What would you do? UPDATE POST#85 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OKay, heres the deal.
I have a friend, 20, who had a son in January. And she made me his godmother. My husband and I adore this little boy and last week we went and took him home with us as him mother is having some issues with money and is having to work over time and can not afford a baby sitter. So we figured we'd help her out. After all, I've known her since I was 14. She gave us gas money to come down there. and then gave us more to come back home on. But none to bring him back on and for us to get back home on. When we got him, he had no coat, no socks (except the ones on his feet) and only a few winter clothing items. No cap either...and he had just gotten over a bad cold. We went and picked him up. We went shopping. GOt him a coat, hat, mittens, some more food, juice, things he needed. We had SO much fun with him....his mom loves him to death. There is no question about it. She called atleast 3-4 times a day almost crying because she missed him. She also discussed with me how she would breakdown at work because Braelyn will not get a Christmas, her phone may get cut off and she is barely making it. Anywho, we took him back this past Saturday and while there, she said (low enough to where dh couldn't here of coruse) "Hey...I need a favor...do you think you could come down and get him again...and keep him longer? " I asked why and she said "Well, I'm barely makin it. I need to find a second job or a new one and I can't do it with Braelyn around." I told her that I would talk to dh about it...well now the phone is ringing off the hook...and I know she wants to know. Like I said, Dh and I love this little boy with all of our hearts, but I feel like we're being taken advantage of. She is using us as her personal baby sitter without pay or anything. I hate to demand pay as she is one of my best friends, kwim? I'm not one to always look for something in return, however I have my own children, life, etc. SO...dh and I talked...and we came up with this. That she should give us legal guardianship of him until she gets on her feet. Instead of us going back and forth (3 hrs away) picking him up, dropping him off. I wouldn't mind doing that. WHen she gets on her feet, she can have him back. I'm not asking her to give him away or anything. Just to let us have him for now.
Please give me honest opinions on this. I have not answered her phone calls yet as I need to know what to say. Am I crazy? I also need an unbiased answer as we have just lost a baby girl in May and I know that naturally I just want him to be mine ....*sighs* What should I do? What would YOU do? Is she taking advantage of us?
Any advice would be great. TIA

Kylin 10/14/2002

Aja 8/13/2004

Evie 3/11/2010

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#2 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 07:45 PM
 
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I think you need to sit down face to face and have a long honest conversation about it. What a hard position for her to be in. How sweet of you two to be able to help. But expectations and concerns need to be on the table up front for this to work.

good luck!

-Angela
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#3 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just don't want her to feel cornered or anything or forced..pressured, kwim?

Also, I have mentioned daycare assistance to her being that she is receiving welfare already and she said that she doesn't want to do that or they will take away her TANF check (money). THAT is why she wants us to keep him because she can not afford a baby sitter and does not want to lose her monthly benefits by receiving assistance for daycare...

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#4 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:03 PM
 
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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.
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#5 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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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.
i agree with this.
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#6 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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I was also wondering why the legal guardianship. As for emergencies, I signed something at the doctors office giving mymom and grandma power to give permission to treat, though they aren't guardians. You have to decide on your role. Are you going to be the parent for a while, or the babysitter. Be honest that you don't want to drive back and forth. But you need to be very clear to yourself, to the baby and to the mom what role you are taking on.
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#7 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

No, I'm not angry, as stated before I need an unbiased view as I, myself feel like I'm possibly (and my husband as well) filling some sort of void. Thank you for bringing that more to my attention...I just don't know what to say to h er. As she is needing us to come get him on this Saturday. She has no car so we willalways have to go back and forth for her...
I want to help her...but at the same time...I don't want to be a baby sitter forever...
I'm so lost:

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#8 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I was also wondering why the legal guardianship. As for emergencies, I signed something at the doctors office giving mymom and grandma power to give permission to treat, though they aren't guardians. You have to decide on your role. Are you going to be the parent for a while, or the babysitter. Be honest that you don't want to drive back and forth. But you need to be very clear to yourself, to the baby and to the mom what role you are taking on.

Honestly, I can not find an answer...I don't know. it was just automatic. I think mama_b has the right idea. I thought legal guardianship would let him be more "ours" for the time being....now that I see it on a screen i nwords...that sounds so awful..

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#9 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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While I can see traveling 3hrs each way is a pain, if your friend has no money, how can she give any?

Maybe it would be easier to give her what you would spend on gas and supplies of taking care of her son?

Point her in the direction of government assistance?
Lots of people out there are single and barely making it, but they do still get by.

Does your friend know how to budget? How to be frugal? Can you help her in these areas?

I am really sorry you lost your baby in May
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#10 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:13 PM
 
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No, I'm not angry, as stated before I need an unbiased view as I, myself feel like I'm possibly (and my husband as well) filling some sort of void. Thank you for bringing that more to my attention...I just don't know what to say to h er. As she is needing us to come get him on this Saturday. She has no car so we willalways have to go back and forth for her...
I want to help her...but at the same time...I don't want to be a baby sitter forever...
I'm so lost:
I'm glad you're not mad. I was just reading back over my post, and was thinking that it sounded insensitive. I didn't mean it that way, honest. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I'm really sorry.
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#11 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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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 don't think so. Giving someone legal guardianship is NOT "giving" your child away. In fact, if the OP and her husband are going to be taking care of this child on a fulltime basis, legally, they need to have guardianship, IMO. This way, they can give permission for things like emergency medical care, etc.

In most places, guardianship is not a difficult thing to obtain. It also can be taken away at any time. At least where I am from, it can. Basically, from a legal standpoint, you are a babysitter "with benefits".

Also, it is not right for someone to keep your child and you still get TANF or whatever. And if you get caught, you can get into serious trouble.

