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Rose in BC

My son found his birthmother on Facebook -- update

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Oh sweet, patient, strong, loving Rose. You are such a beautiful example of selfless love. I hope your pain is quieted soon. Much love.

 

This. 

 

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

 

Jackie

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I have a friend who adopted a boy (from foster / abusive background) at age 4, and he said/did similar things (the "real family" stuff) when he was a young adult.  My friend was reeling and hurting.  But the young man had to learn for himself who his "real" family was.  He did come around.  I hope this happens for your son too, but as you have already said, it may take a while.  Wishing you peace and comfort in the mean time.

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Oh man Rose... I feel like I'm holding my breath for you and your family .  I think you've made an impression on me about motherhood and what it's all about. There's something about your posts, about your whole approach that's so... good and comforting. You seem like a solid mama. He's lucky to have you even if he doesn't realize it yet. 

 

Big hugs and lots of love being sent from California. 

Stay strong.  :grouphug:

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I'm so sorry, Rose.

 

Is there any way you can go out there and see him? He might be testing you to see if you will fight for him -- and if nothing else, at least you might be able to find some closure.

 

I don't think I would be able to let go without seeing him first. And I wouldn't be able to sleep at night, knowing that he was living with people who were strangers to me, and who appear to be quite dysfunctional.

 

Maybe I'm just too much of a control freak, and I will admit to having no experience with RAD, but there is no way on this planet that I would let a 15 year old child make this kind of decision, particularly when it sounds like his bio family is bad news.

 

I'm so sorry this has turned out so horribly. :(

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Rose, you have handled this situation so well! I pray that some day he will understand your love for him. Continuing in prayer for you and your family and your dear son.

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Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I think I'm calm tonight (although the acid is burning in my throat, the tears are right at the doorstep) because this has been a long, long journey for us. It certainly didnt start with him discovering his birth family. We've had many years of struggles. While i come across calm...I've had my moments. We have good support in real life even though no one we know has experienced this kind of life altering event.

 

I cleaned my boy's room yesterday. I stared at the walls I painted 13 years ago to welcome my boys home. I remember the excitement we felt, the optimism we held....we will love them and be their forever family. Maybe naive but genuine.

 

We certainly made many mistakes. The worst probably being that we kind of knew something wasn't right but didnt seek help right away. Partly because we were afraid. Afraid of involving social services from whom we adopted the boys. Adoption is a very intrusive process. We'd been through the home studies and social worker visits. We just wanted to be "normal". And afraid that what we suspected, namely fetal alcohol, would come true.

 

It was possible to cope in the early years (although our friends wondered how we could manage our "handful" of a boy). But once we hit the teen years, it was impossible to cover up his special needs. And by then it was hard to do anything to change things. He was not responsive to any help, agreeing to counciling only briefly before deciding it was stupid.

 

We will seek advice on how to protect ourselves legally.

 

And believe you me, I was a person who thought I could manage my teens and persuade them to follow our ways and advice. He is 15, almost 16 and we cannot make him do anything. I am a strong personality. I have never successfully convinced him to do anything he didnt want to do.

 

We have two other children, one with significant special needs (FASD with MR, just well attached to us). They need us. They've had a rough ride too. Yesterday my daughter invited new friends over spontaneously. We couldn't do that before because we never knew what ds's mood was. We will try to use this time to recuperate (once I've had some processing time).

 

I am sure we will try and see him ...I'm wishing nothing more than being able to hug my boy. I'm not sure when. Miles quite far away. My niece will stay in contact with him. I sometimes take business trips to the city he is in so when I'm there I will definitely seek him out.

 

We love him. He has hurt us but we love him. It seems love isn't always enough and that we've done what we could to give our son a foundation. And we will always be his mom and dad.

 

I'm drained.

