I don’t want to go to sleep.

I don’t want to go to sleep even though I need to. I don’t want to go to sleep even though I do, very much. I’m so tired. I don’t want to go to sleep even though I’m halfway there already–but I still don’t want to go to sleep because I don’t want to wake up to yet another morning without my littlest one’s sweet face looking sleepily up at my from the crook of my arm, my older daughter’s boisterous voice calling the rest of us out to come start the day, make some pancakes, pour some juice, look at the pretty dress she’s put on–something! I don’t want to fall asleep without being able to hear the quiet hymn of my daughters’ breathing, and I don’t want to wake up to another day empty of their chatter. I don’t want to go to sleep not a mother anymore and wake up not a mother still. I don’t want this anymore. What’s the safety word? Cacao? I want out. Please someone make this nightmare finally end. Give me back my little girls, don’t make me go to sleep without a kiss goodnight for mommy anymore.

Some Light Reading on Child Services

Hiya folks! It’s me Elizabeth Brico AKA Betty. I know, I know, I have not posted in farrrr too long. And I’m sorry to say, this won’t be a full post either. I have been doing a lot of work investigating various aspects of the child “welfare” system over the past several months, especially for my Reimagining Communities fellowship with the National Council and my journalism fellowship with Talk Poverty. I was recently in Washington D.C. speaking at Georgetown Law about the ways in which child services is not designed to help people with substance use disorders, and is actually harming families they claim to want to help. So, my message is gaining some traction, even while my own case continues to face the very corruption I am battling.

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An Open Letter To The People In Charge Of My Family

The “community agency” in charge of my case wants to adopt out my daughters. They tried, last month in court. But by the end of two hours, when it became clear that they had mislead the court about their efforts to reunify our family (their literal job), and downplayed or straight up excluded evidence of my own efforts to remain compliant, even their own attorney would not join in that request. In an unexpectedly fair twist, all the attorneys, including the state and the guardian ad litem, asked for my case to be extended on a reunification track, and the judge granted the extension through the end of August. That’s the time I have to try to change everyone’s mind about me.

I celebrated by taking my girls, and their grandma, to see Frozen on Ice. Their faces glowed with genuine wonder and delight when those princesses came skating out. Anabelle told me it was the best surprise ever. The heartsong of their voices have been ringing inside of me since then, bouncing bittersweet between my ribcages like pinballs. I miss them. It’s been almost a year of this forced separation, this supervised nonsense. I don’t deserve this, and they deserve it even less. I miss them. They miss me. I want them, and they want home too.

This is my plea…

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