For legal reasons alone, they should get guardianship.
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#12 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad you're not mad. I was just reading back over my post, and was thinking that it sounded insensitive. I didn't mean it that way, honest. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I'm really sorry.
Thanks and its ok. What I need is honesty...and a reality check lol.

Rharr, thanks for the input. When we went to get Braelyn last weekend we actually spent the night there and she was going over why she needed us to take him. her bills, expenses, etc. She was doing ok at first because she had a live in boyfriend. They split everything. They broke up and now she is on her own. I've shared with her our budget layout (we get one from finance here on post) and gave her a copy of the spreadsheet. She said she'd get around to it when she got the time as she is working alot of overtime...

Thanks for all the responses...I'm glad I came here to ask for help before I opened my mouth...yikes.,..

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#13 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:24 PM
 
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I would think that if the reason she is sending you her child is that she is having a lot of financial problems, then she definitely can't afford to pay you. She is probably absolutely humbled to ask at all and only does so because she trusts and loves you.

She clearly loves her child very much. So much, in fact, that she is willing to be separated from him so that she can find a way to make their lives better. I think asking for guardianship is a bit much. I think it WILL sound to her as if you want her to give him to you. I think maybe part of you is hoping that she might not take him back. Deep down in your heart, might that be the case? Even just a tiny bit?

I think you are trying to soothe your heart by mothering this little boy. While I think it is wonderful, absolutely sweet and loving, of you to take him in and buy him what he needs, you have to remember that his mother loves him and wants him. He isn't your child. His mother never intended for him to be your child. He won't/can't/shouldn't replace the one that you lost. (And I am so, so sorry for your loss. )

If you aren't emotionally able to care for him on his mother's terms, then just tell her that you can't. Tell her that you just aren't in a good place to do so. Maybe you can help by sending things for the child for Christmas or by buying a grocery store gift card once in a while.

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#14 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think so. Giving someone legal guardianship is NOT "giving" your child away. In fact, if the OP and her husband are going to be taking care of this child on a fulltime basis, legally, they need to have guardianship, IMO. This way, they can give permission for things like emergency medical care, etc.

In most places, guardianship is not a difficult thing to obtain. It also can be taken away at any time. At least where I am from, it can. Basically, from a legal standpoint, you are a babysitter "with benefits".

Also, it is not right for someone to keep your child and you still get TANF or whatever. And if you get caught, you can get into serious trouble.

For legal reasons alone, they should get guardianship.

Those were our thoughts as well. Especially the TANF part.

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Evie 3/11/2010

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#15 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:28 PM
 
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I hope it all works out for both you and your friend. I just wonder if emotionally you will be OK with having him for awhile and then having to give him back. I am just asking, because I had a miscarriage 1.5 years ago, and it is still very emotional, and I'm not sure I could handle something like that. it would be very hard to not get very attached, and after being attached, I'm not sure how I would feel about giving a child back into a situation that might be tenuous.
I am so sorry about your miscarriage.

 
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#16 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think maybe part of you is hoping that she might not take him back. Deep down in your heart, might that be the case? Even just a tiny bit?
Correct. : Before we took him back Friday, we were hoping that she'd say keep him longer...and when we took him back, she said that she was going to say that....but missed him too much. She loves her little boy to death...she really does.

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#17 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope it all works out for both you and your friend. I just wonder if emotionally you will be OK with having him for awhile and then having to give him back. I am just asking, because I had a miscarriage 1.5 years ago, and it is still very emotional, and I'm not sure I could handle something like that. it would be very hard to not get very attached, and after being attached, I'm not sure how I would feel about giving a child back into a situation that might be tenuous.
I am so sorry about your miscarriage.

I held my tears when we took him back...and my husband cried a little. He clung to my hubby like static lol. When we walked in the door his mom goes "He didn't even reach for me!" LOL...we hated to see him go..

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#18 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:42 PM
 
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I don't think so. Giving someone legal guardianship is NOT "giving" your child away. In fact, if the OP and her husband are going to be taking care of this child on a fulltime basis, legally, they need to have guardianship, IMO. This way, they can give permission for things like emergency medical care, etc.

In most places, guardianship is not a difficult thing to obtain. It also can be taken away at any time. At least where I am from, it can. Basically, from a legal standpoint, you are a babysitter "with benefits".

Also, it is not right for someone to keep your child and you still get TANF or whatever. And if you get caught, you can get into serious trouble.

For legal reasons alone, they should get guardianship.
I would like to respectfully disagree with this. I don't see it any different than the baby visiting. When I was young, there were a couple of years where I went to stay with my aunt all summer long. She didn't have legal guardianship of me and I was in her care for months.
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#19 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 08:47 PM
 
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Could she come to live with you for a while?

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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#20 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Could she come to live with you for a while?

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.

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#21 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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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.
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#22 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 09:26 PM
 
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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?
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#23 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#24 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 10:17 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

Kylin 10/14/2002

Aja 8/13/2004

Evie 3/11/2010

2 angels in Heaven (Alexis & Bryson)

Currently NTNP for baby #4 dust.gif

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#26 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 11:21 PM
 
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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
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#27 of 88 Old 11-06-2006, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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...

Kylin 10/14/2002

Aja 8/13/2004

Evie 3/11/2010

2 angels in Heaven (Alexis & Bryson)

Currently NTNP for baby #4 dust.gif

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#28 of 88 Old 11-07-2006, 12:02 AM
 
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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.
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#29 of 88 Old 11-07-2006, 12:04 AM
 
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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
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#30 of 88 Old 11-07-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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So when you talked to your friend last did you tell her your feeling taken advantage of? HOw did she respond?
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