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Rose,

 

THis has to play itself out.  You are being the wonderful, loving supportive parent he needs but does not know he needs.  All you can do at this point is to let him know he can always come home.  Send a card once a week. Small care packages.  I think you have to let him come back to you.  You are so right that you cannot force this.  I hope this time can be a time of peace for your whole family and that you son will learn deep down in his heart that you are his true family who loves him no matter what.

 

:grouphug:

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Oh Rose, my heart is just breaking for you :(

 

 

Rose,

 

THis has to play itself out.  You are being the wonderful, loving supportive parent he needs but does not know he needs.  All you can do at this point is to let him know he can always come home.  Send a card once a week. Small care packages.  I think you have to let him come back to you.  You are so right that you cannot force this.  I hope this time can be a time of peace for your whole family and that you son will learn deep down in his heart that you are his true family who loves him no matter what.

 

:grouphug:

 

I wholeheartedly agree with this, and it sounds like you know it's the only real path too. Of course, I would be tempted to go and drag him back by any way possible, but at most, that would only buy you a few years of having an incredibly angry, emotionally destructive boy in your house, and then he would be legally free of you. Your relationship would be almost impossible to repair at that point--in his mind, anyway. As others have said, you can only make sure you are the safe, loving place for him to land. I think you have handled this as well as you possibly could, every step of the way. 

 

I admit, I am thinking very, very uncharitable things about a birth mother who would do this. There's a special place in hell for someone who could damage her own baby that way, know that he went to another good family, somewhere else, somewhere safe, and then, when given the opportunity, come back, worm her way in, take him away, and actively destroy his relationship with that family. People can be truly awful. 

 

I am so, so sorry  :grouphug:

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So sorry to hear that Rose. Is there anything legally you have to do in order to make sure you protect the rest of your family. I know its hard to think about but it may be necessary. You are still his legal guardian and anything he does there you are financially responsible for since he is a minor. Get that straightened out fast since birth family may still see dollar signs and try to take advantage.

 

Rose: This is something you and your DH must do, immediately, to protect yourselves.  Will his birth mother provide Medical/Health insurance for him, or is that something your family will continue to do? Who would make decisions, if he needs Medical treatment (surgery, etc.)? 

 

I have not read all of the posts in this thread, but I have probably read the majority of them. In retrospect, the One Way ticket was a huge Red flag, as you knew at that time.

 

I urge you and your DH to make an appointment with an Attorney who has a lot of experience with Adoptions, and the problems that can occur, years later, like this, and seek ways to protect yourselves and your other children.

 

Gentle hugs are being sent to you from Colombia!

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So sorry to hear that Rose. Is there anything legally you have to do in order to make sure you protect the rest of your family. I know its hard to think about but it may be necessary. You are still his legal guardian and anything he does there you are financially responsible for since he is a minor. Get that straightened out fast since birth family may still see dollar signs and try to take advantage.

I agree.  Will the birth family be able to collect child support from you?

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:-(

 

I know it's too far to go see him and give your blessing on this part if his life and assure him his family(you) are always open to him, but could you get a letter to him?? Tell him everything you feel and let him know the door is open forever. You can say you want him home but understand he needs space to figure it out and you bless him on this journey?? A chance to say what you want without any anger that happens in a conversation.

 

And legally, if he's choosing to leave you all shouldn't there be done legal change with him being so young on paper? That puts them in charge of him financially?? Surely social services doesn't allow young kids to just go when they want without a process??? If he wants this then make him go through the steps to do so??

 

So sad for you. I pray one day he returns as someone who figured out how good you were to him.

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:grouphug: Rose, I am so sorry. My only experience IRL with a foster/adoptive RAD situation ended horribly for my friend, the mom. The adoption was not final in their case. Enjoy the children you have with you as best you can while he is living his "honeymoon" phase with his other family. When the honeymoon is over anything could happen. My friend's situation never seems to end legally so please be prepared and seek legal advice so you can protect yourself. Praying for your family.

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Rose, I am going to share something with you and while there are no promises, there is hope.

 

I used to do respite care for a family, a therapeutic foster family for extremely difficult, no one else would take them, cases. They adopted many children that they fostered, three with RAD, severe RAD.

