Ray's half Happy-end
Erica was 17 and Frank was 22. She had lost her mother a few years earlier and refused to live with her father. She lived with her grandparents, knowing she was young, but her heart won out over her common sense. She married Franz. A few months later, their twin daughters Pamela and Renate were born.
Pamela was a little bigger than Renate, and the two parents loved her perhaps a little more, although they both denied it.
Erica's father Dave didn't see his daughter for a long time. They had a disagreement earlier, which caused them to stop speaking for a while. The father called her now because he had heard from elsewhere that she had grandchildren. He visited them and they agreed to keep in touch.
As the months passed, life for young adults was not as pleasant as it had been at the beginning. Erica wasn't the best mother, and Frank sometimes abused her. She also neglected cleaning, always talking to the women next door. To make things even more difficult, things with Dave had also broken down.
One day Child Protection visited the young people and what they found was unacceptable. There was cornflakes in the crib between the two children, Erica had gone shopping, only Frank's grandfather was home with the little girls, but he was in no condition to run when he needed to.
Child Protection waited for Erica to come home and placed the girls in foster care with immediate effect.
Both parents thought that what happened was the other's fault, Erica still didn't clean up and Frank beat her again. They lived together like cats and dogs. Sometimes they loved each other, sometimes they hated each other. They both kept a mistress, but they continued to live together.
A year later, parents visited their children regularly. For the time being, there was no chance for them to be with their daughters again because they had not made the required changes.
By this time, Erica and Dave were back in contact, talking on the phone twice a week. Dave regularly calmed Frank down when he came home to find dirt and a mess.
To complicate matters, a third child was born, a son, Ray.
Ray was a beautiful and very bright child, much loved by his parents, but the problems continued. Child protection professionals gave the couple a lot of help, warning them very often how they should behave. At times the situation seemed to get better, at other times it got much worse.
The pair split up several times and then reconciled. Frank went abroad to work, doing his best to at least keep their financial problems at bay, while Erica moved out of the poor house with her child in tow. Dave, living abroad, was unable to help with housing, but his parents were happy to take in their daughter and granddaughter.
At first everything was fine, but after a few days Erica was acting up again. She left nappies lying around, scattered food around the room and didn't help with the housework.
When Frank returned home on leave from abroad, he behaved as disorderly as his wife.
One day there was such a big fight that the grandparents' marriage was in danger because of them.
They had no choice but to go.
Erica and Ray were placed in a maternity home, and Frank went back to work abroad. They talked on the phone every day, and the staff at the home helped them with everything. Erica only had a few things to do, like keeping house rules and raising her child. These are two things she failed to do.
With Erica Ray on her arm, she left the nursing home, moving in with her old sweetheart. She gave no sign of life for nearly 2 months, so the child protection authorities started looking for Ray.
Frank went home from abroad and stayed with a relative because their home had been robbed and he couldn't go back. He planned his new life without Erica, knowing it would be better that way. He tried to be a good father, taking Ray to his house every other week.
One day, Erica had a falling out with her old beau, and Frank was happy to take her back. Everything seemed to be back to normal, with Frank going to work and Erica keeping the apartment tidy. Everything was in perfect order. Or so it seemed.
One day Erica's phone rang. It was a child protection worker. The caseworker told Erica to take Ray to the authorities the next day because they hadn't known where they were for a month and a half. Upon leaving the home, she was supposed to report the whereabouts of the child in protection, as she had failed to do so, Child Protective Services had declared Ray's situation dangerous.
Erica handed her son over to the authorities and they placed him in the same foster home as his siblings.
Unfortunately, Erica and Frank could not create the conditions to get their children back, at least the three children are together, and for them it is probably better than being in the household of their parents who are not good at raising children.