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Rose in BC

My son found his birthmother on Facebook -- update

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That's where you start. If the legal family wants the child home, and the family that has the child won't do it, then yes. Because they are at the point interfering with the legal family's custody. It's the responsibility of the birth family (in this situation) to say, "You can't stay here, we are not your parents/legal guardians."

 

And yes, I agree that you can't force a teen to live somewhere they don't want to. However, you can give them a choice: live where you belong, or go to jail. It worked for my friend's son. He came home.

 

I have a kid with RAD. I know how difficult they can be, and I am not faulting Rose for her handling of the situation. However, I just can't imagine why social services would allow a minor to live in a home with a person whose parental rights were severed, because that person has ALREADY been shown to be clearly and irrevocably unfit to parent that child.

 

Troubles teens shouldn't be allowed to make their own decisions about where to live just because it's too hard to deal with the fallout when they have major tantrums over not getting their way. Social services should not be allowing this situation.

 

I don't think this is a situation where social services is "allowing" it. I think it's a situation where Rose and her family are allowing it because it's the only possible way, at this point, to even try to save their relationship with their son (and sibling). I cannot see any scenario where forcing this boy back home will benefit anyone, in any way. Worst case scenario, he becomes a runaway and lives on the street until he's of age. Best case scenario, he lives with his family and abuses them all until he can legally get away and go where he wants to. Either way, he'll believe he's been proven "right" in his wrong thinking, and whatever relationship there might possibly be is destroyed. 

 

I don't get the sense at all that Rose believes it is too hard to deal with his behavior. I think she believes, as I suspect most of us do, that she has one last chance to bring this boy safely back home, and that's by letting him experience the consequences of these actions he and his birth "family" are taking. And I don't think the police actually jail runaways. I think they keep returning them to their family, but I've never heard of anyone incarcerated more than temporarily for running away repeatedly. 

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I don't think this is a situation where social services is "allowing" it.

 

I do, seeing as they know where he is and know the birth family is unfit.

 

 

I don't get the sense at all that Rose believes it is too hard to deal with his behavior.

I don't think that's the case, either. I think it is the case with police and social services, though, who say, essentially, "Well, teens are hard to deal with and we can't make them do what they don't want to do." They may be right about that, but they can certainly confine them somewhere where they will be safe and looked after until they are either 1) ready to go home or 2) legally responsible for their own stupid decisions.

 

We were in a situation where our daughter's actions could have had repercussions for our whole family. We were told that even if we did things to prevent her acting like a wild asshat, we were still responsible if/when she did.

 

Doesn't make sense to me.

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Rose, I have reflected a lot lately on the story of the Prodigal Son.  Seems that way too many people in my life have at least some degree of this story working itself out in their lives.  I've listened to a lot of podcasts, and read and read and reflected on this story during the past 18 months which have been pretty bad ones for me.  Not anything like what you have dealt with.  Not drugs.  But a lot worse than it needed to be or I ever expected it would be with my teen son.  I also have thought a lot about the story of Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler.  Because in both of these stories, there was a response I needed to learn from--the Father of the Prodigal and Jesus--who was actually dealing with a really moral, decent person in the rich young ruler.  In both cases, the Father and Jesus let the person go.  The father even gave the son all that was rightfully to be his only when he was of age...what a grabby ingrate.  The prodigal son went out and found a new father...and look where it got him.  At first, he thought he had it made, and then one day, "he came to his senses."  Jesus looked at the rich young ruler "and loved him."  He gave the young ruler a better path, and the guy walked. 

 

Neither the father in the story nor Jesus in the encounter chased the other person down.  Nothing the father or Jesus said made the difference.  In one case, the son had to go be worse off than a bunch of pigs, in the home of the father he himself had chosen...then he came to his senses and came back humbly.  The young ruler walked away...what it would take for him to be with Christ seemed too much to him.  And the Bible doesn't record what became of him.  He disappears. 

 

So neither chases the one who was walking away. 

 

But the father clearly, clearly was on the lookout.  He kept his eyes open for his son's return.  And when he saw that the son had started to make his way back, before the son could say a word, the father ran to greet him.  He threw a welcome home party.  He DIDN"T give him all that belonged to his brother...the son had to live with the consequences of what he had done.  But he knew that he would be welcome at home...and HE did not come home demanding things.  He only came home when he was humble enough to live in a new relationship with his true father.  By the way, another name for this parable is "The Merciful Father."  God let me be as merciful to my own son as He is to me. 

 

There is so much to be gleaned from this parable.  Perhaps you could read it each day for 40 days.  Ask God to show you how to be the loving mother of a prodigal (who frankly was a pretty big jerk, don't you think?).  And pray that God will allow your son, like the prodigal, to come to his senses.  

