"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."* This sounds so sweet on good days: weddings, graduations, even just a nice sunny day. But if the days leading up to a jail or prison stay don't try our patience, then a journey through the legal system followed by incarceration will bring new meaning to the term "try our souls". There is so much that is unknown. There is so much to fear. People who try to help, including families of birth, choice and church, often make things worse trying to solve a problem when they need to be supporting those enduring the experience.
In years leaning on Al-Anon I learned A BUNCH. But the one thing that helped almost more than any other was to put into perspective all the "helpful folks" whose solutions were simplistic: "I'd divorce him. I'd renounce him. I'd let her *ss rot in jail." or "Now we have to be nice. She's had such a hard time. Surely you can't ignore your own child/husband/mother/father/best friend/mentor/uncle/cousin/best friend's child!" Neither is helpful. In fact it is really hurtful and distancing.
In six decades I have learned that almost always a rapid, extreme response is never the appropriate response unless dragging someone out of the way of an oncoming train! If it is necessary to separate ourselves from the insanity of an incarcerated loved one, at what point would that be appropriate? If you think, "You can't 'abandon' someone into jail or prison, then you tell me how to keep our children safe from the evil the jerk has brought to our family!" I guarantee this is a question that keeps plenty of folks awake night after night. There are no pat answers. If we try to keep our child from being hurt by an incarcerated parent, will we actually leave them longing so much for a relationship with that parent that they view risky behavior as romantic or heroic? If we abandon a loved one, what message does that send?
So let me recommend to you a determined and persistent CHOICE to respond with love: Now love may say 'back away at least for a while because this situation is so dangerous." Or love may say, "be faithful and write every week no matter what!" (Of course using a P O Box or the address of a large church might be a smart way to protect your location.) But always love says, pray for a 'right relationship' with your loved one and let yourself heal as you find the way that is right FOR YOU and your family as God guides.
Loving God more is always safe, worthwhile and amazing. The rest will work itself out.
*1 Corinthians 13:4