Family Drama…it never ends

The saga continues……

We have found a private social worker (SW) and discussed the situation with the SW about my niece’s son….I’ll refer to him as ‘Billy’. The SW has agreed to discuss the issue of Billy’s care with my in-laws and sister-in-law (the granny) as well as my niece and the birth father (whom is no longer with my niece nor takes care of Billy). DH and I have agreed to pay for the SW and ensure everyone directly involved to have a ‘voice’ about Billy. The only objective being to determine the best living arrangement for Billy and to also ensure that everyone involved in Billy’s care understand and agrees to their responsibilities.

DH and I have spoken with the SW and agreed to offer ourselves as potential adoptive parents….however it is offered as one option….although the SW believes it is the best option.

I am okay with it now having spoken to the SW and understanding the legal framework. DH and I had planned to do another round of IVF in January, but this may eat a hole in those plans……but at the end of the day, someone must care for this child and he is our family.

I have to admit, I am cautiously excited at the potential adoption. It feels right. But at the same time it would be an open adoption with all of the family drama that may come with….although we live 1600kms from the family. I am 37 years old, but feel like I am still 16……I am officially an adult making adult decisions…..scary.

What makes a mother

A few months back I wrote a post about our niece who wanted to ‘dump’ her sweet little (almost) 2 year old on us. It was just after our first miscarriage this year and we were in no state (nor now) to deal with the mess she has created. We have just been with DH’s family for the last two days and see that our niece has ‘dumped’ her child on DH’s 70 year old parents (the great grandparents!). Well, it is too much for them, they cannot keep up with him. We have offered DH’s sister (the grandmother) to assist, but only if she takes legal custody of him. We are hoping that this will push her to secure the poor little boy from a very difficult situation with our niece. We are not willing to take him ourselves, but can assist financially to ensure he is cared for.

He is the sweetest, most energetic little boy and it has been hard spending two days with him. DH and I just wanted to scoop him up, take him home and call him ours. There is a lot of pressure from the family to do this, but with the family dynamic, he would never be ours, we would always be Auntie and Uncle. DH and I had a loooooong chat about it and we need to be very careful about how we make decisions around this issue. We want children so bad, but we need to be parents, not minders. DH’s sister is the maternal grandmother and is fully capable of looking after the little boy.

Although I know he is loved and cared for by DH’s family, it hurts my heart that our niece could abandon him when it suits her and waltz back in when she likes. It just goes to prove that pregnancy does not make a mother…it is how you love, care and provide for that child.

Twilight Zone – Want a baby? I have an extra one.

The last couple of days I feel like I have been in the Twilight Zone.  We have not discussed our IF with either of our families, but as I am 37 and  my DH 43….I think it could be said that it is becoming rather obvious that we are challenged.  I still stand strong that it would be a lot more difficult to bring them into the loop.  Self-preservation….the golden rule of surviving through IF.

So about a month ago we were speaking to my sister-in-law and she was telling us how she is struggling as she is a single parent (Daughter 20, Son 16) and she is also looking after my niece’s son (17 months) who was a ‘surprise’ to my niece.  We have not spoken to or seen my niece for about 4-5 years, as she went to live with her father and decided to cut all contact from our family.  At the time we thought it was just her being a rebellious 16 year old and hoped she would return.  Anyways, long story short, she fell pregnant and then came crawling back to her mother (my sister-in-law) only to dump the poor child on her and disappear again.  So when we were recently speaking to my sister-in-law we told her that if for any reason they needed a guardian for her grandson, we would of course be prepared to assist.  Afterwards DH and I discussed that it acutually should be our sister-in-law who would be legal guardian and we would just assist her in anyway possible.  There is just too much legality around it and my niece would have to give up all parental rights….which I do not believe is the right decision, as she is capable.

Two days ago we received a call from my niece and my mother-in-law saying that my niece had booked a one-way ticket and was coming with her child to stay with us indefinitely and discuss ‘that thing’…..without even asking or consulting us, the decision was made.  So of course the first reaction is ‘who the hell does she think she is?’ and ‘what the hell is that thing she wants to discuss?’.  We put 2 and 2 together and figured that my sister-in-law must have said something to my mother-in-law and now they were hatching a plan.  So after many phone calls and many upset people, we told our niece that she is more that welcome to come and visit, but she must speak to us to make sure that the dates work for us.  We also told her that she cannot bring her son with, as we are not equipped for a small child and if she has something to discuss with us, it is best that he is not there.  We also told her that although we are happy for her to visit, it cannot be for an indefinite amount of time and she must have her own return ticket, or discuss us contributing to her trip before she makes her plans.

1) I cannot believe she is so willing to just give up (dump) her child

2) She does not understand the legality of it all and that there is a process….what about the father’s rights?

3) I cannot believe she is so willing to just give up (dump) her child

4) After the miscarriage, and now going through IVF#5, I am in no emotional state to deal with this

5) I cannot believe she is so willing to just give up (dump) her child

6) Who books a one-way ticket to stay with you indefinitely without speaking to you first?

7)  What is this?  Charity?  ‘I happen to have an extra baby I don’t want….you can have him…my gift to you since you are barren and will never have children of your own.”

I am dumbfounded and so sad for this little boy.  I would scoop him up and take him home in a second, but the problem is I want to be a parent with full parental rights…..not a free babysitter so she can swoop in and take him from me whenever she wishes.  I said to DH, if we are prepared to do this, we will have to fight for him the rest of his life until he is 18.  The right thing to do —– fight for the child.  But I just don’t know if I have it in me.  When I think about the lawyers, the lawyers fees, the fighting, the potential of the father showing up……it is just too loaded a situation, and what rights do I have in the entire situation…none, but the right to have my heart broken over and over again.  This was never my vision of parenthood.