I got an email from my sister today that said “Going to trial is going to cost me $15,000.00 and they want it all by May or I will have to represent myself. I don’t know what to do.” The truth is that I don’t know either. My sister has been working 2 part-time jobs on top of going to school full-time to pay for the typical bills, a room in a cheap apartment with me, and anywhere from $750 to $1,500 a month for lawyer bills. I have offset her bills by paying extra whenever I can and recently discovered that I too am in the negative in my bank accounts.
My sister left her emotionally abusive husband 4 years ago and came to live with me. At the time I was financially stable and could afford to pay rent for a small 2 bedroom for myself, Nora and my nephew. I have co-parented my nephew since then. I have grown up with him in my life have become a better person, a loving being more than I was before his birth. He is magical child.
When he is with us he tells me that he gets to us his “magination.” He asks for adventures outdoors, in our living room and by learning things. “What are giraffes made up of?” He asks and that becomes our day. He loves learning and exploring and making new friends. He befriends my friends with his timidness and captures their hearts with his tenderness.
The court hearing is in July. I cannot share any details about the case or the reasons why I believe that the father does not deserve primary custody. I can share why I believe he should stay with my sister. My sister is a compassionate, patient parent. She allows his interests to bloom and has created large art projects with him including “Teatro Sebas” a cardboard puppet theater, a cardboard fire truck that fits 2 small beings, and collaborative paintings that cover the walls. He is bilingual although his father had discouraged this and has told him that he, Sebas, is not Mexican or mixed. In our home he is allowed to have feelings, to cry, to throw fits. He is disciplined with positive reinforcement and showed unconditional love with affection.
Sebastian is a mixed child. He is 5 years old and already understands racism. He is aware of how belonging with his white family means denying his mixed heritage, he is smart. Internalized racism is not avoidable but I know that when people of color grow up around positive representations of people like him they grow up with more confidence.
Please if you can, give anything by clicking title of this post at the top of the page. Right now the goal seems impossible and I believe that anything is possible. Thank you for considering. Please share widely.