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I need your opinion!

Posted by on Aug. 21, 2017 at 10:56 AM
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This may get long but here it goes.

First the basics. My dh & I are raising 3 of our grands. 2 from his dd and 1 from mine. This is permenant. We're 54 & 55. These 3 kids are 9, 10 & 11.

Current info....his dd has 2 more children that were born after we got custody of the 2 boys. These 2 are 2 & 4. Boy & girl. She lives in Fl and we live in OH. Recently the children were removed from her home for an incident that happened. Children services asked if we'd take them but after talking with them we all agreed that if mom was going to be getting her children back in a month or so it was best for them to stay in FL where they could visit with her. If it came to a point where they thought it would come to removal then they would contact us again....guess called us last week and asked us to see if we could get temporary custody and then give them back to her when she gets settled. That told me there was a lot more to this then what she was telling us so I called up her case worker who we'll call Jane. I talked to Jane for almost 30 minutes and found out there was a lot more to this then what mom had said. Mom was NOT doing everything they asked her to do. Since removal mom has moved several times. Since removal mom is back with the reason they were removed. I'm reading between the lines because some things are protected by HIPA but I believe they are looking at permanency being a real possiblity. That leaves us with..

The future...My dh & I have talked about this and need to decide if these 2 grandchildren need to come live with us on a permanent basis or not. If Childrens terminates parent rights the only 2 options we have is 1 bring them home with us or 2 let them be adopted and never knowing/seeing them again. There is really no one on my dh's side of the family that could bring them into their home. All of them are older then us, physically unable, etc. His is a small family as well.

If we let them be adopted it means that our boys would never get to know their brother and sister which they don't want. At 10 & 11 they are part of the decission but not the final say. Our youngest would be thrilled because she talks of nothing else then having a baby sister and someone to share her room with.

If they come to our home we figured it up and we'll be in our 70's when they graduate High School. It means giving up all plans for any retirement, traveling, etc. We're also up against family medical here as well. On dh's side of the family the men tend to die young. We're talking mid 60's so there's a good chance that I could be raising the children by myself during their high school years with 3 in college or on their own. I'm trying to imagine soccer games with the snow coming down at 70 while cheering them on.

Also, with the 3 older kids my mom & dad were my main baby sitters with my sister doing it after school. That's not a possiblity with these 2. Mom & dad are in their late 70's early 80's and while they still watch the older 3 (who help out around their house) I would not have my mom watch a  2 year old who is in diapers! My dad also has mild dementia and mom has to handle that as well. I'm also not going to ask my sister to do this again. We already watched each others kids when they were younger and now these 3 grands I'm not asking her to help raise a 4th batch of kids. In an emergency yes but not on a day to day basis plus she teaches. So basically we'll have to find a babysitter that's not to expensive that would be willing to watch them when my dh can't. Currently he would be able to watch them 2 or 3 days a week but he just got his apprentice license and we're not sure what all hours/days that will involve. I might add that my family thinks we're nuts for even thinking about doing this but the difference is that my family has lots of people who could take in their grandkids if something were to happen. On my dh's side there's no one other then us.

We do have more then enough room in the house for them. That's not a problem at all. We'd have to get beds, dressers, clothes, etc. All of which costs money. I think Jane thought I was nuts at first when I asked her about sizes but then I reminded her that winter in FL is a little warmer then winter in OH is and trying to put $400 - $600 out on winter clothes in January would be very hard. I actually hit up a yard sale this weekend where after talking with the lady for a few minutes I fould out she was actually raising HER granddaughter and sold me a ton of clothes for $.25 - $.50 each that would fit mine including a brand new winter coat that was only $3! So the first has the basics and just have the younest to try and get this weekend. I figure if we don't get them I can easily resale them or more then likely just find someone I can give them to that needs them.

So I come down to we bring these kids into our home where they will be loved and cared for or do we let them go to a younger couple that would have much more energy then we have who will also love and care for them. DH swings as wildly back and forth as I do at this time. One minute it's yes and the next is we can't do this. I'm tired and I'm worn out right now and not thinking 100% with a clear mind and need to know what others think.

There is one other slim option but not one I'm thinking much about. Not sure why exactly but here it is. My nephew recently married (less then a month ago) to his girlfriend of several years. They have talked about adoption and my sister even talked to them about these 2. I have not talked to them about it. My sisters says they may be interested but I feel like they really need to get their feet under them for a year or so first before deciding to add 2 children into their home plus I know that they're trying to get pregnant. They're in their late 20's. He works out of town during the week and she works as well so this would be a lot of time and money to take on first thing in a marriage. I don't want to strain a new marriage with this. Sure we could bring them home with us for awhile and then they take them but is that fair to the 2 kids or our 3 older kids?

I just want to scream from it all. I need help!

by on Aug. 21, 2017 at 10:56 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Christine on Aug. 21, 2017 at 11:15 AM
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You sound pretty clear minded and like you have a grasp on the big picture. Is it possible they stay in the foster system and you receive some funds for them?