 

One by one, between the ages of 16-18, all three bolted...landing at some point out on the streets or honemooning with their bio's. Years later, they've all "come home". They finally got it, and they now as adults have solid relationships with their real family, their forever family. All three are gainfully employed, all three are married, all three have provided beautiful grandchildren being raised in decent, loving homes. I recently saw a picture of the entire brood at mum and dad's summer cabin. They'd all been on the fishing boat together, little grands running around, grands from their bio and adopted children all happily cavorting together with a grinning grandma and grandpa looking proudly on.

 

These parents did the very same thing you are doing. They let them go knowing there wasn't anything more they could do, but allow life to teach them some valuable lessons, while keeping the door open to the possibility of future relationship.

 

But, they did protect themselves legally. They informed CPS of what happened, while indicating that it would be for the best that the police not drag their children home. They consulted their attorney, they made sure that the bio's they landed with were forced to take legal guardianship so that should junior get in trouble with the law, the law went after the guardians. They knew they had other children still at home that needed to be protected from the fall-out of the situation. Your son's bio mom needs to take legal guardianship of him so she sits in the hotseat when this doesn't go well.

 

Hang on to hope. Allow yourself to grieve, but also to move on. It's okay that things feel better for your family when he isn't there. You didn't create his psychosis, his bio's did. You've been on the receiving end of that for a very long time, though these should not have been your consequences to bear. It's okay to rest, recoup, take a vacation, do things you haven't done for a long time. Allow yourself to be recharged.

 

Keep posting here so we can do what we can to hold you up.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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I strongly agree with those who have advised you to get legal help.

 

I wish this had played out differently, but I hope you can find peace and happiness in it.

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My niece just called. He's definitely not coming back. Her advice was not to fight it because anything we do will,throw fuel on the fire. (She is 33 and a mother so I do trust her. Social services has pretty much offered similar advice.) He sees us (me) as the source of all his troubles. And of course birth family is perpetuating that thought.

 

My family (sisters etc read the hate text he sent me last night and said that we have done all we can. He has to figure it out. )

 

We will let social,services communicate with him. They may offer some services if they're involved and he goes to school.

 

We will convey the message that we are always his family and that this is his home.

 

I started a low sugar diet yesterday...definitely bad timing.

 

I feel numb.

 

(Honestly I think he'll be back but not for some time.)

...but his birthfamily is going to expect you to continue paying for his health insurance, school bills, and other expenses, right? 

 

Legal Guardianship will allow birth mom to add him to her family insurance. I would agree with this advice. It's in his best (and your own) best interest to protect him.  

 

Kind of a bum deal IMO.

 

I'm watching your thread because I fear this is in our future. Thank you for sharing your experience, pain and grief. I am learning too. Back when my kids were infants some friends asked me what I would do someday if my baby rejected me and my family. I told them then that even if they did, they could never steal away the joy I had right then holding them and any other future joy we'd had together was mine forever. Even if they'd been my biological child no one could predict the closeness of relationships or just how stormy those teen years would become. It's all the same crap shoot. 

 

You did your very best for him. You stood in the gap when no one else would and you loved him. He can't take away from you the moments of sweetness or your joy at becoming his mother. Maybe it'd help to put together a photo album of your son, or look through the ones you have, and remember. 

 

:grouphug: You're continually in my prayers. Your mother's heart won't break. It will become wiser and stronger through this pain. 

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Sweet Rose,

 

I've skimmed most of the messages from my last post to you.  More prayers!

You've gotten a lot of suggestions and good advice.  Come here to be refreshed and let us help be your sounding board, BUT....

 

I do think you need a break from us and from this whole ordeal, just to sort things out. 

 

IMHO, I would go ahead (if you have funds) and go on that vacation.  Carry on with as normal/usual family life "as is possible" w/o your ds. 

 

You are way too hard on yourself.  We all make mistakes, Rose.  My hand goes up on that one. 

