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#1 of 24 Old 03-22-2011, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for some help here. 

 

A little background:  I used to be a middle school teacher in the inner-city.  I still keep in touch with some of my students.  One in particular me and my family have taken care of over the last 5 years.  She has spent weekends with us back when we lived in the same state as her, and now my parents help her and her boyfriend out when they're in a tough spot or just needs some love.

 

She's 15 weeks pregnant.  She's not sure what she wants to do.  Part of her thinks that they will make wonderful parents, but she also doesn't feel ready to be a mom yet. 

 

She knows we are in the adoption process, but I let her know that we aren't looking to take her baby from her.  If she wants to place we will help her find the perfect family for her child and if at that point she can only come to terms with it if she places with us AND she truly doesn't want to raise the baby herself, that we would be there for her. 

 

She has some family support.  Her boyfriend is there for her.  Her dad is in and out of the picture over the years, but at least for right now seems to be helping.  I've told her I would help her get WIC if she needs it and help her find counseling and such.

 

We live 3 hours away, so hanging out with her regularly isn't possible.  I just feel at a loss as to what to say.  How do I walk beside her as she makes the decision whether to place or not? 


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#2 of 24 Old 03-22-2011, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I should add that she just turned 16.


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#3 of 24 Old 03-22-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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Even though I am a birth mom, I don't have much advice.  I just wanted to chime in because I know you will get replies here that encourage you to hook her up with an adoption agency for options counseling.  I have worked with many agencies over the years and I never found one that wasn't obviously trying to push me into the adoption decision.  I'm sure there are some, but they are not the majority.  It may be nice for her to talk to an agency to learn more about adoption specifically...but I wouldn't count on any agency to give true options counseling.  The best thing she can do is get counseling from a therapist who has experience with helping moms make decisions like this (many regular therapists are clueless when it comes to adoption matters).  And finding counselors who have experience working with birth moms can be hard.  So helping her find an affordable one (it can take some serious internet digging sometimes) is probably the best way you can help her.

 

Also I think there are always regrets and wondering about "what if" no matter what decision a person considering adoption makes.  If she places, it's going to hurt and suck sometimes even if it was the right decision for her.  And if she chooses to parent, there will probably be tough times when she regrets it and wishes that she had placed.  Again, therapy while going through all of those emotions (mixed in with hormones) can make so much of a difference.

 

Good luck to you and to her.

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#4 of 24 Old 03-22-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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I agree, a good therapist would be something concrete and important that you and your family could provide for her if nobody else is taking care of that angle.

 

Does she have a social worker she's been working with? Who has custody of her? 

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#5 of 24 Old 03-22-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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I was going to suggest a counselor as well.  That is a tough spot to be in.  I know that reputable adoption agencies have free counseling for expectant mothers (just so she can explore her options).  Does she have a pastor she trusts?


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#6 of 24 Old 03-23-2011, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I agree, a good therapist would be something concrete and important that you and your family could provide for her if nobody else is taking care of that angle.

 

Does she have a social worker she's been working with? Who has custody of her? 

Her mom has legal custody of her, but she is a drug addict and has random transient adults living in her home right now, so "S" moved out of there.  They were living with her boyfriend's dad, but he kicked them out when the boyfriends girlfriend ended up in jail for abuse and neglect of her own children (and now potentially for attempted murder of someone else as well).  Now they are living with S's dad, but he is unemployed and a former drug user, so I'm not sure how long that situation will hold up.

 

When I was a teacher (and mandatory reporter) I had to let CPS know about all of this...their response?  Nothing.  Literally.  They never even looked into it, the case is still open from 4 years ago and no one from the state has checked on her or her two younger siblings that still live between mom and grandma's house.

 

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Originally Posted by WifeMomChiro View Post

I was going to suggest a counselor as well.  That is a tough spot to be in.  I know that reputable adoption agencies have free counseling for expectant mothers (just so she can explore her options).  Does she have a pastor she trusts?



