I was 21 when my 2 and 3 year old daughters were pulled from my arms, put in a car and taken to a stranger’s house…
It is an indescribable feeling to wonder if that was the last time I would see my babies…
I was young and confused…I was told they were removed because their father was an abusive man. He never touched the girls but he wasn’t nice to me. Here I was a high school dropout and a stay-at-home mom and I was told I could not regain custody of my girls until I got a job that would support all of us and move out and get away from my boyfriend.
I didn’t know how to be on my own…I was so scared and I felt hopeless. To make matters worse, I didn’t get to see my girls for the first time until more than a month after they were taken. I had no idea who they were with or where they were.
Then I heard they were moved to another foster home that did not wish to communicate with me. It was a very surreal feeling to not have any control over where my girls were living and who they were with. I was just hoping they were with someone kind.
Four months after my girls were taken I heard from the case manager that they were moved again to their 3rd foster home. This time the foster mom called me and introduced herself and I just burst into tears. I was so thankful to know that my girls were okay and the woman on the phone sounded nice and like she really liked my girls. She let me speak to them on the phone and before long I was welcomed into her family. She had two boys so we would go do outings like shopping at the mall or play at McDonalds. She encouraged me to call my girls whenever I wanted to speak to them. With her encouragement and after completing all of my required classes and getting myself a job I was able to regain custody of my girls. The foster mom and her husband drove my girls home after 9 months in DCS custody and brought with her two vans full of stuff that my girls had accumulated in the 5 months in her home. She blessed me and my family with gifts as well, to make our lives a bit easier. She didn’t just love my girls…she loved me too! She cried while she hugged my two girls and said goodbye and then she and I hugged…two mamas…two girls…two hearts…we are forever bonded because of this very traumatic situation that unexpectedly brought us together.
It’s been 4 years since my girls were in the system…I am doing well…I have a job and my own place…life isn’t perfect…it can be a struggle just to make It some days…but we manage. We still talk to Mama Bridget…that’s what we all call her…she is busy but she sees us when she can and still takes my girls back to her house once in awhile.
Several months after my girls came home, I received notification that I would be receiving an award for doing such a good job of regaining custody and keeping custody of my girls! It was incredible to receive this honor! A few years after that I got a call from Mama Bridget and an invitation to volunteer with her at the same reunification event where I had previously received an award. I said absolutely!!! We served together side by side…two mamas…honoring other moms and dads that had overcome like I had and regained custody of their children. It’s come full circle for me and now I’m beginning to mentor parents whose children are in the system. I understand the fear, the pain, and the uncertainty…it feels overwhelming…but you can do this…there are many of us…we’ve been through it…we get it…and we want to help!
If you are a parent whose children are in the system and you need someone to talk to email me! My name is Tammy Robinson and I am here for you and I can point you to organizations that can support you!