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#1 of 14 Old 11-29-2011, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

This is my first post, I have read through so many other posts on here but cant find anything that reflects my situation so I'm going to have to ask directly.  I'm not sure about these abbreviations so if I get some wrong - apologies!!

 

My hubby (dh?) and I have been married nearly 13 years, when we first met he told me he had a son, and 3 months previously there had been a big row with his ex wife and he wasnt having any contact with him at the time. (his ex-wife is a b***h, I know I will be biased but the stories I could tell you...honestly)

 

This situation continued, and despite getting solicitors involved, he has had no contact with his son for 13 years....The ex-wife moved, hid the child, changed his name illegally, twice! but kept in touch with my husbands family, having involved them in the row back in 1999 and pulling a real number on them.  Its very complicated, the ex wifes best friend is my dh's sister, who lost a baby boy and IMHO took my hubby's son as a replacement in her mind, my hubby isnt perfect (who's is?) but he is a fantastic father, we have 2 girls ourselves now aged 11 and 9 and this lack of contact with his son has been incredibly difficult for him.

 

Now we come to September, the son was 16 in August, and via the joys of facebook I managed to contact him.  NO-ONE knows we are in contact, and he wants to come live with us.  Imagine how it felt to hear him say how miserable he has been all these years. His mother told him that his dad was dead, she is a drug user, claiming state benefits whilst working from home, has now got 2 more kids, (thats 4 kids to 3 dads now...) he has no bedroom, is expected to sleep on the sofa whilst the 2 kids with her current partner are favoured (i do know this has come from a 16 year old and they see things their own way but....) he has never had pocket money, been physically abused,,, the list is endless.

 

I am in contact with my dh's mum, and she has confirmed some of this.  Now his son wants to live with us, we talk every day on the phone, via video calling on facebook, text messages, he has started calling me mum, expresses his dislike for his own mum in no uncertain terms and cannot wait to come here and get to know his Dad for the first time in his life.

 

BTW - suprisingly my MIL is in favour of him coming here, she thinks it would be a good idea for him to get to know his Dad, its a shame she hasnt wanted to 'rock the boat' (her words, not mine) any earlier but.... She does not know that he wants this too, it just so happens we were talking on the phone the other day and she brought the subject up.. remarkable coincidence!

 

I can handle the family, I can even handle the ex-wife, legally as he is 16 and no residency order was ever put in place for him he can come and live here without retribution. What I cant do is even begin to know how to parent him..  

 

I have girls aged 9 & 11, they have had so much more than he has had, what if he resents them?

I have no idea how to care for a 16 year old young man?

From talking over the last 3 months he seems adorable, lonely, sad and in desperate need of love and affection - how do I love and care for him without it seeming like I'm taking over?  

I have this idealistic view that I will feel exactly the same about him as my girls but what if I don't?  

 

 

My head is about to explode...... This post is very long so I am sorry if it is out of the ordinary, I really would appreciate any advice.

 

E x

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 14 Old 11-30-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Look mama, I think the best advice anyone could give you, would be to put a very "adult" head on your shoulders about this and make sure you go about doing whatever you're going to do in a very cautious and clear-headed way. The time for falling in love with this boy and him calling you "mum" and all of that is not quite right this minute...I really think you should be positive and open with him, but make sure that you don't think emotionally here. In order to make sure that this is a good situation/transition for your girls, your DH, you and this young man, you're going to want to go into this with eyes wide open and a very practical head.

 

The EX in this scenario sounds like a real horror show, but I wonder what she thinks of you? Any number of things you've heard about her could be exaggerations, as the only people you've ever heard talk about her are people who don't really like her very much. "She uses drugs" could mean that one time when she had some friends over and thought her kids were asleep, she toked a little weed in the back yard. Or it could mean she's a straight up crack fiend, passing out on the couch and making the kids eat stale bread for dinner. The latter tends to be what you think when someone says "yeah, AND she does DRUGS!" - but I would be really cautious about letting your emotions run away with painting a scene of the horror this kid lives with every day.

 

The other thing I would keep in mind, is that she very well could be an absolutely TERRIBLE mother, but that , in my experience, kind of increases the risk of this young man being a troubled kid, you know? Don't let your mothering instinct kick in full swing just yet....16 can be "just a kid"...but some 16 year olds can be VERY grown up and VERY manipulative.

