Thursday, June 21, 2007

I knew this moment would come....

UPDATE: 6/21 9:55pm See below

...and I knew I'd feel this way. I think I'm going to be SICK!!!

A few posts ago, I mentioned that our family would be going through some changes in the upcoming days, weeks, months, etc. Well, we're in the midst of it now. I've spoken to a few of you, my friends, about this recently. But I haven't really "dumped" it here goes.

Before I begin, let me tell you, this will be a long post. So if you're already losing interest, this might be a good time to stop reading.

I have thought long and hard about, exactly how much detail I'd go into when I write this post. I've wondered if I'd cry as I wrote it...or if this would simply be my therapy and my way of getting it off my chest. Either way, I don't think that by telling you all of this, that I'm going to feel better about ANY of it. But I know me...and if I keep this inside me, I'll explode.

On March 27, 1995, I received a phone call from my mother. She told me that my sister was, not only pregnant, but in labor. Two days later, on the 29th of March, my nephew, Markell was born. A lot of "family issues" insued over the next few days after Markell's birth. And all my husband and I knew was, we needed to "save" this little boy. Not from my mother and not from my sister. But from the system. He was about to be put up for adoption.

So the Sunday after he was born, me and my oldest daughter drove to Mobile, Al to see how we could assist. And to simply be there for my sister. Upon our arrival, we found that we still had 6 weeks before he'd be gone for good. So the next day, my sister and I went to pick him up from foster care. 3 days later, I was headed back to Georgia with a 7 day old baby boy. My nephew.

Fast forwarding a bit, due to my sister being a minor at the time, she signed over all parental rights of Markell to me and my husband and indefinitely made us his legal guardians. Now, he'd still be in the family and would not have to be in the "system" and wait to be adopted by, God knows who.

In taking on this legal guardianship, we were able to raise this little boy as we saw fit. And in doing so, we NEVER made him think that we were replacing his mother. He even called us, "Uncle & Auntie" cute :-). But over time, as he got older, on his own, he began calling us mom and dad. And I'm sure that was to give himself some sort of normalcy. I was honored that he thought of me as his mom. However, it did make visits from my sister a little awkward at times. But still, Markell thought of me and my husband as the mother and father figures in his life. What a promotion that was for me...from auntie to "mom".

Now I come to the difficult part. We knew that it was inevitable that Markell would want and need to know why he was living with his aunt & uncle as opposed to his mother. We never held anything back from him and always answered his ways that he could understand. As time went on, those questions became a little more frequent and you could see his little mind just going. Eventually, Markell started having some difficulties in school with regards to his behavior and in turn being a little rebellious at home. Over the past year or so, it's been almost a part of life. But we dealt with it and moved on...just as parents do.

Lately, again over the past year or so, Markell has been wanting to spend more time with his mother. When they're together, they do fun things and life is a little more, shall we say, lenient when he's with her. So I can't fault the boy for wanting to spend more time with her. But his behavior was getting a bit more troublesome. Being that he's only 12 years old, he feels that being in trouble isn't fun. So he has informed us that he wants to go live with his mother.

This brings me to today...right now...this very moment in time. I am SICK about this! We have loved Markell and raised him as our own for over 12 years. Again, I don't fault him for wanting to be with his mother...I don't know how that desire feels, I've always had my mother with me. But at the same time, I feel betrayed. Actually, I feel SO many things right now and it brings me to tears. I love Markell more than he'll ever know or understand. I love him as my son. My husband feels the very same way. Even though we have been experiencing some trying times with him lately, I wouldn't trade the last 12 years with him for anything in the world. I'd do NOTHING different.
I'm having a VERY hard time going from aunt to "mom" back to aunt again. I don't want him to be angry with us for doing what's right for him. We have ALWAYS had his best interest at heart...and we'll continue to. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't upset, hurt, sad and angry about what's forthcoming. Because I do feel ALL of those things, strongly. I cry about this daily because I know MY days with him, living under my roof and in my care, are numbered.

