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Monday, February 2, 2009

Hard Choices

I originally wasn't going to post something so personal here, for all the world to see(or at least the few of you who actually visit here!) but first I thought it would be easy to have all of our thought processes here in one place for all of our friends and family to see rather than to repeat it dozens of times via phone conversations and such. This way there is time to digest the information before discussion. Also, I decided to share here as I hope it helps someone who may find themselves in a similar situation either a grandparent contemplating taking in their grandchild or the adult child unable to care for their child and asking grandma or grandpa to help out.

These things aren't always as easy to figure out as they first seem. And one answer isn't going to be the right one for every family or even each situation. For example when we were asked to take in our grandson, while we had to think it through and pray about it and weigh the pros and cons for everyone involved, it was a pretty easy decision. We took him in, and haven't regretted it one bit, even though there have been great sacrifices for all involved. For me it was giving up my new found freedom of having older kids and being able to come and go alot more freely, it was giving up a martial art I loved(and still do!) dearly, and the day to day care of taking on an infant, and still raising children and teens of my own! For my husband it was the additional financial burden, and also giving up a martial art that had become a big part of his life. For my oldest son, he literally gave up the possibility of training for the Olympics! We had tried the crazy traveling and training schedules with our infant grandson for the first few months and just couldn't keep up! For our younger children the sacrifices may not seem as great, though in their minds, I am sure they are! Things such as giving up so many extra-curricular activities, sharing an already cramped bedroom, sharing toys, moms affection and so on.

Do we miss those things? Sure we do! I long to hold a sword more often than I ever admit to! My son occasionally will ask "what if..?" in regards to the Olympic dream he once held. Do we ever regret our decision to take in our grandson? NEVER! The blessings he has brought to our lives FAR outweigh any sacrifice we ever made for him. People tell us he is lucky we took him in, maybe, but WE are far luckier as the hugs and kisses and love he gives us make us the lucky ones! I can't imagine my life without him now! I wouldn't trade him for a million bucks!

So, now here we are just two months shy of two years of having our grandson and we find ourselves having to make a similar decision with our granddaughter. At first it seemed a no-brainer! Of course we'd take her, who am I to turn down another blessing!

But then reality starts to set in as this process is being so slow to get her here. On the practical side; how will we manage weekly trips to Arizona every week for court ordered visitation? Finances aside(which those are a pretty big concern!) what about packing the baby up, plus the four boys that are already here, each and every week to drive a 16 hour or so round trip? At first I thought it would be no biggie, but after making that trip just once, without kids for court, I can't imagine doing this weekly! It took me near a full week to recover! So, just as we are recovering, it will be time to pack it up and do it again! What about our schooling during this time of traveling and tiredness? I have one who is graduating this year, and due to all the travel we've done this past couple of years with related issues we are already behind and this child may not graduate on time, what will this do?

If we knew for a fact we were talking just a few short months until either the baby is returned to our daughter or we are able to adopt, that would be one thing, but after talking with several others who have been down this road before, it could be years!! I can't imagine what this would do to our schooling, work, family life for years, not to mention the emotional wear and tear you already go through just being in this situation.

Then on the emotional and parenting side, there is even more to consider. My daughter just the other day accused me again of taking her son from her. I was accused of lying on court documents in order to get him. This just isn't true, if anything, knowing she'd be reading those documents, I was far kinder than I could have been! In this same conversation she is asking me to take her daughter. I told her then, I had serious concerns and misgivings about taking the baby. I don't want to be sitting here in two years having this same conversation again on how I not only "stole" her son, but now her daughter as well.

It seems clear that my daughter just hasn't taken responsibility for any of this yet. In her sons case, I basically stole him from her, then lied to keep him. In her daughters case, again it isn't her fault, it was her mental health programs fault for not helping her with her meds. I fear if I take this baby she will have me to blame and wont take any responsibility for losing either child, and will just repeat this pattern with more and more children! I feel that maybe if she doesn't have me not only to blame, but to not use as a crutch any longer, maybe, just maybe she will own up to the situations she has put not only herself in, but her children and those who care about her! If I am not here to "rescue" her, maybe she will think twice before having another child.


This decision may be removed from our hands altogether as they still have yet to begin our home study and meanwhile the alleged father is stepping forward and agreeing to the paternity test. If that's the case not only is the decision removed from us, it is a situation we are comfortable with. If the test doesn't come out as it is expected to be then, well we are back to the drawing board!

While I would love nothing more than to have a little girl in the house, if I take a piece of paper and write out all of the pros and all of the cons, I have to be honest and say the con side for ALL involved is much larger! While no decisions have been made just yet, if I were forced to make one today, I would have to be honest and say that I think my answer would be no. Is it easy to say that? NO!! Far from it!
This seems to be a situation where there are no "right" answers, just perhaps "better" ones. It's not as simple as do I mind having another baby, if it was then I wouldn't be having such a struggle, there is just so much more to consider for all involved.

I really wish that everyone that becomes a parent just instantly became what they need to be to parent, as situations like the one I find myself in isn't only so not fair, but heart wrenching as well! It leaves so many with lives that will forever be affected. It seems to be harder to adopt a pet from the Humane Society than to birth a child, somethings just not right! Not that I am for any sort of governing of any sort when it comes to family planning, but still.....there has to be some sort of remedy for this, as I am far from the only person going through this!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

:hug:

Rebecca
'hebron' on SL

mideastmom said...

Oh, how hard this must all be for you! Standing with you in prayer for the best outcome possible for *everyone* involved.

Karen (KayKay) said...

I know that I can't imagine how hard this is for you. Yet, I "hear" the anguish in your words. I'm still praying for the best possible things to happen for *all* of you.

Jen said...

(((((hug)))))

So sorry you are even having to make this decision.