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If you think this is about YOU, maybe you should go reconcile with your parent and work to get back your kids instead of continuing to be a jerk. If you think I am you, or similar to you, welcome! :-)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Question and Answer Time- Why Adopt Them

Some questioner grammar, punctuation and spelling might have been corrected. 

Q: Why did you adopt your grandchildren? Don't you think that maybe some day your daughter will get her life in order, and want them back? I think it is cruel of you to adopt them! They need their real mother, not some old woman. You hurt your family, and those kids, by taking them away from the one person who really loves them. 

A: Let's pretend you aren't either a young mother who loves her baby very much, or a parent who has lost a child through some circumstance. Your emotion is showing, my dear. 

Is it fair to make a child wait for the day when either parent decides to parent them? What about after the child has lived with Grandma for a year? Two years? Five years? How long are these children supposed to wait for Mom and/ or Dad to get things together? 

What if it never happens? What if it happens when they are old enough to baby-sit for new, younger siblings Mom or Dad just had, or to do a good job on housework? Are these kids then supposed to give up the home they know, the school, the familiar, simply on the whims of their parents? 

First relational DNA is not always the strongest indicator of whom can successfully raise a child. And you know nothing of my real age or how strong I am or not. I bet I can outwalk you in distance and speed, and a year from now, I bet I can outlift you. Age has nothing to do with nurture, and I have maturity on my side, to boot. Even if I were disabled, I love these children and have been judged by a court to be a fit parent, as has the Mister.

The foster care system in this country is broke, both financially and in its paradigm of care. The child welfare in this country is broke, both financially and in its paradigm of care. Google the name of your state's child welfare program. Be it CPS or DCFS or CWH or OCS or CFS, you'll get stories on lack of funds, overworked case workers, and newspaper headlines where either parents were wrongfully accused, or the call was made to leave children where they were with tragic results.Case workers are only by a small percentage actual social workers, degree in social work and licensed by the state in which they work. And even those are worked so hard, it's a wonder they have time for themselves and their own families. 

My former state, Illinois, at one point had case workers set up their own form of answering machine or voice mail service. That means each case worker had to either bring their own answering machine, or get and pay for a number with voicemail.

There are stories everyday of child welfare agencies making not a couple mistakes, but thousands of mistakes in a year on placements. There are even organizations, clubs, who try to make sure foster kids don't have to lug their stuff in plastic garbage bags, what little they have, because these kids aren't given anything by the state. Would you want to expose your children to such a system?

WHY should children be taken from extended family who know them and love them, to live among strangers who may or may not have their best interest at heart? Who don't know their medical histories? Who don't know what side they sleep on at night, or if they like fruit on their cereal, or cheese on their burgers? Who don't know what scares them in the night? 

As it happens, my adult daughter signed away her rights to her older children. She tells anybody who will listen that I stole her children. That is a lie. I suppose it makes her feel better to think that, and to have other people believe that.

I took them from her home, so that she could clean the squalor from the townhouse the Mister and I rented with her so she could have a place to raise her children, children she badly neglected. She couldn't get a place on her own, as her credit was very poor. 

Prior to that, she had instances where she left a 5 year old and 3 year old alone for hours. She threatened to kill them and herself at least twice, locking and chaining the door on the townhouse, if we did not capitulate to her demands for things.

The Mister and I refused to rent her another place to live after six months of her not cleaning the second, smaller place, continued drinking, excessive shopping for her income, and other ranges of unmedicated bipolar behavior, including not maintaining contact with her older children in an appropriate manner. This wasn't done lightly. The apartment complex where she lived actually suggested we hire her a housekeeper who could come in once or twice a week. But I was the one who needed a housekeeper. We helped her move in with a roommate and helped her clean the second apartment.

She then went through a series of roommates who kicked her out for her behavior. One had to call the police on her. It ended with her staying in a single-room only hotel, with a bike from Goodwill as her transportation beyond the public variety. 

She didn't see her kids, wouldn't come to our house to visit us or the kids because she alleged it was "too hard" for her. This meant she was served a meal while we expected her to interact with her children, not sit on her rear-end and watch the SyFi channel.

We did not simply adopt the children, such as adopting a puppy. We had to process through a home study, a physical, a psychological profile, prove we had reasonable finances, have character references. It was a lot of work, but now nobody can take them away on a whim. If our adult daughter and her ex-husband had not signed, we would have had to take them to court and prove them unfit parents. We had sufficient evidence of that, but it would have meant more time and more money thrown at the problem. 

As to how much she loves them- She refused any attempts to be reunited with her older children. She claimed those conditions were too strenuous for her. These were pretty much the same conditions set for her ex-husband, who also signed away his rights to the children, in a courtroom, in front of a judge. He has other children, both with his present wife as well as other women.

You are probably an excellent parent. Please don't put your parenting skills, or your children for that matter, in the same category as my legal children and my adult daughter. This was not what we wanted for our grandchildren, but it is certainly a good choice for them. We are blessed at the outcome, and thank God everyday it turned out this way. It could have been much, much worse for these kids.   

(Note: Some readers thought my answers were actually too brief. So, I'm editing the original post into several posts, for easier reading.-DRG)


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