My sister called today and wants to discuss the "final phase" of "the move". I haven't called her back yet as I'm trying to just make this go away. I knew this moment would come...and I thought I'd be ready. But I'm not.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think my sister won't take good care of him. But like I said, we've had him for 12 years and he's been an amazingly huge part of our lives. When Markell came along, my oldest daughter was 9 years old and had always been the only child. And we didn't think we could love another child the way we loved her. But Markell showed us that loving more than one child was very possible and not to mention, very rewarding. And of course, having Jayla just proved it even more.
These past few weeks have been very difficult. I know my husband is having a hard time with this as well. As we discuss this quite often. But for some reason, it's really hitting me hard. I can't imagine my day to day life without Markell in it...even through this rebellious stage he's in.

Like the old saying goes, change is inevitiable. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. And for the record, I don't...not a BIT! I'm sure Markell is beyond excited to be going to live with his mother. And I truly hope it's what he dreams it will be. I, by no means, am the perfect mother...especially for him. But I don't want to have to stop trying. I don't remember HOW to be just his aunt. However, I guess I'd better get on task...because it's coming...rather I'm ready or not. And I'm definitely not ready for it to be over the next few weeks. The way it's looking, Markell will be leaving before the first of next month. Update: Here it is, 9:55pm and I got word about 30 minutes ago that Markell will leaving tomorrow, 6/22 around 1pm.

Markell, I love you...always have, always will. Please don't ever forget that! We ALL love you and we'll miss you terribly. Be a good boy...or should I say, young man. And continue to make us proud...but even more so, make YOURSELF proud. Remember to always keep God first in your life and look to HIM when things aren't going quite as you'd like. There will be disappointing times in your life and things won't always go your way. But as we've been trying to teach you, that's a part of life. Be respectful of others, especially women and continue to be polite. Care about others feelings and care about're the only you we have! You have had the best example of what a man, husband and provider should be. Please don't ever forget what "Uncle Dad" has done for you and how he's lived before you. Live by his example, go to God for your guidance and you'll do fine.

Love you always, Aunt "Mom"


Adrienne said...

Im so sorry you are going through this! I have nothing I can add. I can feel the pain and sorrow in your words. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. How islittle princess handling it?

Dawn Bibbs said...

Adrienne, thank you so much. I truly appreciate your kind, heartfelt words.

Jayla, or the little princess as you say :-), is actually doing alright with it. She's a totally different breed. I know she'll miss Markell as she looks to him as her big brother. But I think she'll be fine. Thanks for asking about her. said...

I can truly feel your pain through your words. It just brings tears to my eyes and a lump in my throat! You're in my prayers.

gold said...

I don't know what to say ,but I will pray for you and your family.I know this is hard for you guys.Just keep talking to God because he is there for you.Just let him know that you are still there for him and truly love him!!

gold said...

PSALMS 18:32


I read this when thing get hard for me.

Cheryl Wray said...

Oh Dawn, I just got your email and had to pop over here and see what is going on. I had a feeling that it had to do with Markell and his mother.
I really don't know what to say, other than keep being stong and don't worry about being sad and mad and betrayed. Those rae normal feelings and I would feel exactly the same way!
Something else I think it's very important to realize--Markell is 12 and he may not truly understand how much you and your dh have done for him, how you have been a Mom and Dad when he didn't have any others, and how much you love him. 12year-olds, no matter how smart they are, aren't going to really realize this. But he's becoming a young man and he will get to the point where he understands it and I know you will feel that from him someday.
What I hate so much for you now is that he's leaving tomorrow. I know you will have a hard night, so I will definitely be thinking of you and praying for you throughout the evening and in the morning.
Hugs, smiles, and prayers to you!!

Susie Q said...

