I have gone back and forth about this post. I’ve shared a lot with you here. You all are an extended family and support system.
I truly almost didn’t put this up. But my mind and my heart weigh very heavy right now.
I have a niece. My brother has an 8-year-old daughter. She lives with her mother and step-father in Oklahoma. My brother spent a lot of time with her before they moved. He was heart-broken when she was gone. He hasn’t seen her in quite some time and has to beg for pictures.
My brother has talked about moving near us for support and to be near his nephews. He wouldn’t be any further away from his daughter than he is right now.
Yesterday I got a text from my brother that there may be 2 moving to be near us instead of one. He was going to call to explain.
Then came the Facebook post. Please hold me back from the man who struck my daughter.
A knot formed immediately in my gut.
I grew up in an abusive home. I watched my father hit my mother. I felt the searing pain from my head being smacked against the wall by the force of my father’s hand. I was called names. I was part of a world that helped to build who I am today. A world that I would never wish on another child.
And now my niece, a precious little girl who I’ve never met, has joined the ranks of abuse survivors everywhere. For her sake I hope she stays a survivor.
My brother received a phone call from Child Protective Services regarding the investigation. There were marks on her face and her arms. Her mother and her step-father are both under investigation. Her step-father has been removed from the home until the investigation is complete. If Child Protective Services decides to remove her from her home then she would go to live with my brother – or with me.
My brother has considered the option of having my niece come to live with us so that she’s not uprooted twice. He would then bust ass to get out here as soon as humanly possible to be with all of us. When he asked me how I felt about this option the answer was simple.
You don’t turn away family. Ever.
I’m praying for my niece. I’m praying for her heart. I know her pain. I know her fear. I’m praying for her mind. I know her thoughts, her lack of self-esteem. I’m praying for her life. I know how the system works and that she’s not 100% protected.
For now we wait. The system has to follow the preset rules in order to make sure that whatever decisions made will stand solid in a court of law.
Patience… It has never been my strong suit. I’m less patient now with all that’s at stake.
So I come here asking for your strength. Strength for my niece to get through the upcoming days, weeks and months. Strength for my brother to get through his days knowing that his daughter could be in danger. Strength for my little immediate family to grow if that is the fate that has been chosen for us.
Please take a moment to send a positive thought to my sweet niece. A prayer or two if you are so inclined. And hug your kiddos tonight knowing that they are safe in your arms.