 

On a very practical level, I would agree with those who have suggested you take steps for legal protection.  It's a weird world. 

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I'm thinking that if you insist on them taking legal guardianship they will refuse, as they don't want to be financially responsible for him...and then what? Will they send him back to avoid paying for him?

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I think we have a plan. The social services has agreed to provide birth mom with some financial support for food and stuff in exchange for twice monthly visits from social worker and more frequent contact with our local social worker. Not perfect (I don't want my son to starve but I'm not overly keen about financial compensation to birth mother.). Social worker explained to birthmother that she has no legal claim to son. That we are his parents. However this is a formal agreement with social services which ensures some accountability. The agreement will be for three months. Social worker told me they don't believe ds to be in danger. A completely different style of home, but not danger. Oh and attendance at school is obligatory.

 

I also contacted police to see what would happen if they ever picked him up. With this plan in place we have some protection. Police said their concern would be for his physical well being which is being provided.

 

It was a tough day. Social services weren't exactly eager to be involved this way (I get it) but I reminded them we had sought council from them about letting him go to birthmom in first place and they advised us to let him go and I also told them we adopted a boy with significantly greater challenges than was identified at time of adoption. That they had a moral obligation to help us. I guess I convinced them because at 4:30 they called with this plan.

 

Again not perfect (which would be boy at home happy with his family) but okay for now. Who knows what happens in three months.

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That plan sounds like a reasonable agreement.  It helps you to know someone will be checking on him, but still doesn't push him to go into hiding to avoid being found.

 

 I can't imagine your pain, it is almost like you have felt double the pain of delivering him.  Once, accepting him, adopting him, and loving him despite his prickly ways....and now the pain of being his mom and him being removed from your care with out a chance to be ready for him to go.  The pain of raising a special needs kid is so intense, but to add this to it....that is just over the top!

 

 What a tremendously painful year for you.  :grouphug: Hugs, and prayers of love and warmth to you and yours.

~Tap

 

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Is there any way to make sure your son knows she is getting money specifically for his care?  I'm thinking, if she does not spend it solely on him, he may get a glimpse at another, unpleasant, side of her.  And if she does spend it solely on him, you can be relieved that there is at least that fundamental tidbit of care.

 

 

 

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 And I don't think the police actually jail runaways. I think they keep returning them to their family, but I've never heard of anyone incarcerated more than temporarily for running away repeatedly. 

Actually, they do.  They are called Chronic status offenders in the juvie world.  Runaways, truants, and probabtion breakers.  In GA and SC they are held for 60 days in a special juvie hall.

I used to volunteer as a tutor in a CSTOP program.

But that's in the states.  No idea what canada does.

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Is there any way to make sure your son knows she is getting money specifically for his care? I'm thinking, if she does not spend it solely on him, he may get a glimpse at another, unpleasant, side of her. And if she does spend it solely on him, you can be relieved that there is at least that fundamental tidbit of care.

Excellent idea. If nothing else, Social Services should discuss this with your son.

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:grouphug:  Rose.  It may not be ideal, but a plan like that isn't terrible either.  Official services and contact are a security in this situation.  Still... I am hoping for better for you eventually.

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(((Rose)))

I can only imagine the deep heartache you must feel, but hope and prayers are with you and your family.  I'll join in the voices hoping this plan works out for the best at the end of the road.  

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Is there any way to make sure your son knows she is getting money specifically for his care?  I'm thinking, if she does not spend it solely on him, he may get a glimpse at another, unpleasant, side of her.  And if she does spend it solely on him, you can be relieved that there is at least that fundamental tidbit of care.

 

Good point. I think he should know exactly how much she gets to care for him.

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Good point. I think he should know exactly how much she gets to care for him.

And that you arranged for him to be protected.

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I heard this song (by Bread) on the radio and thought of you:

 

It don't matter to me
If you really feel that
You need some time to be free
Time to go out searching for yourself
Hoping to find
Time ... to go to find

It don't matter to me
If you take up with
Someone who's better than me
'Cause your happiness is all I want

For you to find
Peace ... your peace of mind

A lot of people have an ego hang-up
'Cause they want to be the only one
How many came before it really doesn't matter
Just as long as you're the last
Everybody's moving on and try to find out
What's been missing in the past

And it don't matter to me
If your searching brings you back together with me
'Cause there'll always be
An empty room waiting for you
An open heart waiting for you
Time is on my side ...
 
I know it does matter to you, but hopefully "time is on your side."
 
