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What would you do? UPDATE POST#85 - Page 3

post #41 of 88
IF they are only keeping him a short while, I can see your point. But, if it is going to be an undetermined amount of time, guardianship, IMHO, is best.
post #42 of 88
I worry that you and your dh are getting too attached to this little boy so soon after losing your own child. I don't feel that this is healthy for either of you.

I also feel that you are too involved in this woman's life (granted she put you in this position). Your judgments about her decisions and boyfriend send up red flags for me.

I honestly think that deep down you want to keep this child and that you will eventually use the mother's decisions as justification for doing so.

Sorry if that is harsh but I have seen this happen before. I do not feel that you should take this little boy again. She needs to find someone else to help. Someone that is not so emotionally vulnerable.
post #43 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_b View Post
As to whether or not she's taking advantage of you, I don't know. I would lean towards saying no. It sounds like she's desperate, really loves her son, and trusts you to take care of him. And it's really nice of you to be willing to do it. What I don't understand is why you want legal guardianship. What difference would it make? Why can't you just tell her that you really don't like going back and forth 3 hours each way all the time, so you would like to just keep him with you until she gets on her feet. Please don't be mad at me for saying this, but it does sound like wanting legal guardianship has something to do with the loss of your baby girl. And if it were my son, it definitely would feel like you were asking me to give him away. JMO. I hope everything works out.
:

I wouldn't ask for legal guardianship. I think it would offend her and possibly cause her to not ask for your help anymore, in which case you wouldn't see the baby anymore.

I think you are a great friend to help her during this difficult time. My heart goes out to her -- I can't imagine being in the position of not being able to see my baby for long periods of time.
post #44 of 88
This may be harsh, but I've been wondering about this from your first post...Do you think that she will ever REALLY get on her feet and be able to fully support herself and her son? Is she the type of person who is ALWAYS looking for a job, and in a rough patch? (You mentioned that she was homeless earlier back) This is something that I would think over. If you think that she will truly get herself together, then thats one thing. But if you think that in 2 years, you will still be in this same position, playing mom with this poor little boy, then you really need to have a deep talk with your hubby and with her.

On the other hand, maybe she really is in a rough time right now, and she will pull herself out of it PERMANENTLY, and be able to support her and her little boy. Only you can look at your friend and make this call, because you know her best. You said that she really loves him and she will do anything for him, but is this realistic?

I'm just saying this to get you thinking. You said you feel taken advantage of already, and it sounds like you've only taken the little boy once. If the mom does not get on her feet for another couple years (or whatever) and you are still driving back and forth, how will you feel THEN??

This is a lot to think of, and I'm sorry you have to be in this situation.
post #45 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I also feel that you are too involved in this woman's life (granted she put you in this position). Your judgments about her decisions and boyfriend send up red flags for me.
Most definately. It is her decision on whether she tells me things or not. And she does and has. Literally everything. Since age 14. But I won't apologize for thinking her decisions are not best for Braelyn. They aren't. And thats just one factor of her life (her "friends" that is) that is harmful for him.

About her getting on her feet. I honestly can not say when or if she will. She has been homeless since 16. Her mom helps her to an extent. Her dad pretty much does nothing and does not want her in his house anymore, but love Braelyn to death (as everyone who comes in contact with him does).

For those who say "Do not separate mom and baby". I'm not separating anyone. I don't go there and demand a damned thing. She callsand asks us to keep him. Yes, we love to have him here, but we don't ask for him, she asks us because she needs help.She can not afford daycare, got declined for daycare assistance and can't afford to pay anyone. The on girl she knows goes to school and can not watch him during the hours needed. So, we shouldnt go get him, anymore...and then what? She won't have a job., she will get kicked out of her apt and be homeless again. Then what? She blew up the phone yesterday, I finally returned her call....I will be calling her back today to tell her if we're coming to get him or not...

If I get him, I'm taking advantage of her and her of me and if I do not, I am not helping her in her time of need to better herself for her son...

