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What would you do? UPDATE POST#85 - Page 2

post #21 of 88
You've gotten a lot of great advice already.
I think you need to talk to your friend immediately. not answering the phone calls is just going to make her frantic. I don't think legal guardianship is the answer because A) she may feel like you are trying to take her child and B) it will only make you THAT much more emotionally attached to the child. Additionally, I agree that she probably IS taking advantage of you. But, you've been friends for years and she trusts you and is leaning on you right now. If you can, and she agrees, then I think the child living with you for a while would be best. But, be clear with one another about expectations and concerns. You HAVE to talk about what you both want and need. This poor child is the chief concern and everyone has to agree how to make the child's needs met. I am sorry you are going through this. This is a tough situation. If she doesn't want the child to live with you, then you can either continue to drive to get the child or help her find someone else to watch the child that lives closer to her. No matter what, try as hard as you can to be there and continue to love her. You are doing wonderful. You are a tough military wife. I commend you for being so kind to her during her time of need.
post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by momz3 View Post
Yes. Well I mean we offfered. We have an extra room. It was Alexis' nursery and we would have no problem with that. However, we live on a military post. The rules are no guest can stay more than 30 days in a yr. The only time there is an exception is if DH goes to Iraq (which he may or may not in the next few months, we're not sure). I want her to come live here. Last year, while she was preggo with Brae, she came and stayed for 3 weeks and wanted her to stay longer...she went to apply for housing but there was a long waiting list due to Katrina victims needing places to stay. She went back home to OK...then eventually moved back to Texas (3 hrs away from here) to move in w/her bf after Braelyn was born.
Um, I live on base too. DOes anyone have to KNOW? Seriously. Nobody would notice here if another child came and stay with us and nobody would care. Is it strict on Hood?
post #23 of 88
Thread Starter 

I talked to her

Okay. I returned her phone called. She said she needed us to come get him this weekend (which I already knew that) but she does not have the gas money for us, but she'll repay us back on it when she gets the chance. She also said that we'll need to keep him atleast 2 weeks if not more. She also said that she did miss him terribly...and was glad to see him home, however now that he's back it has made her even more depressed. I asked her how and she explained that seeing his face is a reality check and that he really needed to stay longer so she can find another or better job in order to care for him.

She said she has applied for daycare assistance. She was declined because she makes too much money (5.85/hr 4-5 days a week). She has tried to get asst. with her electricity and other bills, but they told her they were out of funds for that county.
She found a girl wwho wanted to keep him, free of charge, but she goes to school and she doesn't accomodate the hrs needed for Braelyns care. Her mom keeps him for now but is "tired" of keeping a baby when she has to get up for work as well.

I told my friend I'd call her back on if we can come this weekend or not...

I've talked to dh about this...and right now we're thinking maybe guardianship isn't really necessary being that we've been friends forever and I do not want her to feel attacked or like we are taking her son, because I can tell you,She loves her little boy....we both have let our emotions from our little girl take over...and feel so bad about it. However we do truly love Braelyn and enjoy having him around...


Also..one other thing. She has got a new "friend" he was over there when we spent the night...now they are living together...and honestly, I think he should be helping her as she is a single mom with bills and she is allowing him to eat her food, use her electricity and phone. Its not fair to her or Braelyn.

Cardinal, I've only lived here at Hood for a little over a yr. I'm not really sure how "strict" they are. But I know that neighbors are nosy. They would not notice a baby here, no. But an adult, yes.
post #24 of 88
If you did have legal guardianship would that allow the baby to be on your health insurance? If he was staying with you for an extended period of time would that be easier in case of medical emergency? Can the mom just give you guardianship for a short period of time (say 6 months?) that way there isn't any confusion that you and your DH would want this to be long term?

I have no idea. My heart would want to keep that baby safe and give the mom a chance to get on her feet. But I would be worried about medical treatment, etc (but that is just me being paranoid).