Oh heart is absolutely broken for you. I can only imagine the pain you and your husband feel...and God Bless your entire family.
I just do not know what to say to help in any way except yo say that I am here if you ever need an ear...and
that I will keep all of you,as well as Markell, in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

I must agree with Cheryl that he is still very young. I know that our Dan went through rebellion a bit when he hit 12. And he would tell you that at 12, Markell really does not realize all you have done for him or the amount of unconditional love you have for him. He WILL. I promise you that,
It is so normal for you to feel betrayed as well as hurt. I would.
But one day he will realize what you have done for him and been through for him.
My heart aches for you tonight and I will pray for all of you. You are in my heart Dawn...
I wish I knew what to say other than I think you are an amazing person, an amazing family. Markell has been so blessed to have all of you.
Your sister was blessed to have all of you.

Just hold tight to your faith and each other. I have seen this situation and often the child asks to return to the family he has always known! Right now it all seems like a fun time with fewer a 12 year old, that is a huge draw. We are all there with you and will pray and we care so much.
You are so special Dawn.

Love and hugs,

Jude said...

Wow Dawn. I cannot believe what you are dealing with. I am so sorry as it is, of course, painful. I admire you for being so, so loving in how you are handling it. You obviously have loved him dearly and deeply over the last 12 years, and this is akin to losing your own child. Remember, you have raised Markell well, and instilled your values and faith in him. Right now at age 12, if your sister presents the more lenient home, it is only natural for a 12 yr. old to want that. I know I would have, and actually used to ask to go live with my dad all the time as a youngster. I know you are not in a position to simply refuse his request, even though that may be what is best for him. Now, as you have to let him go, you will have a new role in his life. I think he will always see you and your husband as a safe haven, and a place of love and trust... be prepared, because he may need that more than fun sooner than you think. Pray for him, pray for him daily, and his choices, his new friends, his life. I will in turn be praying for you in these days ahead, as I know you are hurting. Keep us posted on how he is doing okay? HUGS to you...

denaid said...

My heart aches for you. I had tears in my eyes within the first paragraph of your post, knowing what was coming ahead.

You've had him for 12 years and made him into the wonderful young man that he is. You can only hope that you have instilled in him the
common sense, values and morals to help him through the rough roads ahead. He will continue to make mistakes but you've given him a valuable foundation. I hope he turns out to be as good of a person as you and your DH are.

I honestly don't know what else to say that I haven't already told you. I love you and I feel your pain. Be strong Dawn.

Veroncia said...

I can't say anymore that what these other wise women have said, and what I have already said to you in private. All of the feelings that you, Big M, the girls, and little M are going through are totally normal and natural. Really the only thing that can be done is to let go, and let GOD. He placed little M is you care for this long for a reason. Everything your family has taught him and showed him is in him. He will take all of your love and those lessons with him. And as time passes, he will grow to understand and APPRECIATE just how much you love and care for him. Go ahead and grieve, be angry, and be sad. God is with you through it all.

Brown English Muffin said...

I can't believe that even though I know about all of this reading it again can still make me teary eyed.

Be strong and know that EVERYTHING will work out for the best, god doesn't have it any other way.

Lynilu said...

Dawn, remember that there is a plan greater than ours ... yours. It is very hard to let go, but don't forget that you and hub have given this young man a world of knowledge and training that will help him for the rest of his life. I know it is sad, and I'm misty-eyed myself right now, but if he needs you again, he knows you love him. Smile, sweetie ... you've done well.

ScrappinMyRoots said...

Sorry you are going through such a heart breaking event Dawn. I don't know what to say, other than be strong and proud of yourself for giving him a solid foundation to grew from.

lynette said...

oh no, oh no!!! this is breaking my heart. i remember you posted for his birthday and he looked like such a teenager in that photo. you have so many memories in your heart. he definitely will remember EVERYTHING you've done for him. you've shown him the way, you've introduced him to God.

i'll be praying for you and your family through this time.

