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#1 of 3 Old 05-13-2005, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, I'm new to this board, but I was wondering if I could get some feedback from all of you out there with teens! I'm 19 with one baby girl, and recently my MIL asked if my husband's sister could come and stay with us. She is 14 and is going into her freshman year of highschool. Due to insurance purposes and the military we would really end up adopting her, which is ok with me, but i'm worried how it's going to affect my family (dd and the marriage) Jade (dh's sister) has ADD, ADHD, and bipolar (according to the dr.'s ) and she has a real tendency to lie about everything, so i'm a little stressed trying to come up with ways to help her out with out messing up my family at the same time! if anybody has any tips or suggestions i would be so grateful!
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#2 of 3 Old 05-13-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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You don't have to adopt her, but you will need to be her legal guardians so the military will consider her a dependent of your DH. We did this with my brother. He's been living with us since he was 14 (going on 4 years now). Since my grandmother was willing to sign over guardianship, it wasn't a terribly complicated or long process. I think it took a few weeks and cost us about $650.

I'm not going to lie, it does throw quite a monkey wrench into your life. DB has ADHD and lots of emotional issues over the death of our mother and the abuse from my grandmother. There have been times where I wondered what I had gotten myself into. But I don't regret it. I love my little brother and most of the time I really enjoy him being here. With lots of love and some counseling he's learning to deal with a lot of issues and he's turning into a pretty great person.

It hasn't affected my marriage negatively. If anything it has made it stronger because I thought it was so awesome of DH to be willing to take in a teenager and care for him as his own. You gotta a person that's willing to do that. As for DD she thinks it's SOOO cool. It's more like he's HER brother instead of mine.

A cool bonus is that it's like having a live-in babysitter. Good luck!
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#3 of 3 Old 05-20-2005, 12:23 PM
 
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Good luck with all that!!

If I was in your shoes, I'd be concerned about a 14yo accepting a 19yo as an authority figure. Not that you're not mature enough at 19 to handle parenting a teen, but that the teenager might have issues with it.

How is the ADHD being treated? My 9yo has ADD (innatentive type) and we've had good results with the Feingold Program ADD kids (and adults) need a lot of external structure, which is probably a huge change from being home with one baby.

Another thing to think about- a previous poster said something about having a "built in babysitter"- but please be careful not to expect too much from your SIL. First of all, with her various issues, she may not be responsible enough to babysit. Secondly, and more importantly, you need to respect her needs as an individual and not take advantage of her. I'm not implying that SabrinaJ takes advantage of her BIL- just that this line of thinking COULD potentially cause problems.

Would it be possible to have your SIL live with you for a few weeks over the summer as a trial period, to see how it works? It would be very difficult for her to move around during the school year, which is why I'm suggesting the summer.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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