 

I'm only saying all of these things because I want to make sure that you are going into this with a realistic view of the full picture. With just the information you have presented here, I would be EXTREMELY hesitant to go from "haven't seen him in many YEARS" to "how can we get this kid into our home" in a huge hurry. A visit? A few visits??

 

With a kid under a certain age, you tend to "get what you see"...but even (ask any foster mom) a young kid can be really awesome, easy to manage and be around, etc at first....and then slowly that can melt away to reveal the behavior of a really emotionally/behaviorally troubled kid. A teenager is an even murkier bet when it comes to "is what you see what you get" for the fact that their social skill set and ability to manipulate can be much more honed.

 

I'm not saying this kid is bad news...I'm just cautioning you to sort of "pump the brakes" and try and think logically about this. The easier you take things, the better...for you, your girls (especially) and this kid. I'm sure he is every bit as nice as you think he is.....but let's try and prepare ourselves for the regular troubles that come with parenting a teenager as well as the slight possibility that he could really (if his mom really is THAT bad) be a troubled kid.

 

It's entirely possible that he really is a very sweet, miserable, ill-treated kid....who is also troubled and has issues. Just, before you start asking questions about "what if I don't feel the same way about him as I do my other kids"(a totally legit question!) I would advise that you start looking for practical advice on bringing a young man from a troubled home into your life.

 

If his life really has been as tough as he says, if he's been abused, if his mother is a "real deal" drug addict....you cannot look at your own girls and project out five years to try and imagine what it will be like to have him around. He is coming from a different place and has a different set of issues.

 

Also...make sure you are setting up a really realistic picture with him, of what life is like in your home. Try not to encourage his developing a fantasy about what it will be like in your house that is not based on reality and the real set of expectations you will have for him when he is living in your home.

 

Again...my biggest recomendation, would be to try and visit with him in person at like, a relatives house...or have him over for a short stay or set up some kind of regular contact before you just move him into your home. I think that would be more wise than a hasty move....even though I COMPLETELY understand why you are so tempted to do that. <3 <3 Good luck mama, I'm so excited you've made contact with this boy after so many years.


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#3 of 14 Old 11-30-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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Follow his lead.  If he's calling you Mum without having met you in person, it is more an expression of anger toward his mother than a genuine feeling that you are his Mum.  At first, treat him the way you would an exchange student.  Feel confident enough to demand that basic household rules and standards be respected, but beyond that just be welcoming and willing to get to know him.  Do not feel compelled to behave as though you have the same love for and relationship with him that you do with the daughters you've raised since birth.  You don't (yet), so it would seem false - and feel so, to him.

 

As he warms up to you, warm up to him.

 

Also be prepared that he's probably idealizing you and your DH, because he's so miserable with his Mom.  Teens go to extremes.  He may feel disappointed or angry, once he gets there and realizes you guys aren't perfect.  Prepare yourself not to take it personally - and to remind him that no one is perfect, but you want him to be part of your family anyway.

 

And congratulations!  What a thrill this must be for you and your DH!


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#4 of 14 Old 12-01-2011, 05:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

...With just the information you have presented here, I would be EXTREMELY hesitant to go from "haven't seen him in many YEARS" to "how can we get this kid into our home" in a huge hurry...

 

Overall, I agree with what you've said, AverysMomma.  

 

But if there is truly a way for him to come live with them and he wants to, I don't think the OP should hesitate.  This is her husband's child.  Her husband has already been painfully and involuntarily separated from him, for most of his childhood, and there's not much of it left.  And if the mother would go to such extremes to destroy her child's relationship with a loving father who wanted to be involved, then she is abusive.  It is reasonable to assume she puts her own wants above her child's needs, in other ways that are also harmful to him.  Moving in as soon as possible, with a less selfish, more emotionally stable parent could change this kid's life.  And again, if he's already 16, there is no time to waste.

 

Certainly, the younger children have a right not to be harmed or terrorized, if their older half-brother proves to be a sociopath.  If so, the living arrangement will have to change.  But, the boy is also one of the children the OP's husband is responsible for.  I think it would be wrong to postpone meeting his needs, by proceeding with caution as though some problem with his behavior has already been manifested, when it hasn't.