 

Your son has you held in emotional bondage.  This is not acceptable to you or the rest of your family.  You CAN love your ds from a distance.  Love him from an emotional distance, physical distance, etc.  You've been doing that already. 

 

Kids need boundaries.  He knows he's in control right now which doesn't fly well with me.  I do not think he's being held against his will b/c of how you describe him.  Your son (saying this gently, Rose) and his bio family sound incredibly manipulative and that is reason enough to be concerned.

 

If your ds knows the door to your heart and home are open, then carry on w/o him.  He may or may not return home, Rose.  It's hard to write, but that is what happened in my family - my cousins daughter, adopted from Russia, is around 20 (records not kept well).  She was shacking up some time before she left.  She ran off with a boy, yup, got preg and now they live on welfare with a 5 month old baby boy.  They live in a trashy environment.  Quite the opposite from how she was raised. Her adoptive parents, my cousin and her husband, are good, decent people.  She had a nice home and a large family who loved her.  WHY would she leave?

Rose, I hope your ds comes home!  Please don't think just b/c my cousin's dd did not come home, that all kids follow the same.  He may very well come home.  Many kids don't, but many do.

 

NOW is the time to carry on for YOUR SAKE!  He will learn about it and return or not.  If he doesn't, it's best to regroup (in all aspects) as a family now as it will be an adjustment.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug: :grouphug:  :grouphug:    Prayers for your discernment as well as his to return! 

 

 

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Hugs, Rose. What a mess, and there are no easy solutions.

 

I keep thinking about the legal side.

 

Does the bio mom have any legal rights to him, or she needs to adopt him to be his parent / guardian?

Does your DS will have to become an emancipated minor, and what is involved in this?

 

I know you have very unique circumstances, but if it were a typical rebellious teen who decided to go and leave with some other family (basically strangers, practically and legally) is there really nothing one can do to "get" the child back? I do understand that he "won't be happy X 10000" because he has a RAD and that you can't "make" him do things, but I still really struggle with the idea.

 

If one believes her child isn't in a good situation, despite of him wanting to be there, and despite of that said child being a real challenge at home, how to leave him there? How could the social services suggest that it is legal???

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Hi Rose,

We've had a very similar, difficult summer with my three older step children. It has torn DH and myself apart emotionally. I can't imagine all that you have been through, but I just wanted to tell you this:

 

In the Bible, everyone reads the prodigal son story and thinks "wow, what a great dad". The dad didn't become a great one when his son came back. He was a great one when he let his son go.

 

I wish for you all the strength and peace you need during this time.

 

-Angela

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I'm so very sorry that it has come to this and that you have to face even more heartache and stress. I knew it was a very bad sign when the BM and BS unfriended you on Facebook. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the family expects you to continue being legally and financially responsible for him, maintain insurance, and be there to figuratively and literally bail him out whenever there is trouble or things go wrong. If they truly had his best interests at heart and had unselfish motives, they would not be actively encouraging him to break ties with the people who have loved and cared for him all these years. 

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(((Rose))) I cannot imagine your heartache. 

 

What gets me reading all of this is that he is operating how you expected. 

 

I'm am so sorry that the "adults" on his side seem to think they have the "right" to reclaim him. Who does that?! I only hope that he will someday see from your perspective. 

 

As always you are an inspiration and a model of love and patience. 

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I don't understand how the police and child protective services are allowing this minor to reside with a birthparent whose parental rights were stripped.

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There are so many things I'd like to say, but they are all so shallow so I won't.  I'll just say I'm sorry for your loss, as you are probably feeling grief right now.  

 

If you feel like telling us, I think we're all very curious about the legal side of things.  I'm worried for you that some legal issue will come back to bite you if you don't legally set him loose.

 

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:   There are not enough hugs here to wrap you up in love the way we'd all like to do.  

 

 

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I think he will be back.  Sadly, he may have to go through some very rough times and deal with terrible situations -- that you would have so lovingly protected him from -- but he will eventually come to his senses.  