My only advice is to keep an open dialog with the mom. Does she have internet? A couple of webcams would be cheaper than gas and she could "see" him every day when he is staying with you.
post #25 of 88
Thread Starter 
Getz,
Thanks for your response. My husband was just talking about this. When I told him that maybe we shouldn't get guardianship, he asked "What if something bad happened and a doctor wouldn't due an emergency life or death procedure because his mother can't sign?" (she lives 3 hrs away) yikes...I didn't think about that...
I'm not sure about Tricare (military insurance) we should be able to add him on our insurance if we have guardianship. I'm hoping.

Cardinal...do you know?
post #26 of 88
I am so sorry for your situation. Ugh, I cannot even imagine how hard it is on you.

I am concerned about one thing. She has a new friend and hes already living with her? Thats great....but....doesn't that seem kind of fast to have a new bf move in? I don't mean to sound rude or harsh or hurtful, but what kind of stability does that offer the baby? Not to mention the fact how well does she know this guy? When and if they break up, how will that affect the baby and her situation? Will she suddenly have a new guy moving in as fast as she did this one? I know this sounds so bad of me, but I would be very concerned about who she has around- many of those horrible child abuse/neglect cases we read/hear about are committed by men who are new to the moms life.

I think its wonderful you guys are trying to help out- my recommendation would be for you and her to sit down and come up with a game plan. I don't know but it sounds to me like if your willing to do so much she should move in with you and then try to get set up in your area where you can come get him and drop him off.

One problem I see with you taking the baby for even more then a month is that having him there might help remind her what shes working so hard for- keep her grounded. Obviously I don't know her situation, having the baby gone might be hard for her at first, but over time I could possibly see it becoming a case where she lives like she did before the baby was around- which would then make it that much more difficult for her to have him back in her life AND be a successful mom. I hope that makes sense. Even though its hard now, she will grow and learn WITH her son...having him gone and then suddenly back is NOT helpful to her nor him. What would it be like on him if his mom suddenly wants him back when hes 6 mos old? She wouldn't know him and his habits, and he would only know you. Thats not good for anyone.

It would make sense to me that if you guys are willing to help so much, don't seperate mom and baby- keep them together at all cost. Have her move in with you temporarily, apply for state aid, insurance and then help her find a place. If you can afford helping her with rent/deposit and the like- do it. Maybe find out from your dhs superior officer (or whomever) if you can ask for an extention after the 30 days? Maybe they will allow one for emergency type situations.

I really hope you can come to some peaceful decision in this.



Beth
post #27 of 88
Thread Starter 
Thanks for replying Beth.

No, she doesn't know this guy very well. She just broke up with her boyfriend about 3 weeks ago. Now this is not the father of Braelyn as that is unknown. But she has been portraying him as the father to Braelyn, calling him "daddy" and giving him fatherly "duties" etc. So now, they've broken up and she is doing the same. She told me "I know you're gonna say I need to concentrate on Braelyn right now and I am. He's just a friend." But he spends the night and they sleep in the same bed. So I do not know. The guy is "nice" but she moved him in too fast. ANd he does not help her any way and he supposedly has his own apt. in the SAME complex. Its confusing. ...somethings not right about that...and no, I don't think its stable for him to see different men living there....

We can't give her money. I wish we could, but we can't. We have our own bills and family. I don't know how to help her other than keeping him. No one else can. WHo is suppose to keep him when she works nights? I mean I see where you are getting at, but she needs someone to keep him at night...
post #28 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by momz3 View Post
Getz,
Thanks for your response. My husband was just talking about this. When I told him that maybe we shouldn't get guardianship, he asked "What if something bad happened and a doctor wouldn't due an emergency life or death procedure because his mother can't sign?" (she lives 3 hrs away) yikes...I didn't think about that...
I'm not sure about Tricare (military insurance) we should be able to add him on our insurance if we have guardianship. I'm hoping.

Cardinal...do you know?

I really don't think Tricare would allow the child unless the child was adopted or under legal guardianship. Tricare is pretty strict. What do you think Leah (Eastonsmom)? I can call Tricare for you tomorrow. Let me know.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by bburnie2 View Post
I am so sorry for your situation. Ugh, I cannot even imagine how hard it is on you.