 

I am bemused by the fact that the mother's efforts to keep the child away from his father resulted in a lack of court orders...and now she is the one whose custodial rights are not protected.  You know what they say about karma...


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#5 of 14 Old 12-01-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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Overall, I agree with what you've said, AverysMomma.  

 

But if there is truly a way for him to come live with them and he wants to, I don't think the OP should hesitate.  This is her husband's child.  Her husband has already been painfully and involuntarily separated from him, for most of his childhood, and there's not much of it left.  And if the mother would go to such extremes to destroy her child's relationship with a loving father who wanted to be involved, then she is abusive.  It is reasonable to assume she puts her own wants above her child's needs, in other ways that are also harmful to him.  Moving in as soon as possible, with a less selfish, more emotionally stable parent could change this kid's life.  And again, if he's already 16, there is no time to waste.

 

Certainly, the younger children have a right not to be harmed or terrorized, if their older half-brother proves to be a sociopath.  If so, the living arrangement will have to change.  But, the boy is also one of the children the OP's husband is responsible for.  I think it would be wrong to postpone meeting his needs, by proceeding with caution as though some problem with his behavior has already been manifested, when it hasn't.

 

I am bemused by the fact that the mother's efforts to keep the child away from his father resulted in a lack of court orders...and now she is the one whose custodial rights are not protected.  You know what they say about karma...

 

I know what you are saying...I just also have known a lot of TRULY sweet, TRULY wonderful kids who were extremely troubled because of their upbringing. A kid being abused and having his coping skills and behavior twisted up by a poor upbringing does not make him a bad person....but it can make him do "bad" and very unexpected things. When a child is your own flesh and blood, it doesn't matter how long they've been separated from you, you are always obligated to do everything you can to try and help them and, if you are a normal person, you will always feel a connection and a sense of love and obligation toward the child....but let's face facts, they really know very very little about this child and he could have some very real problems that could be very surprising to this father who has been imagining his sweet toddler and the kind of boy he's grown to be over the years, you know?

 

I can recall, some years ago, a foster mama (possibly on MDC, maybe on another forum) making a comment about a foster boy she took in who'd had a VERY rough time of things from early childhood. The child had been maliciously violent and even somewhat sexually "weird" toward a foster kid in a past placement and the mama only took him in because she had no other children in the house who would be considered "at risk"....well the comment she made that is coming back to me now, was along the lines of "it's scary to know that he has a history of lashing out in really harmful ways, because you would absolutely never ever guess that or be worried about that based on my first few weeks with him in my home".

 

That is a paraphrasing...but the idea is one that I think is important to keep in mind. It does really, really sound like this kid is in a bad situation and needs to get out....but by acknowledging that truth, we highlight another truth that, in my mind, is just as pressing. He could have some pretty serious issues that may not present themselves until they get to know him better. There are children in this scenario, living in a good and stable environment, who deserve to have their world protected. Any way you slice it, things are going to shift now that this long lost son is coming back into the picture....but let's not allow the "best thing that ever happened" to this young man become a really negative turning point in the lives of these two little girls who don't have the skill set to cope with the kind of dysfunction that could come with a really troubled youth being thrown into this situation without enough time and "ease" to ensure a healthy transition for all involved. You know?

 

I'm not saying there is a high likelihood of a "worst of the worst" scenario going down....I don't think it's highly likely that the kid is going to try and molest one of his half sisters or something else like that. But I've known enough kids who drew "crappy cards" and were raised by awful people on the wrong side of the tracks, to know that there can be a world of difference between a 16 year old raised by nice people in a healthy family situation and a 16 year old raised by child abusers/neglecters.

 

I don't relish the thought any more than anyone else does, of making this kids exit from a badddd situation "slow and planned out"....believe me, I understand what it is like to be the little kid who grows up fantasizing about the day she turns 18 and can run from the nightmare that is her family life. I was that kid. It's been so long now, that it feels like another lifetime, like it happened to someone else, but I was that kid. I also required REALLY intense, one-on-one Dialectical Behavioral Therapy when I was 20 to erase the extremely twisted coping skills I'd been given by my childhood and replace them with skills that made it safe for me to go out in the world and be a human. I'm really lucky I got that help, because now, you'd never know what a troubled person I was. I can't even remember what it was like. Like I said, all those memories now feel like they belong to someone else. I can't even connect with being that unhealthy person. I hope that the OP and her family can give this kid a shot like that....but they have to go into this with their eyes open and a cautious hand, if they are going to ensure the best outcome for all the precious people involved. The father deserves a happy ending with his son. The son deserves a happy ending with the father. The OP and her girls deserve a happy ending with their new brother/son.

