Need Advice On Family Issues

6 Replies
torn - December 23

This is going to be a little long-but please read....I am pregnant with our second child-our first is 17 months. I have a little sister who is about to be 13 and she lives with her grandmother (her dads mom). However, her father lives about 40 miles away and doesn't see her-but he was granted custody when she was 5 bc my mom didn't show for the hearing. Well, Her grandma has mentioned that she can no longer handle her to me-shes 76 years old. So I called my mom to tell her that they need to discuss other arangements-going to court so she could get custody. I explained that she would be eligible for welfare if she needed it for her. Well, She pretty much said that My sister would be happier living with me, and to make a long story short, it appears that she doesn't want her. My mom likes to drink and do as she pleases and has never taken responsiblity for my younger sister-I took care of her until the courts appointeed custody to her dad-then she went to stay at her grandmas and has been there ever since. She (my sister) has been lying, she has free range to do as she pleases with her grandma-we can't take her-financially, and it would strain our marriage-I am still a 11/2 shy of graduating college, and I don't know what to do?? I am soo stressed with thinking about 2 kids-but a teen too? Its not fair that this has been dumped on me-they think we are rich just becuase we get by and don't blow our money...I need some serious advice...me and hub have been aeguing all week because I am in such a mood about this-and on top of it all-tommorrow we will all be at my moms and I don't want a fight to start.....any suggestions??

 

Jennifer - December 23

wow, thats a lot for them to ask for you to take in your younger sister. Especially since you have a young child plus one on the way. Thats way to much! Have you ever sat down with your mom and explained to her that you are not only not financially able, but also that its just to much at this point in your life to take your sister in. I mean I wouldn't look at it as if you are abandoning her you just aren't physically and mentally able to. If your mom can't understand what you are saying and refuses to take her in then maybe your sister is better without her anyway. I agree its not fair that she is being "dumped" on you but if she had no where else to go do you really have any other choice other then putting her in foster care? I wish you the best of luck

 

bean - December 23

This one really sucks! Wow... Take it from the point of view of your little sister. She is only 13 after all... she has unfortunately been dealt a pretty rotten hand of cards. Poor kid! I couldn't imagine the financial strain as well, but... in the long run, where would your sister fair best? I agree that living with an alcoholic and irresponsible mother is not an option. Your sister is 13 after all, maybe she's mature enough for a talk? Give her the situation. Tell her you all love her, but unfortunately Grandma's too old and your Mom is sick. Tell her she needs to help make the decision - she can either go into foster or group homes, or she can shape up big time and try living with you. But make her understand she'll have lots of chores and responsibilities. She'll need to help you with your children as well as excel in school. You know... this could just be a blessing in disguise. Your sister might turn a corner and become the angel you need to help you with your housework and kids while you finish up college cla__ses. Just whatever you do, do it with your husband. This cannot come in the way of your marriage. It must be a choice you two make together. Best of luck - and please do remember you are talking about the welfare and future of a little girl...

 

torn - December 23

thanks ladies-that is just my problem-I want to take her, and if needs be I most deifinitely will-but I think this may be an opportunity for my sister and my mom to get closer. I was thinking of trying to sit everyone down and coming up with a plan. My mom says that when she stays with her-if she is not allowed to talk on the phone for as long as she wants or if my mom makes her do something she doesn't like-like chores-she simply calls her grandma and she swoops in and gets her. I told my mom that she needs to tell her that if she is to have her-then there will be no more saving her just bc she doesn't like it. my mom told me this morning that she is lonely and would enjoy having her there-she just doesn't think my sister will take her seriously or go running back to her grandma. Also, staying with my mom would keep her in the same school district-so she wouldn't be leaving her friends-I live an hour away-so there won't be much back and forth to see her friends. I am going to call my sister later and have a talk with her-leaving the option of living with me for a last resort. I told my mom that maybe she could start taking her during the week, and on the weekends go to her grandmas-transitioning from one to the other, and I will be the safety net. I don't want my sis knowing about me being an option bc then she won't even try to make it work. My husband understands the situation, but he certainly does not like it. He feels that this could be the time for my mom to clean herself up and take this as a second chance. He wants us to explore all options for my sister before we just say ok. It sucks though.....

 

bean - December 23

Torn - it sounds like you have come up with a terrific solution. Having to care for your sister may be just what your Mom needs, too. It seems like Grandma is the only one that really needs to get on the same page - and hopefully that won't be too hard. I like the transitioning idea - weeks here, weekends there. Best of luck to you and your family!

 

L - December 23

Please help me understand how your mother can provide the best living arrangements for your sister when your mother didn't care to attend a custody hearing several years ago and doesn't want custody of her now. Your mother doesn't want to be bothered with raising her and really, with these intentions, she shouldn't be allowed to raise your sister. I really feel bad for your sister - no wonder she is so messed up - neither parent has stepped forward with their parental obligations and now your grandmother isn't able to. (Not blaming your grandmother in the least!) Have you all considered foster care or foster-to-adoption? Either of these might be in the best interest of your sister.

 

torn - December 23

please don't get me wrong-my sister is not "messed up" she is your average tween- spoiled maybe, but that is it. My mom has seen my sister on a weekly basis for as long as I can remember. But, my sister knows how to push my mom over-I think this is bc she feels guilty for not taking care of her when she was younger. My mom didn't go to the hearing bc she thought that there was no way that the judge would give her custody bc her father made more $$. That is why she says that she didn't go. Over the years she has drowned her guilt in beer, and I think that she is scared. I think that it could work, I at least would like to try and give it a chance-you know? It could go either way...And foster care or adoption is sooo not an option-no way, I will take her before that.

 

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