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At 3:45pm my phone rang. It was Adopted Son.

“Mama! The judge said I HAVE to stay with you and go to school, or he’s sending me back to jail! Can I?” was his opening line.

Relief doesn’t begin to describe how I felt just hearing his voice. I knew from Caller ID that he was at his mother’s place. I asked him when he got out.

“I just got out. I tried to call you yesterday when they were trying to take me, but I couldn’t remember your cell phone number and I knew you were at school. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you what was happening – I know you were worried. They wouldn’t let me call anyone last night, or I would have called you when I knew you were home. I’m sorry.”

I told him he was right, I was worried, and I thanked him for calling me as soon as he could. Then I asked him what happened at court.

He said he told the juvenile case worker assigned to him about staying with us and this guy made it a condition of releasing him back to his mother’s custody that he come back here so he could continue going to school. The case worker also recommended house arrest and he said he laughed and told the case worker that being here was worse than being on house arrest. At least on house arrest you’re allowed to go 200 ft. from the house. Here he can’t even do that.

I asked him what sentence the judge gave him, and he said he didn’t – he has to go back to court April 16th.

He asked if I could come get him and I told him I could, but I wanted to talk to his mom, first. He said she had gone outside, so I told him I’d talk to her when I got there.

I got over there, and what does his mom do? Meets me at the car, hardly waits for me to get out of the car before she’s hugging me, apologizing for her hateful behavior.

I thought to myself, “Oh yeah, when the judge says you can’t get your son back unless he stays with me, suddenly I’m no longer a bitch. Funny how that works.”

Then she surprised me and said she would put me on his paperwork at school. On top of that, she said, “I get $289 in food stamps for us, so on the first of each month, I’ll spend $100 and give you $189, if that’s ok with you.”

Guess it’s a good thing she wasn’t sure I’d take him back because now at least I have help with the grocery bill and can deal with the school directly. That’s major improvement.

On the way back home he apologized for his mom’s behavior, too, and thanked me for coming to get him.

Just while ago, he said, “Mama…you just don’t know how good it feels to be back here!”

I just smiled.