 

The best is yet ahead...it's true that they have lost a lot of this kids life and that these few years of youth remaining should be lived to the fullest with this long lost son. But I'd rather they lose a little time now, and get to watch this young man blossom into a wonderful person who is close to them, can give them a wonderful DIL and beautiful children....then rush into things for the sake of sucking up whatever moments of childhood he has left...and having things turn sour because they didn't prepare themselves to help a bright, loving kid shake off the remnants of an abusive upbringing. He may need a lot of help. You know?

 

ETA: In saying "visit a few times first"....I don't know that I really meant over a long period of time. I'm not sure what would be best, I mean, if the kid is in a situation that is really THAT bad...he just needs to be yanked, that's true. But maybe the relatives can keep him for a week or two first...and the family can visit, give the girls a chance to meet him....hit a theme park or arcade or whatever with him, build some sort of friendship before he just moves in? I don't know...I just feel like it might allow for better setting of expectations, an easier time seeing each other as who everyone is, instead of the fantasy everyone has built in their heads?? I don't know. I just see room for caution, not like, AGAINST the boy....but in trying to map out the plan for making the transition easier for the girls and making sure that the family can be there for the son in the way he really needs to get better from his horrible homelife.


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#6 of 14 Old 12-01-2011, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, thank you, thank you ladies for all your replies.

 

Just to touch on a few points... The idea of a few visits before we go for full on moving in just isn't an option - we live in different countries!  We are in mainland Europe, he is in the UK.  Apart from the financial constrictions, we cant just pop down the road - it's 2000 miles and 2 flights!!! Whilst it is a situation I would have preferred, it isn't possible.

 

To clarify re: the ex wife.  She is a regular drug user, daily.  I didnt want to go into too many details, this isn't about MY feelings towards her, but anyone who can take their child's Christmas and birthday money, give them back a fiver and keep the rest for her habit is an addict in my book. (IMHO)  This info is not just from the son, also my MIL. There are many many things I could put on here which would make your hair curl, but it isnt the place.  Her keeping her son from having a father who adores him is enough. She actually told him that his father was dead, and he believed that until he was 11 when thankfully my MIL put him straight.

 

I remember being 16, I came from a broken home, by that age I had already had 2 stepdads, and I had a stepmum.  I used to be fairly manipulative, playing my mum and dad off against eachother for gifts and things, but I really and truly don't get this impression from DSS.  I have explained in great detail about our quiet little country village life, no clubs, pubs, bars. Olive picking for 2 months after Christmas, how the house works, house rules, chores, what his sisters do as their jobs and what he would be expected to do - and all I get back is how much he wants to be part of a family. He seems to have been ignored for most of his life, he describes himself as "just being a presence in the house"  He most likely is idealising the situation, just having a solid family around him seems to do that, but I have been honest about what we expect, how he is expected to behave and contribute to our home and he grins and tells me he "can't wait". 

 

My worries re: my girls are not really related to his behaviour, I cant see him being nasty to them, he chats to them, emails them and cant wait to meet them.  His ambition is to work with kids in a nursery eventually. My fear was more that he would resent them and take it out on us because of the different life they have had compared to him. I'm not sure if I can ever get over to him that, given the chance he would have had exactly the same, but his mother stopped us from doing that. Any which way I try and work that into my head it sounds as though I am calling his mother, which is something I will not do, no matter what I think of her I will not get into a bitching session about her. I know how much I hated it as a kid when my mum started on about my stepmum and expected me to take sides.....

 

It is hard not to want to mother him, he is the image of his dad, has the same mild and unassuming manner, we speak on the phone 3 times a day, him, his dad, me and the girls. We video call, chat on facebook, email. I dont want to get it wrong -  I have no idea about parenting a teenager, and fully realise that there will more than likely be some fallout from his treatment over the last few years, rebellion, tantrums, I don't know, and I guess I'll have to learn as I go along how to deal with them.  I picked up the pieces with my husband when we met as he was recovering from the destructive marriage, now I will have to pick up the pieces from an abusive childhood.

