Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More about little Ali

I have an update on my post of March 22. I was walking our dogs this afternoon and saw Ali for the first time since her mother's suicide attempt. She greeted Bonbon and Abby, then hugged me. Today is her youngest brother's birthday and the kids were waiting for their mom to pick them up at the neighbor's house where they lived until recently. Ali said we're going to spend the night at my mom's house. I asked for clarification on their living situation, having been given the impression they were living with their mother after she was released from the hospital suicide unit. Not so. All the kids are with the grandmother in a town not far from here. Ali said that the case worker will decide when they can return to their mother. This news put my mind at ease regarding the safety of the kids. I'm glad that the State of Oregon is guarding their well-being.

Ali, true to form, was honest and positive. What a great girl she is. I miss all those kids in her family. They were the best neighbors - quiet inside their house, considerate at play outside, friendly conversationalists with adults, and gentle with our pets. More importantly, they all love one another and treat one another with respect. I recall with sadness now their first weekend in the house next door. Their stepfather had returned from Iraq a few months earlier (there are three birth fathers for the five siblings), their mom had begun her degree completion program at the same university where I completed the same (she lasted two weeks), and they were celebratory over being together in the "rent-to-own" two-story, yellow house with the big back yard. They worked together as a happy team in the yard and painted the front porch and the trim on the windows. As months passed they did some nice landscaping and showed pride of ownership. The house was decorated for a modest Christmas the last two years, but after last holiday season it was evident that things were unraveling.

We now have our former neighbors back next door, the ones who'd made the rent-to-own arrangement with Ali's mother! They actually had to move back in or lose the house altogether. In some strange switch, Ali's mother is now at the house they just left. This couple had been playing the sub-prime, no-money-down, rent-to-own, real estate game with high hopes of becoming moguls by now. None of it has turned out the way anyone dreamed.


sharryb said...

I'll add Ali and her family to my prayers.


Lydia said...

They are much needed and deserved. Thank you, Sharry.



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