I've been thinking about this thread for a few days and haven't posted because I didn't know how to articulate my thoughts. Here goes...
Originally Posted by lilyka
One of the reasons I hesitate to call is because it will be turned over to whatever tribal social services (I forget their offical names) and that sometimes can go very bad.
I have no idea what that means, but I also don't know how it can be any worse for her than what she has now. By bad, do you mean convoluted in the sense of stability/foster homes/court appointed rulings? If so, the instability in this case is worth it to make sure an 8 year old girl isn't outside in sub zero temperatures.
This isn't a case of dishes in the sink and a grubby neighbor kid. She could die
if you're not home to help her when her own family won't.
|Ava (my dd) injured herself while coughing last night and i needed to take her to the Er but couldn't because A was here...
This is troubling. You're denying medical treatment to your own child because you've decided to take on the responsibility of this child.
|I wanted to call the police last night but gees, she comes to the one person she can trust and gets hauled off by the police. heart breaking. I couldn't do it.
I can understand you not wanting to break her trust, but she's 8, she shouldn't HAVE to trust you, the neighbor. She's doing so because she has no choice, and at 8 years old recognizes that in severe weather she has no other choice but to knock on the door of a person who's relatively familiar and nice. Preserving a trusted relationship with an 8 year old who is dependent
on you is perpetuating the situation that she's in by continuing to be a safety net for her mother
. You've been kind to this girl in times of need, but the person you're helping is her Violation Of A "Mother". The help you're offering her is short term, and she'll end up living a tortured life for the next ten years if she has to say under the care of that woman. I can't imagine how tribal social services could be worse than leaving a child in a situation where she's being repeatedly locked out in sub ZERO temperatures. You cannot stay home every night waiting for her. And you can't put your own children on hold (not taking one to the ER) to do so.
I like the recommendation a previous poster made of explaining it to her so she knows WHY the police are being called. Normally at 8 years old I wouldn't recommend telling a kid that you're going to report her mother for neglect, but I think in this case it might be a good idea to let her know that SHE has not done anything wrong, and that she is more than welcome to call you anytime she needs too.
I think what you've done so far is way beyond what a lot of people do (sadly, nobody wants "to get in involved" these days), but I just think that when we're in the middle of the situation and our emotions are involved it's hard to have an objective opinion. It too would find it absolutely heartbreaking to call the police if I took in a neighbor child, but what her mother is doing is absolutely 100% negligent, wrong, and criminal in my opinion and I could not LET her do that to her daughter one more day. I don't know if I'd have the objective clarity to see that in the moment, hence the reason I'm being fairly blunt about it.
It's not an easy decision, by any means. Everyone has agreed with you on that. But it's one that, in my opinion, absolutely has to be made. I've come back to this thread hoping to see an update and there wasn't one, so I'm urging you, in case you haven't, to PLEASE call the authorities the next time she is locked out in the cold.