Parenting: Ready or not

I was 22, going to college, working, getting my deen straight, etc, when I had an 11 month old kid. Did you double read? I know.

My kid had been in foster care since she was 2 weeks old. The state of Arkansas had removed her from her parents custody. Her dad (my bro) called one night, drunk, begging our parents to “get his baby.”

First thought? “Oh hell naw! A baby? We don’t have the time or capacity for that! My parents are too old for this!”

I listened to my brother beg and beg our parents. It was pathetic. I don’t mean pathetic as in “ugh, pathetic,” but “*sigh* pathetic.” Ya know? Our parents agreed, and my younger brother and I both knew what that meant. We were going to be responsible for a very young child. I told my mom “If we get her, they better not ask for her back.” Attachment issues.

After almost a year of battling the state of Arkansas, Aaliyah arrived.

She was really chunky, didn’t have much hair for an 11 month old, was afraid of water, and couldn’t sit up very well. It was obvious that she was suffering some developmental delays. She had huge dark marks all over her; bruises we assumed. Nursing school later learned me that they were Mongolian spots. Aaliyah didn’t say much, didn’t crawl or pull up like a regular 11 month old. This, I thought, was gonna be rough.

Since I love bebes, and bebes (babies) love meh (me), I was constantly in her face. She wasn’t very interactive, and would only look at me like “what are you doing?” Her foster mom had a dog, so she would pant like a dog. The only other sound she’d make was crying.

Aaliyah was a really sad person. She would just eat and sleep. She never smiled, didn’t respond to playing, and wouldn’t babble. I remained constantly by her and I have no idea why. I just needed her to understand social interaction. I knew that she would come around, and I needed to be there in her face every second.

On the fourth day, I left her in her room so I could go in mine to get dressed. She cried and screamed like it was nobodies business. My mom and brother got her, but it didn’t work. I took her, and she was fine.

The mode was set. I was about to embark on a crazy 5 year journey.


3 thoughts on “Parenting: Ready or not

  1. I admire your courage and taking on this responsibility unexpected. Are you still raising her, Aaliyah? We tried to do something similar once, it was a different case involving Child Services, and my sister was the translator of a family in court. The parents had issues and it resulted with their 3 children being separated from them (and from each other) and one of the kids ended up in my hometown. She was 10 (the oldest of the 3) and got enrolled in school where my mom worked. Obviously, my mom heard this thru my sister and they got close so we tried (it was actually the girl’s wish to stay with us) to get in touch with Child Services to offer our support as a foster family. They were already in talks with someone else, but they took the time to visit and to “inspect” us. I’m sure we were qualified and had valid points. My mom also being a social worker and having a degree in Psychology, she had a good understandingl of the “inner workings”. There were 5 of us at home and she would have been looked well after. Also, the fact, she would be able to maintain her cultural heritage, beliefs and language. Which they didn’t give a shit about lol. They didn’t go for it, probably thinking we’d be the same as the original family, instead they suggested we do a 6 month course…but by then, the girl would be with a gora family 😛

    • Thanks, it’s by the will of Allah.

      Oh hell yes, I’m her legal guardian. She stays with me pretty much 24/7 now.

      Taking on a kid and raising them is no small feat. In sha Allah if y’all are afforded the opportunity, I hope you’re blessed with the means to do it.

      Still, ya gotta look at mahram issues, which is what I’ll face IF I get married. Booo.

      • That’s great and yeah I know, you have a big heart! This was also in fact 5 years ago. It was a turning point for me…it’s when I decided I want to study social sciences\work 😛

        Lol, I hope everything works out for you (and both) and it should! Not everyone have it in them to do what you did, it’s a very commendable act (even in Islam) and if anyone has a problem with that…u or her are not the issue! She’s lucky to have you as you’re lucky to have her 😉

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