I am concerned about one thing. She has a new friend and hes already living with her? Thats great....but....doesn't that seem kind of fast to have a new bf move in? I don't mean to sound rude or harsh or hurtful, but what kind of stability does that offer the baby? Not to mention the fact how well does she know this guy? When and if they break up, how will that affect the baby and her situation? Will she suddenly have a new guy moving in as fast as she did this one? I know this sounds so bad of me, but I would be very concerned about who she has around- many of those horrible child abuse/neglect cases we read/hear about are committed by men who are new to the moms life.

I think its wonderful you guys are trying to help out- my recommendation would be for you and her to sit down and come up with a game plan. I don't know but it sounds to me like if your willing to do so much she should move in with you and then try to get set up in your area where you can come get him and drop him off.

One problem I see with you taking the baby for even more then a month is that having him there might help remind her what shes working so hard for- keep her grounded. Obviously I don't know her situation, having the baby gone might be hard for her at first, but over time I could possibly see it becoming a case where she lives like she did before the baby was around- which would then make it that much more difficult for her to have him back in her life AND be a successful mom. I hope that makes sense. Even though its hard now, she will grow and learn WITH her son...having him gone and then suddenly back is NOT helpful to her nor him. What would it be like on him if his mom suddenly wants him back when hes 6 mos old? She wouldn't know him and his habits, and he would only know you. Thats not good for anyone.

It would make sense to me that if you guys are willing to help so much, don't seperate mom and baby- keep them together at all cost. Have her move in with you temporarily, apply for state aid, insurance and then help her find a place. If you can afford helping her with rent/deposit and the like- do it. Maybe find out from your dhs superior officer (or whomever) if you can ask for an extention after the 30 days? Maybe they will allow one for emergency type situations.

I really hope you can come to some peaceful decision in this.



Beth

good points
post #30 of 88
So when you talked to your friend last did you tell her your feeling taken advantage of? HOw did she respond?
post #31 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
So when you talked to your friend last did you tell her your feeling taken advantage of? HOw did she respond?

Nope. And thats my problem. She gets on the phone and talks about her days at work...and how she cries to the co workers and her current "friend" about her money problems. How she doesn't have anyone to watch him and can not get help ...I do not have the guts to say "You are taking advantage of me."
post #32 of 88
I know it's hard to arrange at such a distance, especially with needing to know if you can take him this weekend, but it sounds like you and your dh, and you and your dh and your friend need to sit down and talk this through. You need to let her know how you feel, and what you'll have to do if he's going to stay with you for an extended period of time. Don't go into this without explicit expectations all around - how often she will call/how long it will be (if you don't know just try and identify a general time that you'd be willing to look after him) and things like that.

Asking for guardianship may be really important if he's coming for a long time. Health insurance, like others have mentioned, and being able to make decisions for him are very important.

I think it's amazing what you're doing/thinking of doing for this little boy and your friend.
post #33 of 88
it sounds like a difficult situation to be in.
post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
I really don't think Tricare would allow the child unless the child was adopted or under legal guardianship. Tricare is pretty strict. What do you think Leah (Eastonsmom)? I can call Tricare for you tomorrow. Let me know.
I have seen some tricky situations when it comes to Tricare in terms of custody of children. I am sorry for your situation because I know it is not easy on anyone involved, mother, child, or you all. I might have missed it but is dad in the picture? I am guessing not because I haven't seen a strong mentioning of him at all.

If I were in your situation I would talk to a lawyer on base and ask what about the terms of TEMPORARY guardianship and what they might give you in terms of rights with Tricare, DEERS, and other military benefits we receive. If you don't have paperwork Tricare won't even blink at it. I don't know if you could get BAH or not for that type of situation.

