Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Mommy, Why Does Baby G. Have to Go to Jail?"

"Mommy, why does Baby G. have to go to jail?"

That was the question my 9 year old daughter Betty asked when she saw me crying.  The news had just come that my friends unbelievably and incomprehensibly lost their adoption case.  (You can read my previous posts on this here.)

I struggled to explain the unexplainable to Betty. 

"D. and S. love Baby G. very, very much," I stammered through my tears.  "And they want to keep taking care of her, to be a family.  And, well ... there are some people who think she should be with her birthfather, and I don't know why they think that."

I had already explained that the birthmother chose D. and S. to raise Baby G. because she knew that they could and would provide a better life for her ... but that the birthfather was in prison and didn't agree with that. 

"But he's in JAIL!  How in the WORLD can he take care of a baby when he is in jail?"

"I don't know, baby." 

"I want to write a letter," Betty declared, offering up her solution for everything. 

And indeed, that was our collective response and call to action too. When we learned that this was a potential outcome, a campaign was launched by D.'s sister to write letters of support to the Wisconsin judge who alone had the power to grant Baby G. the chance to grow up in the loving arms of the only people she has known as mom and dad for her first 6 months of life, instead of in the foster care system. 

The "Save Baby G." campaign was supported by a Facebook community that, as of yesterday, had grown to over 450 supporters.  Some of us (yours truly included) offered to try and mobilize our media contacts and take this national.  (The lawyers advised against such and in keeping with our friends' decisions to honor such, we reluctantly didn't pursue that.)

I don't know how many letters were received. I do know that more than a few of my blog readers wrote one, and for that I will be forever grateful. (D. wrote and said how touched she was by the letters from my friends, so I know she at least saw them.)

But I don't know if the judge did. He couldn't have, because he decided yesterday to dismiss the case and order Baby G. to be returned to Wisconsin and into the foster care system. 

Read that sentence again, because trust me - it takes a little while for the magnitude of this to sink in.

A judge in Wisconsin ruled yesterday that a 6-month old baby is better off in the foster-care system instead of with two loving, adoptive parents who can give her a life of promise and potential, of abiding faith, of joyful love

I don't know what recourse or appeal options are there, if there are any to begin with.  There's not much money left to pursue any. 

But what I know is this. 

A judge in Wisconsin (never mind the damn judicial system itself) horribly failed a little girl yesterday and the parents who desperately want nothing more than to love her. 

I know that the heartbreak spilling out via Facebook messages this morning is palpable among our group of friends. 

And so is the raw anger and the declarations (mine included) that we hope karma is a bitch. 

And the shaken and broken faith in God, in prayer, in everything that we're taught to believe in.

And the disbelief that we live in a country where this can actually happen. 

And the helpless feeling that maybe we could have done more.

And the fear of what Baby G.'s future holds versus all that it could have been.  

And the lack of answers to questions about why a 6-month old baby needs to go to jail. 

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Trisha said...

Absolutely horrifying and a true travesty of our judicial system. I am so sorry for Gia and her adoptive parents.

Nic said...

If you knew anything about what adoption can do to a child, being taken away from their biological parents is horrible, even if they have to be temporarily disconnected, it's better than having your identity stolen by the adoptive parents.

I'll be writing the judge to tell him bravo for protecting the birthfather's rights!!

brenda said...

Heart wrenching - tough topic to handle with a child as well. Makes our jobs all the more difficult. Nice post, tho. Probably doesn't make it any easier. (I am her via shewrites)

Alison said...

I'm so, so sorry to hear about the judge's decision. How heartbreaking.

Biffle was adopted, and he and I have talked about adopting at some point in the future. I'm thinking about Gia's parents--I just don't know how you get through having your six month old child taken away from you.

Melissa said...

Trisha, Brenda, and Alison - thanks so very much for the kind words and support.

Alison - if you do adopt domestically, stay the hell away from Wisconsin.

K A B L O O E Y said...

How terrible. Couldn't there have been some mediated open adoption giving the birth father the right to visitation, updates, etc? I don't know Wisconsin law, but this certainly doesn't sound like acting in the best interests of the child. And how horrible for your friends. What recourse is there?

Elizabeth said...

This whole story is so shocking and stupendously stupid.

I can't imagine why this judge couldn't have arranged some sort of visitation thing for the biological father --

One wishes for the wisdom of Solomon in these circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking there should be a law that takes into consideration how much TIME each party has spent with the child.
I'm very sorry to hear this and hope there's still a way for her to be with the parents that love her.

Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) said...

I am so so so sorry this happened. Why one earth would it be ruled this way?
My heart goes out to your friends and I pray for a safe future for that little girl.

Steph said...

@ Nic - So what do you think will happen to her identity when she's growing up with a mom out of the picture, a dad in jail, and possibly going through multiple foster homes? Yeah being adopted might cause some issues, but all the people I know who were adopted are very happy today and wouldn't trade their adoptive parents for anything.
I definitely agree with everyone else that this poor child is being robbed of the chance to have a better life.