 

If he were my child, I would be afraid that I wouldn't love him anymore after all of this.  I think my heart would grow cold.  The fact that you're still yearning over him shows that you're a much, much better mother than I am.  

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I don't understand how the police and child protective services are allowing this minor to reside with a birthparent whose parental rights were stripped.

This. Beyond the heartbreak of what this kid is doing to Rose and her family, the legal part is just mind blowing to me.

 

it would seem to me if this kid refuses to live in his LEGAL home then some agency HAS to become involved. Won't they have to approve the bio family's home? I would be shocked if her home would pass a dh's inspection.

 

So sorry Rose......

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This. Beyond the heartbreak of what this kid is doing to Rose and her family, the legal part is just mind blowing to me.

 

it would seem to me if this kid refuses to live in his LEGAL home then some agency HAS to become involved. Won't they have to approve the bio family's home? I would be shocked if her home would pass a dh's inspection.

 

So sorry Rose......

 

I know nothing about RAD, but I can't imagine the child is going to make it out of this situation without a broken heart as well.  From what I've read here, RAD takes a hard core commitment and a love I can't imagine.  I don't see the birth family being able to keep up the way Rose has.  In a few months when he refuses to attend school and starts acting out on them, what are they going to expect Rose to do?  Are they just going to dump him on a plane and send him back, breaking his heart in the process?

 

At this point I would seriously start working with a lawyer and getting documentation of stuff because I foresee this exploding.

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My very limited experience with 15 year olds who don't want to live at home is that you can't really make them.  It's illegal to lock a child in their room and you can't really physically restrain a teen who is walking/running away.  I'm not sure what purpose would be served by repeated arrests and forced returns.  If social services took a teen out of the home he/she wanted to be in and moved them to a foster situation, the result would be the same- run away, arrest, run away, arrest.  Arrest the harboring family as contributing to the delinquency? 

 

So then you move to an institutional setting where the child is locked in?  I can see where some might say "can't something be done?"  But really, how is that something implemented?    And if a parent insists on implementing the full powers of the "law" how does that effect the relationship with someone who is 3 years away from emacipation? 

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Arrest the harboring family as contributing to the delinquency?

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.

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I know nothing about RAD, but I can't imagine the child is going to make it out of this situation without a broken heart as well. From what I've read here, RAD takes a hard core commitment and a love I can't imagine. I don't see the birth family being able to keep up the way Rose has. In a few months when he refuses to attend school and starts acting out on them, what are they going to expect Rose to do? Are they just going to dump him on a plane and send him back, breaking his heart in the process?

 

At this point I would seriously start working with a lawyer and getting documentation of stuff because I foresee this exploding.

I have been thinking the exact same thing.

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My very limited experience with 15 year olds who don't want to live at home is that you can't really make them.  It's illegal to lock a child in their room and you can't really physically restrain a teen who is walking/running away.  I'm not sure what purpose would be served by repeated arrests and forced returns.  If social services took a teen out of the home he/she wanted to be in and moved them to a foster situation, the result would be the same- run away, arrest, run away, arrest.  Arrest the harboring family as contributing to the delinquency? 

 

So then you move to an institutional setting where the child is locked in?  I can see where some might say "can't something be done?"  But really, how is that something implemented?    And if a parent insists on implementing the full powers of the "law" how does that effect the relationship with someone who is 3 years away from emacipation? 

 

This. Unfortunately, an extended family member has experienced this with her DD, and that's essentially what they were told. The police told them to stop calling and reporting the teen as a runaway, as they had already located her and held her until the parents came to get her several times and weren't going to do it again—though of course the parents were still legally responsible for her until 18 or emancipated. (The wayward teen has since returned home—voluntarily—and is trying to get back on track, and she recognizes how her own stupidity and recklessness led to natural consequences that didn't just magically go away when she decided to stop acting like she was raised by wild animals instead of a loving family.)

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