 

I love my husband, am still as crazy about him now as I was when I met him, and I will do anything it takes to try and help him re-establish his relationship with his son, and welcome him into this part of his family. The main reason for my original post was to try and get some experienced stepmums to give me some guidance on how to parent a 16 year old, to see if anyone else had any kind of similar experiences taking on older stepkids.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to reply - I know from reading some of the other posts on this forum that lots of posts concern way bigger issues than mine. I'd like to believe that I am a mum first, wife second and Emily third, I just hope that I can make a difference to this boy's life and hopefully make our family complete.

 

E x x 

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#7 of 14 Old 12-01-2011, 04:14 PM
 
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All I have to say is I hope for the best. 

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#8 of 14 Old 12-02-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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You know Emily, it sounds like you have done everything you possibly can to ensure that everyone involved has a fair chance at transitioning this kid into your lives as smoothly as possible. It sounds like you've got a good life and are, deep in your heart, willing and able to provide the love and family structure that this kid has been missing. I can imagine how deep the instinct to mother a child who looks like your beloved husband must be. When I look at my own son and catch that same twinkle in his eye that his dad has, it just makes me fall that much harder under his little boy charm!

 

Good luck to you....I really think everything is going to be okay. None among us will make it through parenthood without as many trials and head scratching moments as we have joyful ones. Raising "little ones" to be happy, healthy "big ones" is going to present challenges no matter what kind of upbringing a kid has.

 

It sounds like visits really aren't an option...in life, it's usually best to be cautious and try and plan ahead....but when you can't, you've got to hold your breath, love deeply and leap into the unknown. Trust that life will unfold as it should....because it always does.

 

Many blessings to you and congratulations on your new addition. I really hope to receive updates to this thread at some point in the future! <3 <3 <3


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#9 of 14 Old 12-02-2011, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank You for your kind words.  I'm just going to try and help him be a part of the family.  I will make sure I come back regularly and give you an update on how things are going. This is a great forum and a big help 

 

E xx

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#10 of 14 Old 12-03-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post

...in life, it's usually best to be cautious and try and plan ahead....but when you can't, you've got to hold your breath, love deeply and leap into the unknown. Trust that life will unfold as it should....because it always does.

 

Many blessings to you and congratulations on your new addition. I really hope to receive updates to this thread at some point in the future! <3 <3 <3


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#11 of 14 Old 12-04-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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Good luck!


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#12 of 14 Old 12-12-2011, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well it looks like my leap into the unknown is happening sooner than any of us expected....!

 

Over the last week, thanks to my MIL, contact between us and dss is now out in the open.  

 

Over the past few days things have really come to a head between dss and his mother, after many painful conversations where he finally told his dad and his grandma all the problems he has had for the last 5 years, (social services being called in after his mothers boyfriend beat him up at the age of 13 to name just one) he was put out on the street by his mother on Friday and told to "go get a job" this is in the pouring rain with no coat and no money.

 

He called us, and we realised that his passport was in his coat, which was in the house, we felt pretty helpless, we cant get him out of there without it...  

 

So then we get an email from his mother, playing games, telling me all kinds of rubbish and asking for parenting help, (what NOW????)  as she has finally realised that we are all watching her, and dss is meant to have contact each night via skype.  We agreed to speak to him that night via skype, as that way we knew he had to be in the house and could get his passport.

 

Things calmed down, we told him to try and keep calm and behave until January when he was supposed to be coming here, and he went and spent the weekend at a friends house so as to stay out of the firing line...Until today... when she did it again!  He was put out of the house at 1pm, told to go get out and not come back till dinner time.  Of course he phones me so I sent him to my aunts house, about 3 kilometres away so he was safe and warm.  He went back at 6pm, and at 7pm was told to get out and not come back before 11pm as she didnt want him in her house.

 

He rung us again, and this time we rung my MIL, and he did too.  He went to my aunts again where we knew he would be safe and my MIL and her husband picked him up a little while ago.  His flight is now booked, and he will be with us within a few days..

 

So I am leaping and hope I will be strong enough to help my dh establish a relationship with his son, welcome him into our family and learn how to parent a 16 year old..!!

 

Will keep updates coming as and when, thanks again to all of you who replied previously, am now scared but excited!!

