I knew that Joe was on the way back to the hospital. I had called over to his house to see how things were coming along. When I spoke to Alton, he told me that Joe had gotten a call from his attorney and was on his way back to the hospital to get me and the girls. I had to drop the phone by my side when he said that. I couldn’t contain my joy and relief. I had been praying since I got the first call about this situation. When I put the phone back to my ear, I could hear Alton saying “Momma, you still there? Momma?” I replied, “Yes baby, I am here. I am going to get back to the girls. Another thing, has Julianna called or come back to the house?” I could tell by the tone in his voice that she hadn’t. It didn’t surprise me, and at this point nothing does. I just feel bad for Joe and the girls. Just then, I can hear foot steps rushing down the hospital’s corridor. That has got to be Joe. He is just as heavy foot as his father.
“Momma!!! I can get the girls back!!” He was so excited and in his on urgency he went to where they were keeping the girls. I see another woman walking in our direction and my antennas go up. I don’t know who she was, but what I did know was that she wasn’t going to take my children. “Excuse me, can I help you Lady?” It is my automatic sense of protection that makes me rude at times. I wasn’t for any pleasantries at the moment. “Uh yes, I am looking for a Joseph Jones” She looks around and spots him walking down the corridor in a rush. “Never mind, I think I see him down there” As much as this woman was polite, I wasn’t having it. “Lady, I asked you if I could help you with something and for some reason, you still ain’t answered my question. Now I am Joseph’s mother Mrs. Jones. Anything you need from him, you can get from me!” This small white woman finally got my drift and could tell that Goodmomma wasn’t playing any games.
“Well Mrs. Jones, it is nice to meet you. I am Amy Goldberg. Your son hired me to help him with his current family matter. I wish that I could tell you more, but there really isn’t anything else that I can legally discuss with you. I need to speak with Joseph so that I may be able to help him” I give her the once over again and from the look in her eyes, she is silently asking for my permission to let her pass. I tell her the room number to where the kids are and she heads in that direction. I notice that while she is walking she is removing some paperwork from her briefcase. Whatever those papers are, she better hope that it is good.
I can’t contain my excitement. As soon as I see my girls, I can’t contain the smile that I have. Jacinta is still coloring in the coloring book and Jordan is fast asleep in her crib. When Jacinta looks up, she is excited to see me. At the same time, she keeps her voice down, so that she doesn’t wake up Jordan. She is such a smart and brave little girl. Given all that she has been through, she has been the reason why my kids are alright at the moment. I really hope that she doesn’t remember much of what has happened to her. I mean she is only 3 years old going on 4. I pick her up and tell her that we can finally go home. She hugs my neck so hard, it is almost hard to breathe. We are interrupted when I hear my name being called. Jacinta continues to hold on tightly. I guess she doesn’t trust strange people and from the way she is trembling, I know that she is scared. It isn’t two seconds later that I see my mother behind Ms. Goldberg. I give momma the look as if to tell her things are cool. This woman is ok with being here.
“Mr. Jones, here is the paperwork you will need to show the social workers and other authorities to check your children out of the hospital” I can see the emotions from this man’s face. “Ms. Goldberg, I owe you my life!!” I respond, “I am just happy that I am able to help. This is just temporary. We will still need to go to family court in order for you to maintain full custody. However, until we get a scheduled court date, you have legal temporary custody of the girls. I can be reached at my office if you have any questions or need anything else in the meanwhile” I shake his hand and bow my head to his overly protective mother. As I walk to the car, a feeling of positive accomplishment comes over me. Those little girls looked so innocent and angelic. There is no way in the world that I could desert or neglect them. I feel sorry for all that they have gone through and now that I have seen them, I know that I have to fight to make sure that we win this case. There is no doubt about that.
I put the girls in the car and I tell them that we are going home. I look at Jacinta’s reaction to see if she looks hesitant about actually going back to the house. I don’t see any facial expressions, so I take it that she is ok for now. “Jacinta, I have a surprise for you!” Her face lights up, “Is it a Slurpee?” She has the sweet tooth of any child her age. I tell her yes. She is now dancing in her car seat, while Momma is telling her to sit down and act right. I know my mother can’t help but to be in charge. At this moment though, I am so happy that she is here. I am over the moon that my brothers came to see about us as well. I know that my team has my back and we are going to work our way through this mess.
I pull into the parking lot of the 7-11 and Jacinta is already trying to take her seatbelt off. I know that she wants to go inside to pick out her flavor of choice. As she gets excited about her Slurpee is dawns on me that I typically get one for Julianna as well. For good measure, I get her a medium Slurpee with hopes that when I get home she will be there waiting on us and we can put a final stop to this nightmare that we have been having.
I finally hear keys at the door and it dawns on me that Joseph doesn’t know the plan yet. I am sure he is super curious as to why there is a big U-Haul sitting out front of the house. As soon as the door opens, I start walking towards the door and Jacinta starts screaming because she sees her uncles. Her lips look like they have been painted red and I can’t help but to smile. She runs to me and I pick her up. The fact that I don’t have any children of my own makes me spoil my nieces and nephews. I can’t help it. Momma is holding Jordan and we walk towards the family room where it is now clean again. Alton, Don, and myself are exhausted. However, it was worth every second to see the relief on Joe’s face. He goes to the kitchen to put a Slurpee in the freezer.
“Hey yall, I know everybody must be hungry. Should I go get us some Kentucky Fried Chicken?” Momma takes Jordan and lays her down on the sofa. Jordan is kicking her little feet as if to say, I hope that they put some chicken in my bottle. I see the looks of seriousness on each of their faces. The only one that is yacking away is Jacinta. My mother is the first to break the silence. “Joe, we need to talk to you. These girls are coming back to Atlanta with us” I am totally perplexed by her statement. “Momma, I just got my girls back. I am not letting them out of my sight” I could tell from the look on her face that she is shock at my contest again her statement. At the same time, she has a look of pity that she has for me. “I know that this is hard on you. Just understand and hear me out. We have already packed up the girl’s belongings and we are going to move them to Atlanta, just until you get things straight around here with Julianna. Not to mention, you have a job that you need to get too. I am sure they are going to be looking for you to come in.” I throw my hands in the air. “Momma, I can’t lose my kids. I don’t know what is going on with Julianna, but my kids….” Tears roll down my face. “Joe, we can take care of the kids while you get things sorted out. It is not like we are taking them from you. We are just trying to help you out until things are back to normal”
I decide to speak up to help Momma out. “Look Joe, Atlanta is home. All of us are there except for you. Let us take the kids home and let us look after them. You already know they are in good hands and most importantly, they will be safe” Alton and Don agree and start to speak their own thoughts out loud. Joe looks defeated. In a sense, he really is. One thing is definite, Momma is being patient enough with Joe and his reaction. However, there ain’t a shadow of a doubt that whatever Momma says….Goes!