This week, I want justice. Since my last Manic Monday, I have actually been able to get one of the smaller things that I've wanted for a very long time, a Nintendo DS. I tossed around the differences between a DS Lite and a DSI, and checked out the specs and coolness of the brand-new DSI XL. Eventually I settled on the DSI because it's better than the DS Lite and not as bulky as the DSI XL. I also got a few games, including the Nintendogs game because I am actually such a dork that this game is why I wanted a DS in the first place.
I feel like my life is going in the direction that it should these days. Private Ryan ships out for Army training in 32 days, and after that we hope to be married so that we can apply for post housing together wherever he is stationed. We are planning to use the first half of his sign-on bonus to create a beautiful ceremony that will make up for us getting married at the courthouse, a ceremony that our friends and family, and most of all our little daughters can participate in. We are also planning to buy the laptop and the camera I've been wanting so bad, a new laptop for Private Ryan, and a netbook for little Teenybop. There is discussion about putting the netbook in the closet till Christmas and also picking up a DSI for her ... but we aren't decided yet. But it's like things are finally going okay for this family, we are headed off on new adventures to new and better things, seeking out interesting places, and hopefully getting to sit down and catch up with Jessica ... if we end up at Fort Hood, Texas ... and we've been told there's a 90% chance that with his MOS, that's where Private Ryan will probably be stationed. And that's why I want justice this week.
My cousin called me the other day ... she was crying, which means that for her something has gone terribly terribly wrong. She has been in court for about a year now, battling for custody of her son. She should have won, hands down. She has proof that her son's father isn't taking him to doctors when he should, isn't taking him to school when he should, she has taken photos of the bruises this poor boy wears because his father's temper is far too short to be raising a child. I have seen the marks on him myself. I have noticed the changes in his personality, how he is quieter and somewhat less of a six-year-old boy. This is a child forced to grow up much too fast, he's been fought over since he was an infant, he's been in therapy for seeing things at his father's house that no child should see. He's been beaten, he's been forgotten, he's been used as a pawn, a babysitter (yes, a babysitter ... for his brother and sister who are both under five years old), and he's been taught how to actually drive a truck by standing on the floorboard and pressing the gas until his father yelled at him to switch to the brake. They were mudding and the truck had gotten stuck, apparently.
What I want more than anything this week is justice, because just as my cousin should have been winning her case and celebrating a return to full-time motherhood, she has had her world fall apart around her. She didn't win completely because the judge was "a little biased" ... She got shared custody that requires her to drive about 400 miles a week to transport her son to his school in another county. But when she shared this good news (good because all she had before was Saturday and Sunday) with her boyfriend of over two years, he blew up and told her that she needs to move out of his house and find somewhere else to live because he "can't handle the drama" anymore.
I want justice for my poor cousin who can't seem to catch a break in life, who is facing losing her son completely and also being thrown out of the home she has lived in for two years with no job, no car, and no prospects. But she is a big girl and has actually been through so much more than that and she will be okay ...
The justice I really want is for her son. For a sweet little boy who doesn't know which way is up, who is tossed from house to house to house, who is pulled in and out of court, who is told one story and then another, who has only his mother to depend on and yet she is unable to save him no matter how hard she tries. I want justice for an innocent child who is beaten and belittled, who is used and sometimes even "forgotten" by his father (when the house in on fire, no less), who is wearing such run-down and ragged clothes and shoes to school that the public school system offers to buy him new ones.My cousin has even provided the boy's father with nice clothes for him to wear, but still he is dressed in rags. The boy who needs glasses but they are not provided for him even though others have offered to buy them. The little boy who should be fishing on the weekends and studying during the evenings but instead is shuffled wherever his father wants him to be at all hours of the day and night.
I just want him to be able to know where his home is, to know each night which pillow he will lay his head on, and for him to be given such a life that he is able to be gently led to Christ as all children should be. I want him to have nice clothes and fun toys, play time with people who love him, and fun afternoons at the park as pictured above (with Teenybop last fall just after Kindergarten started) ... but he only has those things with his mother and she has done nothing but struggle to provide well for him since he was born. She should be left alone to mother her son without his tyrant father always stepping in to ruin everything.
I WANT JUSTICE.