 

Emily

 

 

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#13 of 14 Old 12-12-2011, 04:31 PM
 
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I'm so excited for you! I'm sorry for the unhealthy dynamics in this boys current living situation...but I'm glad he had someone to call. heartbeat.gif It's going to be great, I'm sure of it...good luck and keep up posted. I'm so happy for your husband, this must be a real dream come true.


Me and DH ...lovin' DD dust.gif(6/08) and DS kid.gif(11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD baby.gif (UC-5/12) We heartbeat.gif Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'! chicken3.gif

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#14 of 14 Old 12-26-2011, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone.

 

Quick update at promised.  

 

DSS arrived last Sunday, having travelled for 16 hours, me and his Dad had been up all night making sure he was OK, chatting on the phone whilst he was at the airports etc and the moment he ran into his Dad's arms in the arrivals lounge was a moment I will never ever forget.  13 years disintegrated in seconds, by the time we were all in the car he was chatting to our daughters like he had been around forever.  Over the last week, we have got to know eachother better, the 3 months of conversations on Skype, facebook and the phone have helped enormously with this and he seems to fit in well so far.

 

Difficulties?  It's really hard for my DH to see the state his boy is in.  Weak and malnourished (he has a 26 inch waist, the same as our 9 year old!!) He is defensive at times, has no idea how to conduct himself in social situations and is nervous and twitchy.  These are all things which we know will take time, love and care for him to overcome.

 

We know there are difficult times ahead, his upbringing has been so different from that of our daughters. They are both confident assured little girls, DSS has no idea of his place in the world, his own identity, his role in a family situation, or boundaries.  Every day is a learning experience for all of us.  Simple things like the first time we took them all out on Friday - usually DH has one child whilst I have the other, suddenly there are 3! I spent the entire trip looking over my shoulder making sure I could see all of them - and getting them ready to go out -  OMG! an hour before we were all ready, there must be an easier way!!

 

We are taking the slowly softly approach.  I have already put my foot down about a couple of things, swearing in front of the girls and whilst talking to me, which I just wont tolerate, and a few light household chores.  Both these things he has responded to well.  The hard things are trying to get him to see that he is a part of the family, he feels the need to ask before he goes in the fridge for something to eat, uses the shower, checks his email etc I'm hoping that with time he will relax and accept that he is part of our little unit. 

 

We had a wonderful Christmas Day, he was overwhelmed by his gifts, and not having had a proper Christmas before was shocked at how we spent the entire day together, playing, eating and talking to the rest of the family via Skype.  He has never spoken to his grandparents on Christmas Day before, and this year he spoke to both his Dad's parents and mine, who have welcomed him into our family without batting an eyelid!  Just Christmas Dinner was an eye-opener for him, last year he had a curry on Christmas Day... 

 

So all is going OK so far, I have 2 issues I could do with some experienced advice with if any of you ladies can help....

 

Cutlery - He has never been shown how to use a knife and fork properly... He uses them like a pick-axe and shovel.. Any tips or advice on how to do this?  I remember doing it with my girls around the age of 3, with small size knives and forks, but never with a grown boy!!

 

Affection - He is very very affectionate, sometimes to the point where it becomes overbearing and just too much.  How do I tell him that he doesnt need to kiss and cuddle me so often. I'm pretty sure this is a reaction to being shown that we care, that he is clinging on to me because he has never had a maternal figure show him any care and love, but even my hubby has said he cant get near me because DSS is always sat next to me, walking next to me etc. I am probably the only mum to a teenage boy complaining that he is too cuddly, but it is a little uncomfortable and the girls have noticed it too. Do you think it will just fizzle out as he becomes more sure of himself?

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.  My hubby and I are thrilled to be a complete family at last, there has been some 'atomic fallout' from various other members of his side of the family, but thankfully they are a minority.  DSS's mum didnt even bother to text, call, skype or facebook mesage DSS on Christmas Day, in fact apart from a stroppy phone call to my MIL the day after he arrived has not been in contact at all.  We did worry that this would upset DSS, but if anything it made him angry, she sent him an email the week he was staying at his grandparents before he flew here, telling him how it was so good without him being there - the lack of contact has just reinforced that and made DSS realise exactly what she is like.  

 

Hope everyone had a great Christmas, and Happy Holidays! 

E x x x

 

 

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