SHanna said... don't know me. You just posted a sweet comment on something of mine in the gallery at TwoPeas. I peeked at your blog and I am sitting here in tears for you. My 3girls are away at their Dad's for 6weeks and I while I am taking advantage of the alone time....I HATE not having them with me. I have struggled soooooo much with it. I have never been away from them for so long. They still have over 4 weeks til they come home to me in AZ. ANyway, I feel like the Lord is truly watching out for me. I have been praying to find some sort of comfort and I found it on your blog. Your story breaks my heart. I wish there was something you can do besides pray and just be patient. You're doing the Christian thing and being a great example to everyone involved. Especially Markell. I have no doubt in my heart and mind that you will get him back. Life is filled with adversity and tests. The Lord allows this to make us stronger and draw us closer to him. I thank you for sharing part of yourself and this story. My saddness has turned to gladness knowing I WILL at least get my girls back in 4 weeks. I have that to be grateful for. Thanks again and I will keep your family in my prayers! ~Shanna

Gretchen said...

Dawn, you have just done the most selfless thing you'll probably ever have to do. I wish I could come and hold your hand as you go through this. It's so not fair. None of it. However, in the unfairness of it all, you put your fingerprint of love all over this boy. I wish, in MY own selfishness, that he didn't have the choice to go back to his birth mother. However, it sounds like the decision has been made. Nothing is written in stone. As hard as it is, trust God, Dear Friend, to heal your broken heart and to provide for Markell. I echo the words of Cheryl and Susie Q. I'll be praying for you all. Many hugs!!!! Gretchen

Briyanna said...

I remeber the day you and I made that chocolate cake for Markell on his birthday.... That was the funniest
Mommy... you are a WONDERFUL mother... you have been for the past 22 years. Everything will be fine mommy... Just know that you have done an absolutely wonderful job... and whether he wants to show it right this moment.... Markell loves you... Jayla loves you and I love you... WITH EVERY BREATH IN MY BODY!!!
Take some YOU time mommy and relax... Call me, email me, IM me... if you need to talk or vent about anything.
I love you mommy... and if nobody else tells you, I will.... THANK YOU MOMMY!!!

Colleen said...

i am so very sorry that you are going through this. i'm here if you need me, ok?

Christine said...

Hi Dawn
I am mostly a lurker on your blog, but had to comment today because my family went throght the same thing when I was a child. My cousin was raised by mother the first 12 years of her life and when her mom got married it was decided that she stay with her mom full time. At the time being so young I did not realize how hard that was for my parents. But I do want to let you know that 28 years latter my cousin still calls my mother, mama and my father daddy. The relationship is different but the love is still there. Here is a cyber hug for you and I will be praying for you and your family.

Lisa D. said...

wow, i can only imagine how difficult this must be for is to hoping and praying that your pain will be eased.

Leah said...

Oh Dawn.. I'm so sorry I haven't checked you blog sooner! I hope the last few days have been bearable. I can not imagine what it must feel like. You have done such a wonderful thing for Markell. He has had the best love and support of you and your husband his whole life. And now you are doing such a selfless thing by letting him go. I am so so sosrry you guys are having to go through this.

Cynta said...

Dawn I have never let a comment before, but I read your blog...As others have said I can feel the pain and sorry in your post I am in tears as I type this...please know you and your family are in my prayers and remember God does all things well.

Muriel said...

I just read this and I wanted to add that my thoughts and prayers with you and your family. I hope that evrything will work out alright. I know that you kindness will be returned!

TanishaRenee said...

I am so, so very sorry that you are going through this. Markell is a very lucky little boy to have had you and your family in his life for 12 years. Just remember that you have had a huge impact in his life just by raising him to be the best person that he can be. The way he will grow as a young man is a reflection of everything you guys have taught him. I know this is not easy for your family, but hopefully there will be some solution that won't hurt as much! You are in my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Just another reader here. I will pray for your comfort and peace of mind. Perhaps after a while, Markell will realize what he is missing. If not, you know that you will always have a special place in his heart.

God bless.

Mama P said...

I see your face quite frequently when I visit Gretchen's blog. As the mother of a son, I can't imagine what you're going through. I do honestly believe, however, that like so mahy have said, this boy will be a man soon. He won't forget what you've done. It wouldn't surprise me if he wants to come back, either. Please feel free to visit my blog and email if you need an outsider's ear to cry on. Much love to you during this very difficult time.