Only after I had all that info lined up and able to lay out for the child's mother would I approach her with it. But I think that it would be the best thing to do. It is for everyone's well being. I think as long as you make sure that she knows that you have TEMPOARY custody and that it is for her to get back on her feet and to ensure that her child is covered and does not rack up any bills that either one of you can afford. Good luck and hugs to all of you involved.
post #35 of 88
Maybe I am way off base here, but even temporary custody doesn't seem like the awnser, IMO. Please think about how will the baby adjust if all of a sudden she wants him back and he has to go? Even if hes only with you for a month or two- he will think of YOU and your family as his normal environment. Suddenly removing him from that b/c the mom is financially able to take him is going to be traumatic, at best, for him.

All the paperwork in the world isn't going to change the trauma of moving from one house to another for the child. Even if you got all your "ducks in a row" and were able to take him for 2+ months, eventually your friend is going to want her son back, right? It will, without a doubt, affect him deeply, not to mention you and your children. THATs what I find to be the biggest hurdle to get through- what is everyone going to do then? How will it affect him long term?

Even if the mom visits regularly (which it sounds like she can't since she doesn't have a car- unless you drive down there every week so she can see him) the child will be used to you as his mother figure and your family as "his" family.
post #36 of 88
Yeah, talking to a JAG (military lawyer) is free, so call one if you do really want to find out more about guardianship, etc.
post #37 of 88

wonderful opportunity but difficult to navagate.

My initial response to you saying that you want legal gaurdianship is that you want your friends baby, this doesn't make you a bad person, the feeling itself isn't bad either. On the one hand your friend might go for it, but on the other she may see you as her one viable help and resourse trying to take her child away.It sounds like she's trying her best and having a VERY hard time staying on her feet, suggesting she isn't a capable mother and that she should "temporarily" give you custody could potentially be very hurtful. Remember, despite your love for this child, you aren't it's mother. It This could very effectively banish her from your life, and the baby too. I would really think about having a couple of therapy sessions with your friend to help everyone figure out what it really is that they are looking for in this relationship. Clarity of your emotions will make this situation a lot easier to make decisions about.
Good Luck,
Crystal
post #38 of 88
Thread Starter 
The funny thing is...last year, when she stayed with us for a few weeks, she was homeless and had been staying in shelters. So we went to get her from her moms (as she was moving and couldn't take her-that was her excuse ) and tried to help her start a life here. She, thinking that her baby's future was doomed with her, asked me (when dh left for work) "Would you guys consider adopting my baby?" Her eyes were filled with tears. I didn't know what to say...I eventually asked why and she said she's afraid of the type of life he would have. (this is before I even got pregnant btw). So... I told her I would talk to DH...we told her no because we didn't think she meant it and that she was going through a hard time. Also we didn't want to get excited just for her to change her mind. Anyway, so she then moved in with her dad in Oklahoma. I know one thing about her. She is willing to do whatever it takes to give her baby a good life..or a better one. That is why now I feel guilty as ever. I just want everyone on here to be clear that my view isn't "We make more money so we are better parents, give him to us." Thats not the case at all. The case is that she wants us to care for him constantly. Shecalls needing us to come get him. Back and forth, back and forth.The drive is no joke and she doesn't have a car. For whoever asked, no the father isn't in the picture. She can't collect child support because she's not sure who the father is (which I guess can be narrowed down by dna testing)...
You guys have given alot of great advice and given me and my husband alot to think about. Thanks.
post #39 of 88
Please keep us posted on what your thinking, feeling and how this is playing out.

I think after reading that she asked you about adoption is that maybe she is deep down hoping that it WILL work out that way. Maybe that is why she is asking you to take him for such an extended period of time- hoping it will turn into a permanent arrangement via an open adoption. (which normally is a great thing, but I don't know if it would be good in a situation as yours where your such good friends with her).
post #40 of 88
I'm not sure if you've explored this option, and I really have no clue how to do this but if you figure it out I would love to know...anyway.

Is there any way you could make *her* your dependant? Have her and her son move in with you, covered by Tricare, etc.? Get her a job at the PX or something as a military dependant? Then she wouldn't be considered a guest in housing, you'd be authorized a larger apt, etc.
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