its seems simple, you are drug addict and your son needs some consistency. He needs to have an education. Your son needs to go to the doctor and the dentist." "Help us help you".
She does what is in her blood and disappears. She was gone for three days. In the meantime our friends had drawn up a contract that gave temporary custody to the aunt and uncle, giving them permission to take him to the hospital and/or get medical attention when necessary.
The mother finally relented and signed the papers.

Just so you know that six months turned into 7 years.
As I said this kid should have been in kindergarten but had never been to school (at least on a consistent basis). The aunt immediately got the kid in school.
The beginning was pretty tough. He obviously didn't just pick up school like it was nothing.
He had never been around other kids in his life. He had to learn how to interact with other kids without hitting or biting.
My friends were both working professionals so they had the money to take care of the things he needed. And he had a lot of needs.
The got him in counseling and got him tutors.
Speaking from experience, when you raise a kid from birth there is a bond built between you and your kid. Trust is built. The authority is established. My kids know right from wrong. They know that dad and mom are the ones that tell me what to do. They are training me up to be an adult.
Billy came with none of this. They had to start from scratch.
They were doing the best they could with the help of their pediatrician who was a friend of theirs.
My friend told me once that when Billy was 8 one of his counselors said there was 98% chance that Billy was going to be a deliquent when he gets older.
He says genes are so much stronger than the environment.
They were hell bent on being the 2%.

Things started to settle. At the beginning, the mom was AWOL and it was easier.
Then she started to reappear. Then she would tell Billy that she was coming to get him.
Now I remember our friends telling us that his mother would tell him this constantly.
And never do it.
Not only is this tearing Billy up, but it is never letting him settle down in the home that my friends were trying to build around him. He was never able to root himself in their home.
He would never feel like he could do this for the long run because, "My mom is coming to get me."
Now how can you tell a 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 year old boy that his mom is a drug addict and is not coming to get him.
I remember talking to my friend when he was so frustrated and he told me that Billy acts so much better when his mom doesn't call. Months would go by and she wouldn't call, things were good.
But Billy's behavior changed when mom called. He would get in trouble and he would tell him mother. Of course the mother's MO is not to encourage discipline but to be his BEST friend. So she wouldn't say, "Listen, Billy if you do what they say...if you obey the rules, you don't get in trouble. So obey the rules and don't come to me with your stories." No she would say, "That sounds horrible Billy, let me talk to them and see what I can do for you."
Now my friends have a kid that thinks he is leaving in the summer time (every summer) and also doesn't respect their authority.
Time went on... he did everything a kid did. Pee Wee football. Baseball teams, private schools. Church. He was a real likable kid. Smart, witty, handsome, but I would think to myself that this his life could be a whole psychiatric text book.
There was so much shit going on in his head that it was like a spider web.

In the meantime my friends started to have their own family. They had two kids of their own. They had a nice little family and they really thought Billy would be with them forever. They tried many times to get Billy's mother to give up custody. They talked to attorneys about getting somethings down on paper. But much to there dismay the attorneys always said the same thing. The mother has all the rights.
If she signs over her custody and then wants him back then she probably could get it back. One attorney went as far to say that the mother could be a crack whore and most judges would give the kid back to her. So keep you thousands of dollars and hold on to him and hope the mother never comes wanting him.

When Billy was about 11, mom started to really be a nuisance. Also, I never told you about Billy's dad. Well he was in jail for awhile and was now out. Oh No, you say. Well, yes. He started to resurface too.
Now Billy's mom started to call and start saying things like, "it is time for you and I to be together."
I am going to come get you this summer.
Now she didn't have a job, she didn't have a place of her own (she was still living with her mother and grandmother). She didn't have any money. (now I am not saying you need all these things to be with your kid, but for her it would be a good start)
She kept saying, "it was time for her and Billy to be together.

My friends held on like troopers. Things might have been unravelling but they were trying to keep it together.

That summer Billy's mom came to get him.

This is where I am going to stop.
This is probably going to take three day because Billy has just resurfaced in our friends life.
He is 17 years old now.
It is not a happy ending.

Talk to you Friday,

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