Wishing you peace in the mean time.
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Again thanks for all the care and concern.

 

The birthmother will get room and board directly with he getting a small allowance for needs I.e. clothes. They will give him money twice weekly so that he doesn't have a large chunk to blow at one time.

 

It's been a very draining week and if you can believe it this afternoon I went to a funeral of a friend of mine only two years older than me. She died of cancer diagnosed nine months ago. It's a reminder of how short life is. And I don't want to waste my life. I've spent a lot of time this summer grieving. Even today I feel drained.

 

I want to wake up tomorrow with a fresh start. And not feel guilt that we couldn't meet all his needs.

 

It's going to take some effort.

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I just want to give you some  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: .  I am also at a "life is too short" stage, and I feel you.  Hang in there.

 

Beth

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He is so fortunate to have such a supportive mom. :). Hugs to you.

 

You may remember my 15 yr old ds found his birthmother on Facebook in May. Well she sent him a plane ticket and he is going to see her July 4th.

 

As time ticks closer i can see the stress building in him but he's insistent on going. Honestly I won't be surprised if he changes his mind at last minute, which we would fully support.

 

I guess we'll see Thursday. I'm drained from the drama already but there could be a lot more ahead.

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Again thanks for all the care and concern.

 

The birthmother will get room and board directly with he getting a small allowance for needs I.e. clothes. They will give him money twice weekly so that he doesn't have a large chunk to blow at one time.

 

It's been a very draining week and if you can believe it this afternoon I went to a funeral of a friend of mine only two years older than me. She died of cancer diagnosed nine months ago. It's a reminder of how short life is. And I don't want to waste my life. I've spent a lot of time this summer grieving. Even today I feel drained.

 

I want to wake up tomorrow with a fresh start. And not feel guilt that we couldn't meet all his needs.

 

It's going to take some effort.

You absolutely met his needs.  He was fed, kept warm, clothed, had medical care, had a home, had a family, had boundaries, had support, had forgiveness and had love.  

 

No one will ever meet his wants, because his version of satisfaction....will never, ever, be the version seen from the outside. My guess is.... If he says "can I have a peanut butter sandwich" he likely got mad and said "you made it with Strawberry. I hate strawberry, you know I only eat grape" (even though he ate strawberry last week).   His version of the question makes it impossible for him to have his desires met.  I would surmise that anytime his desires were met, it was typically by happy accident.  That is why this family has him off kilter. It is all new.  There is no 'you know.....'.  

 

No one could meet the wants of kids with RAD.  Attachment, fondness, being grateful for compassion....(and on and on) is contrived, altered and askew.   You know this better than anyone. 

 

There is no way you should feel guilty. I know you can't control this feeling but please work towards letting go of it. You can't win a game, when you don't know what the rules are and since they likely changed every day, you didn't have more that a lucky chance on any given day.  There is no way you could have met his wants all the time, but I have zero doubt you absolutely met his needs. 

 

 

I know you have to process through your feelings of loss, but know that we all adore you here and will do anything we can to support your walk through this hell.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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:grouphug: I think the plan with social services sounds like it is as good as you could hope for. You did a great job arranging it!

 

Also a huge hug for you on the death of your friend. I had a close friend die from cancer last fall and am still gathering myself back together. Not sure why it has been so hard for me but it has been. Totally agree with living each day to the fullest. I feel so bad for you going through this along with your son's problems.

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I want to wake up tomorrow with a fresh start. And not feel guilt that we couldn't meet all his needs.

 

It's going to take some effort.

Ok. That is what I will pray for you - release from guilt. His needs are a bucket that no person can fill. You give what you can. But you can't give wholeness, healing, freedom from suffering, the peace that passes all understanding. Those are not your to give, and I will pray that you will see what you do give as enough. You give your best.

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Rose, I haven't commented here but I've been reading all summer. You are amazing! Please don't think you didn't meet his needs. No one thinks that!!

 

I hope you and your family can take a nice road trip to get away. Check into a hotel, swim and let someone else cook for a few days!

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People, I just about lost it. I picked up the phone tonight and birthmom was on the other end. It startled me. I have talked three times with her before...all before ds left.

 

The boy needs shoes. I knew that because he called Saturday to inform me that if I was his real mother I would want to send money for shoes.

 

Well no. I don't want to send money. But i did phone my sister who is relatively close and asked her if she would take him shoe shopping. Absolutely. She gave me the days she was available. I forwarded information to son.

 

Well that's not good enough according to birthmom. And he needs food too. The money that we arranged through social services doesn't start flowing until next week. Well my sister is willing to feed him too. Nope, not good enough.