Still more thinking...
post #46 of 88
I am sorry if I hurt or offended you by saying not to seperate mom/baby. I didn't mean to imply that YOU were the root of the seperation. I should have been clearer.

I understand that she is putting you in this position. At the same time though, you are also putting yourself in this position by going and getting him and watching him- which I totally understand why you do it! I think I would too! Without a doubt....

What I meant by the whole seperation thing is that I can see it doing more harm then good. The boy is almost 1 right? (sorry, before I was thinking he was an infant- guess I forgot how long ago Janurary was!) How has your friend made it this far? I assume by your posting that her asking for your help is a new thing (or maybe its been going on since he was a infant?). Seperating mom and baby does several things: it gives her a bit more freedom (not that thats a bad thing, but if your already questioning her life choices then maybe that freedom is maladaptive to the final goal <her being able to support her son fully>). Having a child to care for keeps one a bit more grounded. Removing him will be hard on him when its time to go back to mom (not to mention YOU, your dh and your family!). The list goes on and on.

There are so many issues to consider in this. I hope you and your family are able to sort through them all.




Beth
post #47 of 88
I would follow my heart and ignore my brain.
Overthinking things tends to confuse me more.
That's just me and what I would do.
Good luck to you.
post #48 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJamie View Post
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.
its next to impossible to get an adult approved as a dependant, unless they are physically or mentally handicapped and cant take care of themselves. we're working on this process with my mom (shes a very bad alcholic and cant take care of herself), and its not easy

i would say at least talk about it with her. let her know its just temporary custody, but you need it to put him on tricare and all that stuff. she might be willing, you never know
post #49 of 88
I only read half this thread, so if it's been mentioned, I apologize.

Could she move NEAR to you, within 10 minutes or so? That way you could babysit while she works, and she can keep her son with her. Win/win.
post #50 of 88
Could you handle it if, as part of caring for this baby you're clearly very attached to, you had to deal with a cycle of his mom needing you to care for him for extended periods, then taking him back as things look up, then dropping him off again? Could you handle dealing with the effect on him of whatever instability is going on with his relationship with his mom? It sounds like these would be real possibilities.
post #51 of 88
I just wanted to offer you some hugs mama!

I think you are in a tough, tough, tough spot. You seem like a wonderful person and a dear friend. I hope everyone will find peace in this situation eventually.
post #52 of 88
Some questions, if I may...

She was homeless for a period; was this the result of a choice SHE made, was she kicked out for some behavior?

She has no idea who the father is, and therefore cannot ask for his assistance, right? And has a new boyfriend who has replaced the last one she 'inserted' into the father role?

This is going to read horribly, I'm sure: Does she have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse? Is the new boyfriend a user? Could he be influencing her?

I raise these questions because I watched my best friend experience a VERY similar situation, some years back. Her sister (whom she had not been SUPER close to) was in your position. They went the legal guarianship route because my friend was having troubles, much as your friend is... But the absence of her child on the long term wracked her with grief. She was already a risk for drug use, and baby's absence just sent her over the edge.That and a string of loer boyfriends with a never-ending supply of co-dependancy and substances, a toxic blend... She used and abused, and nearly died MANY times. When she felt she was ready to have her child back after 4 years, she had cleaned up, etc... her sister fought her, and pulled out all the stops. Not out of maliciousness, but out of sincere concern that my friend would not STAY ok. 8 years later, she has her daughter, she's married to a GREAT guy, they've moved FAR away... and tho the child is extremely bright and talented, she is VERY troubled, and prone to depression (at the age of 10), and has SEVERAL emotional/behavioral imbalances.

Therapists tell them it stems from her early childhood being so in flux.

There are no easy answers. And you are truly up for saint-hood, for going to the mats the way you are. I personally don't hold it against you that the loss of your own child may be the activating energy that drives your love and concern for, as well as your ability to take action on behalf of this boy. She is a CHILDHOOD FRIEND... not many relationships have that depth of committment.

