Wednesday, January 26, 2011

She is 24

Do you remember what it was like to be 24 years old?
All I remember is trying to have lots of fun, while working very little.  My mom called it “carousing”.  My friends and I called it “party, party, party, tanning”.  I certainly didn’t want any responsibilities and no consequences either.  Life was a ball of fun.
That is not the life of 24-year-old Isabel.
Isabel made a life for herself.  While she didn’t go to college, she went to trade school and is working as a hair stylist.  She overcame a negative childhood.  Her mom tended to run around with lots of men, many of whom brought domestic violence into their lives.  Isabel knows about CPS.  She knows that CPS caseworkers helped her several times.  She was thrilled when she graduated from high school and got out – she got an apartment, finished her training, and made a life for herself.  But her mom’s life didn’t change.
Isabel has 4 younger half-brothers, ages 3, 6, 7, and 11.  The boys were living with Isabel’s mom and her then boyfriend until about a month ago.  Isabel’s mom finally made a choice.  She chose her violent boyfriend over the welfare of her sons.  When CPS talked to Isabel about taking in the boys, the 24-year-old girl said yes.  Even with her 24-year-old life just beginning, even with not having enough beds, even with not knowing exactly how she would care for her 4 little brothers, she said yes.
Community Partners of Dallas helped her buy bunk beds for the boys.  We helped her with a deposit on a larger apartment.  We helped her with all of the initial needs of the boys.
Isabel will be giving up any carousing.  Giving up her “party, party, party, tanning”.  She is 24.