 

That turned into 45 minutes of hell. (I had the sense to FaceTime my sister for her to listen in case i wasn't objective).

 

She told me I was legally obligated to provide for him. I assured her we would care for him if he was living its us. Nope. No matter where he wants to live I need to financially support him. I told her that made no sense. If my dd suddenly wanted to move to Toronto I would have to facilitate that?

 

It was bad.

 

My sister was signaling to shut it down. So I told her that our next conversation would be with social services on line.

 

I am a bit rattled. (And rambling. I just needed to vent.)

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Oh my goodness, Rose, that is horrible!  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Maybe they will send him back when they realize he is not the cash cow they'd hoped. How sickening — for both you and your son.  :crying:

 

Jackie

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Hold out. I wouldn't ever give them a dime. They are users and I think they will help your son to become such too and certainly encourage him to manipulate you.

 

Smart woman to FaceTime your sister.

 

Smart woman to insist on going through legal services to deal with them.

 

You are being far more patient than I'd ever likely be.

 

I pray one day he comes home ready to accept your love and return it.

 

(((hugs)))

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Hang on Rose, you knew this was coming.  :grouphug: I don't think long conversations will be productive. Lots of prayer for your family.

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Oh, Rose...I'm so sorry.  I think you had a good strong suspicion this was going to happen, and yet...when it *does* happen it is still shocking.  (The analogy is that even when you know someone is dying, the actual death is still "unexpected" and a shock.)  What a *mercy* you had that conversation and made the arrangements with the social services people.  The timing of the "need" is also very interesting to me. 

 

Soooo glad you had you sister on with you.  (I used to do this with my mom, when I was a teacher and got phone calls from crazy parents who couldn't understand why I was giving their cheating kids "zeroes."  It was almost like I had to have proof for MYSELF that someone was that nutz.)

 

Never *ever* be on the phone alone with her, and *always* write down after the conversation what was said.  Contemporaneous notes count for a LOT in these situations.  I think you were incredibly "on the ball" to think of these non-cash-transfer ways to meet the need and expose the reality.  Give yourself a lot of credit here.  Even if you feel rattled, I think you kept your head.  And it sounds like you have a good plan to *never* be alone with her on the phone. 

 

My goodness.

 

(((Rose)))

 

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I'm sorry. I been following since the beginning and it just keeps getting worse. I wouldn't give them money. If he wants to be out on his own then he needs to know what it is truly like. It sounds like they are very manipulative. They wanted to take him from you but aren't willing to bear the cost of that. That shouldn't fly. Don't pay his expenses. Don't enable the behavior. Just keep telling him that you love him and you will always be there if he needs it but don't let them use you for money. I hope he will eventually come to his senses and realize what he did.

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Thanks for listening ...and assuring me we're not being unreasonable. I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight. Sometimes it seems too overwhelming. My dh is so upset right now. As is my daughter. I just keep replaying the conversation in mymind.

 

And the worst part? We so are willing to have a relationship with that woman. But I can't see that ever being likely given how she communicates with me.

 

I am going to soak in a hot bath. Maybe that will help. (Someone posted about accidentally buying a bottle of southern comfort tonight.....I wished I were her neighbor :). )

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Honestly (and now the tears are flowing) I feel like my life has become a bad made for TV movie.

 

 

Well, the audience is sympathising with you and shouting rude comments at the tv at the other bird.  :grouphug:

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Rose, I admire your dignity, your level-headedness and the way you are dealing with all of this through the obvious love you have for your son.  You are being beyond reasonable and accommodating. 

These people are manipulating your son (and that he will unfortunately have to learn for himself) and are trying to manipulate you. 

Stay strong :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: .

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Honestly (and now the tears are flowing) I feel like my life has become a bad made for TV movie.

 

I can't believe this mess.

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Rose, this conversation with birth mom was a godsend.  Now you do not have "suspicions" that the woman is using your son for the money.  You know it.  There is great freedom in knowing absolutely the truth in a situation.  When you know the truth you speak from position of superiority over those who wish to hide the truth from you. 

 

You have arranged for his care.  Your sister is willing to step in.  That is enough.  He knows where to go if he needs help.

 

This woman is mentally ill, most likely.  Is it any surprise that the child she gave birth to has an attachment disorder?

 

You know the truth.  Your son will, hopefully, one day see the truth.  You have done enough.  The arrangements are in place.  They can live according to those arrangements or he can return home.  The choice is his.

 

:grouphug:

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I still don't get how the birth mom went from "I want my son back" to "you're his mother, you feed him."  ??  I realize we are not talking about rational people.

 

Sorry you are going through this.  I think you are doing the right things.

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