There HAS to be some other resources she can access... churches in her area, co-ops, community centers... Maybe she just needs some guidence. Find out if her case-worker is willing to work with her directly to find these resources and resolve these issues...
post #53 of 88
Oh, Mama, many hugs to you. I could so easily see myself in a position like this. I don't have much advice, but I have thought of a couple points. If Mom is on public assistance, the baby already has medical coverage, so getting him on your TriCare is not necessary. A letter authorizing you to seek medical services as needed is all you would need.

Another idea of getting Mom and baby together into your housing - could you "hire" her as a nanny? I don't mean you really need such services, but would she be allowed to be live-in help on paper?

I understand all the obstacles, but I agree with the pps about the confusing, disruptive situation for a baby to be separated from his Mama, bond with you, and then be separated from you. It can be devastating to kids. I would keep trying to find a way to keep the family together. Is you all moving off-base together an option?

I wish you and the Mama and baby all the best, and that a great solution will be found.
post #54 of 88
I do feel you are being taken advantage of to, but if i were in your shoes I do'nt think i would care. Our friends have a little girl the age of our twins and she is just so wonderful to be around, if it came down to her being homeless with her parents or me keeping her i would do it in a heartbeat.
post #55 of 88
Many people in the world have alternative care arrangements for their children that involves the child living primarily with a relative or friend, with ample access to their parent(s). This may not seem very normal in our society, but it is common in many other cultures, and does not mean that child will be scarred or psychologically damaged. Also, consider children of divorce whose parents co-parent positively and share custody. Not all children of divorce are scarred. Shared custody, whether formal or informal, can work well.

I would sit down with the mum and have a frank conversation. Express your concerns, ask her if she is still wanting you to adopt, discuss an arrangement where you become legal guardians but she has ample and regular access. Ask her what she could live with. Figure out what you can live with. Let her know your fears and hear hers. Talk about money concerns, etc.

I think it would be preferable for a child to know it has two sets of loving family and flow between the two of them, then to be left in uncertain and potentially neglected circumstances (not inferring your friend is neglecting him willfully, but that she may find it necessary to do so without assistance). Ultimately, you need to search your hearts and decide what you can deal with emotionally...total withdrawal from this child, or partial custody on a long term basis.

I'm thinking of you and hope you all find a solution that works for everyone involved. I don't think your heart will guide you wrong.
post #56 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
She was homeless for a period; was this the result of a choice SHE made, was she kicked out for some behavior?

She has no idea who the father is, and therefore cannot ask for his assistance, right? And has a new boyfriend who has replaced the last one she 'inserted' into the father role?

This is going to read horribly, I'm sure: Does she have a history of alcoholism or drug abuse? Is the new boyfriend a user? Could he be influencing her?
Her homelessness, unforunately yes. She's been arrested a few times for stuff and her mother didn't want her living there. Her dads gf claimed (as no still knows the whole truth) that some of her stuff was stolen so her dad kicked her out numerous times (after feeling guilty and letting her back). She's been in and out of shelters, she's even stayed with us a few times. She's lived with roomates and boyfriends, but only lasted until they got into fights and she was out on her own again.

No, she doesn't know who the father is. I'm not sure whether she is purposely trying to replace or have a father figure for Braelyn or not....

Drug abuse...do you mean like overusing? She's tried them but she's definately not a drug abuser. And she does drink alcohol but she doesn't really get drunk. She does when Braelyn is w/someone else (she did the night before he came back according to her). And no, the new boyfriend isn't influencing her...she's been this way since childhood.

When she was pregnant, and she moved with her dad, she came down here (TX) to visit her mom who made her go to church...however she isn't the "religious" type and refuses to go on her own free will.

I still have not returned her call....
We probably won't go get him. After thinking about it. It really isn't good for us...and we are getting attached. And whoever said that she will not learn anything or benefit from him leaving is probably correct as well. Aside from wanting a baby, however I do worry about him and his mom. ...
post #57 of 88
Momz; I understand what you're up against... the friend I spoke of in my last reply is someone I've known since 1st grade. I had to divorce myself from her life and the choices she made and watch from a distance as she went thru the ringer for about 2 years. Some folks might find that cold... but I had to do what was right for me; SHE understood, and we are as close as ever, now that the "storm" has passed, tho she lives in Hawaii.

