Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Story of Joseph - Julie's Side

I feel like I haven't been fair to Julie in my story of Joseph.

The fact is that I sometimes feel some bitterness towards Julie. I feel like she gave Joseph so little when he is deserving of so much. When I think about it harder though it occurs to me that it's probably not fair to direct those negative feelings towards Julie.

She was so young when she got pregnant. Not a lot of seventeen year olds are prepared to be good parents, especially not those who don't even know that they're pregnant until they're in labor. After Joseph was born Julie had no support from anyone in her life. Her own family never showed an interest in Joseph. I think Joey tried his best but in the end there really wasn't much he could do for Julie or for Joseph.

Once Julie got involved with social services she had plenty of people to support her ..... in being a parent. Her social worker, the people who taught the parenting classes, the supervisors at the group home, they were all there to support her in parenting Joseph. What Julie needed though was someone to support her to not be a parent. She needed someone to see that she didn't want to raise a child and she needed someone to say "That's ok. Now let's see what other plan we can come up with."

But no one did that. And in a lot of ways, Julie was as much a victim of a screwed up system as Joseph was. At least Joseph had us and Sabrina and his guardian ad litum. Julie didn't have any of that.

Sometimes I look at Joseph and I think "Why didn't she do better for him?" and I have to remind myself that in the end it doesn't really matter. What matters is that he got love and attention and affection. I can't be upset with Julie for not giving what she simply didn't have to give.

So did she love him? I think that she did. Julie's final act in this story is a loving one and I think it speaks much louder than many of her other actions (or inaction).


Cathy said...

Good point - thinking about julie for a minute.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this was in response to my comment, but I am glad you posted it!

Laggin said...

In Julie's experience, the system never considered that she might not want to be a parent. That is interesting when juxtaposed against Matt's experience over at Matt, Liz & Madeline. There the system suggested adoption when he lost his wife.

It's a sad statement.

The Laundress said...

He is so lucky to have you.

I am so happy to learn all about him.