There is a crisis pregnancy center where she lives that doesn't do adoptions, so I'm going to try to get her to get some counseling there.  She's gone to church with us on and off over the years, but has never developed a relationship with the pastor there, so I'm not sure how well that would work.

 

 

 


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#7 of 24 Old 03-23-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyChristianMama View Post

 

There is a crisis pregnancy center where she lives that doesn't do adoptions, so I'm going to try to get her to get some counseling there.  She's gone to church with us on and off over the years, but has never developed a relationship with the pastor there, so I'm not sure how well that would work.

 

 

 


Please look into getting a professional therapist.  There are plenty of Christian therapists out there, if that is what *she* prefers--but the people at the CPC are not therapists.  You'll want a licensed therapist here, not a volunteer. 
 

 

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#8 of 24 Old 03-23-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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Thank you for saying it because it's so true.  Not only are they not licensed therapists, but some of the woman at some of them can be rather intense.  When I was 21 I was thrown out of one for not being sure if I was Christian or not.  During this pregnancy I went to one for an ultrasound and the "counselor" just kept insisting that the dad needed to marry me.  She also warned me that if I stress out too much over the unplanned pregnancy that I will have a difficult/high needs baby...she said that was a "scientific fact".  Just random incidents like that over the years make me hesitant to recommend sending a young, emotionally vulnerable teen to any of those clinics if it can be avoided.

 

I like psychologytoday.com for finding therapists that meet specific criteria.
 

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Please look into getting a professional therapist.  There are plenty of Christian therapists out there, if that is what *she* prefers--but the people at the CPC are not therapists.  You'll want a licensed therapist here, not a volunteer. 
 

 


 

 


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#9 of 24 Old 03-23-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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I think the quality of Christian crisis pregnancy centers can really vary, and without knowing about this one, we shouldn't rush to assumptions. The one I know of in my area does employ licensed therapists only- the volunteers only work on the crisis phone lines, and they undergo pretty extensive trainings. The one near me also does not care whether you're a Christian or any religion, and does not push women towards marriage, adoption, or anything else (other than encouraging women not to abort). 

 

To the OP- i agree that counselling is a good option and that adoption agencies do generally have reasons to nudge women towards adoption. A pregnancy center might be good, or just an independent counsellor. 


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#10 of 24 Old 03-23-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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Cherish Center in Iowa might be what you are looking for (specifically the Cherish House).  It doesn't give the boyfriend a place to stay, but it is a free, safe place for this girl to figure out what she is doing.  It's open to anyone in the US.  From what I understand it is very much a place for young women to go and be loved and supported, while they get counselling and learn about things that can help them if they choose parenting or if they choose adoption.

 

Here is a link to a video about it.  And another video.

 

HTH

 

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#11 of 24 Old 03-24-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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All the more reason to seek a licensed therapist first, without assuming that they are at a CPC.  There are many CPC-like centers, but the ones I volunteered at with the actual name of Crisis Pregnancy Center in two different states were run by volunteers.  Kind hearted people we were--licensed therapists with no agenda we were not.

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I think the quality of Christian crisis pregnancy centers can really vary, and without knowing about this one, we shouldn't rush to assumptions.

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#12 of 24 Old 03-24-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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"When I was a teacher (and mandatory reporter) I had to let CPS know about all of this...their response?  Nothing.  Literally.  They never even looked into it, the case is still open from 4 years ago and no one from the state has checked on her or her two younger siblings that still live between mom and grandma's house."

 

That's revolting. Maybe time for another phone call? This girl is entitled to a safe place to stay, medical care, and public assistance if she wants to go forward as a teen parent. You might not be able to get CPS to step and provide any of that - but you could give it another try. 

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#13 of 24 Old 03-25-2011, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just spent half an hour with CPS trying to figure out what to do.  The old report was apparently dismissed as unfounded even though no one ever went to her house to look at the living situation.  They told me they can't do anything about her current situation even though she is not living with her legal guardian and was kicked out of her house by her mom (her legal guardian).  They won't even check into her current living environment despite everything she has told me about it.  I just want to scream. 