If you are emotionally vulnerable, now, and you suspect you may have attachment concerns, and question your OWN ability to handle what MAY play out, with detachment, then go with your instincts. It will be painful, but the results of putting yourself (and dh and your OWN kids) thru what seems likely to be a painful and confusing process that will not be easily resolved later, could be MUCH more damaging. Kwim?

Draw your family to you, keep them close, and invite her to be part of things... maybe they can come for Christmas at your place, and then take home lots of good food, and some toys... maybe that sounds shallow or lame in the face of how grave her situation is... but I worry for you and your family, and what the future holds for YOU if you're too embroiled in this...
post #58 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
Momz; I understand what you're up against... the friend I spoke of in my last reply is someone I've known since 1st grade. I had to divorce myself from her life and the choices she made and watch from a distance as she went thru the ringer for about 2 years. Some folks might find that cold... but I had to do what was right for me; SHE understood, and we are as close as ever, now that the "storm" has passed, tho she lives in Hawaii.

If you are emotionally vulnerable, now, and you suspect you may have attachment concerns, and question your OWN ability to handle what MAY play out, with detachment, then go with your instincts. It will be painful, but the results of putting yourself (and dh and your OWN kids) thru what seems likely to be a painful and confusing process that will not be easily resolved later, could be MUCH more damaging. Kwim?

Draw your family to you, keep them close, and invite her to be part of things... maybe they can come for Christmas at your place, and then take home lots of good food, and some toys... maybe that sounds shallow or lame in the face of how grave her situation is... but I worry for you and your family, and what the future holds for YOU if you're too embroiled in this...
Thanks for your reply. As I was thinking of it today, I think if we did keep him for an extended amount of time, it would feel like "losing" another child of mine in a sense, even though he's not "mine" and we're not "losing" him..kwim?

Thanks for everyones responses. Everyone has helped me realize that there is more to it. Including the emotional issues of losing our daughter tying to this.
We're still thinking...but its looking like its not best even though I still want him.
post #59 of 88

Btdt

I can offer up my experiences...
11 years ago a friend was in need of a sitter for a couple days a week for her 5 month old. I didn't know her well; she worked at the salon where I got my nails and hair done, but I was drawn to help her out because someone had helped me a lot with my toddler when I was a single mom, so I was hoping to pay it forward...
We ended up almost raising this little gil till she was 5; she spent more nights at my house than at her home and in fact had her own room at our house. I never charged her mom a cent for her care and I bought alot of her clothes as well. The mom did a lot of partying and man hopping during the 5 years, but I ignored all that and focused my energy on being the best "auntie" I could be for this little girl.
In the 6 years since, mom has gotten her act together, her DD started public school in the next town over and they now have a new man and a baby sister (3.5 yrs old) in their lives. Her mom and I are really good friends and in fact are also business partners.
There have been times when I've been frustrated with choices she's made, but beyond expressing my opinions, I've allowed her to be the parent. I guess what I'm saying is that I knew it was an unpaid babysitting job from day one and took it for what it was worth. She lived within a half hour the entire time, so the traveling wasn't an issue. If you decide to do this, you must do it for the right reasons and make sure your motives are right.
It IS tough; her DD was SO jealous when I brought my baby home 6.5 years ago But y'know what? When her mom gets really frustrated with her, she still asks me to spend time with her the kiddo trusts me and knows I'm not automatically going to "side" with her mom, anymore than I automatically "side" with her. I offer my opinions and we go from there.

When baby sister was a year old I babysat her for almost a year for pay
post #60 of 88
I do not envy your situation. It really stinks for everyone involved.

I can't say what you should do. I do wonder, though, why she is so broke with a job with overtime, TANF, and only herself and one baby to care for. Is her rent unreasonable??
The history you have presented sounds very much like something's not right. It really sounds like a hidden drug problem. I hope I'm way off base, but that's what it sounds like to me.
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