 

I'm going to spend the rest of my girls' nap time trying to find a counselor for her and then trying to convince her to go.


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#14 of 24 Old 03-25-2011, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

Thank you for saying it because it's so true.  Not only are they not licensed therapists, but some of the woman at some of them can be rather intense.  When I was 21 I was thrown out of one for not being sure if I was Christian or not.  During this pregnancy I went to one for an ultrasound and the "counselor" just kept insisting that the dad needed to marry me.  She also warned me that if I stress out too much over the unplanned pregnancy that I will have a difficult/high needs baby...she said that was a "scientific fact".  Just random incidents like that over the years make me hesitant to recommend sending a young, emotionally vulnerable teen to any of those clinics if it can be avoided.

 

I like psychologytoday.com for finding therapists that meet specific criteria.
 


 

 

I'm so sorry you had that kind of experience.  That is awful!

 

I tried psychologytoday and could only find on therapist in her area.  But, he had every possible search criteria listed, so I don't think it's someone who actually specializes in options counseling.  I'm going to call the CPC and see if they have licensed therapists there currently.  I know the former director used to do all the counseling and she was a licensed therapist, but she was tragically killed in December in a car accident. 
 

 


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#15 of 24 Old 03-27-2011, 09:40 PM
 
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Unfreakingbelievable that CPS won't step up when they've got a new report. What if her school counselor made a report?

You must be so frustrated. I'm frustrated and I don't even know you people :-( I love how my tax dollars buy 100,000 troops in Afghanistan but can't stretch to cover a safe haven for a pregnant teenager.
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#16 of 24 Old 03-29-2011, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate your shared frustration Smithie.  I just care about this girl so much and it burns me that the state won't step up and help her.  Her living conditions when I made the first report were deplorable and, well I could rant for a while about the whole situation.  I'm still working on convincing her that counseling would be a good idea.  She sees it as something you only need if you're "crazy" or something, not as something that she's in need of.  Thankfully she has a good relationship with my mom as well (calls her gma as she used to call me mom sometimes), so I'm hoping that she will be able to convince her and take her to see someone.

 

 

 

 


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#17 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for you help and Tjej for you PM.  She ended up losing the baby and having to have a D&C.  She's super, super tiny and I don't think her body could support the pregnancy.  She's torn about how she feels about it.  Her and her boyfriend have been fighting a lot and she's still only a sophmore in high school, but at the same time she loved the idea of being a mom. 


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#18 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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That's so hard - I'm sorry.  I hope she finds clarity and peace in her heart and relationships.

 

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#19 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I'm sorry for her loss.  I had a miscarriage in my teens that shook me up pretty bad, so I feel for her.  I would still highly recommend therapy.  A girl in her situation is very likely to get pregnant again, and therapy would be a great way to help possibly prevent that and to heal from the miscarriage.


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#20 of 24 Old 10-18-2011, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to throw out an update on this girl in case anyone remembered her story and were interested. 

 

She never did take any offers for counseling.  She's quit attending school for the most part, got engaged to her boyfriend, and is now being evicted from her apartment because her druggie father who is not supposed to have custody of her has stopped paying rent. 

 

But still, I can get no help from the state for her.  I'm pretty upset about it this morning.


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#21 of 24 Old 10-18-2011, 07:52 AM
 
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Oh. That is just awful.  I am so sorry for this young girl. How great that you can help her along.


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#22 of 24 Old 10-18-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Wow, that's a really tough place.  There should be something in place for kids in situations like she is.  I hope she finds a way to a better life.

 

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#23 of 24 Old 10-18-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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She is so luck to have you and your family in her life.

 

I just wanted to add that I am a psychologist and most psychologists in private practice that I know will use a sliding scale or do pro bono work at times.  I'd encourage you to call the therapist and explain the case to him/her and see what type of fee you can arrange.  You can also get a feel for the person by doing that. 

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#24 of 24 Old 10-18-2011, 12:14 PM
 
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Sorry, just noticed that his is an older thread.  You've probably resolved things one way or the other by now. 

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