I think I would do everything I possibly could to take them if I could or to do everything I could to see if there is the possibility of an open adoption where they have contact with you all. I understand the demands of raising 2 more will be significant so if you just can't do it don't beat yourself up. The most important thing is they have a stable life and only you can assess this. I am so sorry and pray that a clear answer comes soon.
by Fay on Aug. 21, 2017 at 11:32 AM

oh goodness... that's a lot to process, and a lot to take on.

My first thought was "take them". My mother was older when I was born, almost 41. My father was 50. My mother couldn't make it to every game, etc, but to me, it wasn't a big deal.

Is an open adoption possible?

    Life is divine chaos
Embrace it.  Forgive  yourself.   Breathe
           And enjoy the ride....   

by Silver sister on Aug. 21, 2017 at 11:41 AM
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Open adoption is only open if the adoptive family decides to honor it. Once an adoption is finalized there is no law that forces an adoptive family to stay in contact. There's also the distance and time factor. As time goes on people move, lose numbers, addresses, etc. I've seen it many times. If we decided to go that way we would request open adoption but realize the reality of what could happen.

In our case the state would go for legal guardianship so that we would have custody of the kids and there would be some subsidy that would help out but reality is kids are expensive! It's one of the things on my list to do is to check out what help is out there for a family of 5 grandkids and 2 grandparents! Someone told me that FL will help pay for babysitting and preschool but I need to know for sure and if so how much.

One thing it has got me to thinking about and that is I want to get in better shape so I can go to the games, etc. I love watching my kids play!

by Sister on Aug. 21, 2017 at 11:50 AM
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Honestly, for me the only option would be taking them in unless the cousins can take them. My parents had to take custody of 2 of their grands for a time. Did they want to? no. Was it easy? no. Was it the right thing to do? Yes so they did it. 

Some questions. 

Medical insurance? Will you be able to cover them or will they be able to get medicaid? With an increase in family size perhaps they are eligable for food stamps. The younger two will probably qualify for WIC. Can you take the kids without terminating moms rights? Take guardianship without adopting? In this case she will be responsible for some child support. Also, with the increased family size you may qualify for child care benefits. I ask these questions because I know what my folks dealt with and what they got. One last thing, can you reach out to churches or a St. Vincent DePaul ministry? I know the latter will give you whatever they have that you need at no charge for hte kids. I know myself that I got a TON of baby clothes and even Christmas gifts because I was on disability (60% of pay) and dh had been laid off while I was pregnant. That is also where my mom went for full winter wardrobe for my nieces (mom dropped them off in Jan in urine soaked summer clothes) and even a couple dressers. 

I will pray for you that all things work out for you.
by Janine on Aug. 21, 2017 at 12:27 PM
Wow that's a lot to take on. But these are your grandkids. Personally I would take them they are family. It sounds like your leaning towards have the room & you've bought cloths for them. If your worried about your age what about the older kids? Maybe they will be able to step up & help in the future? It's a big decision & you have a lot to consider. I hope it all works out (((hugs)))
by Joyful on Aug. 21, 2017 at 12:35 PM

If you guys think you can do it take them permanante in 10ish years they can  be  having jobs and getting adult things for themselves going -or taking care of you 2 down the road. .

by Linda on Aug. 21, 2017 at 12:50 PM
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Okay, big decisions. I'm sorry you have been put in this position. It does sound like you have thought long and hard about this and I just can't imagine how difficult this must be for you both.

First, I'd find out if DD is pregnant NOW and if not I'd insist on her getting permanent or long-term Birth Control (what's to say she won't be sending more children as the years move forward?) and providing proof she's done so.           

I would not give them to your Nephew for the reasons you mentioned and many others.

I would take them and with finding yard sales (like you did) and using Thrift stores you should be able to find many deals. 

Daycare for the younger children and enlisting the help of friends, neighbors and maybe even your Nephew and Wife would be helpful. Finding a few good Babysitters would help too.

Bringing in 2 children under the age of 5 into your home will probably be a bit crazy for some time...until they get to know you all and feel safe they probably will be scared and unhappy. I'm guessing since they have been in FL and you in OH you haven't spent a lot of time with them.

I think it's important that you and DH have time alone and since your "retirement" won't be what you expected it's also important you two have weekly date nights and once a month time away for a weekend. Plus planned trips alone throughout the next 20 years. You may have to give up the plans you thought you'd have but you don't have to give up everything. 

ANY help you can get through Social Services -- like Daycare Assistance, Head Start WIC, Child Support from parents or TANF, Medicaid for the children for medical and dental coverage, Heating/Cooling Assistance, etc...should all be taken advantage of...after all that's why these programs are in place!

Your DH shouldn't have to give up on his work dreams and if you have the help he won't have to...same with will NEED time alone and Daycare can help with that.

I think your children are extremely lucky to have you all to help as are your Grands who would probably be broken up into the system without you.  Having (making) plans for "what-if" will be important too. You'll want to make sure that you have plans for all the children in case anything were to happen to you and DH.

Good Luck! I hope it all works out!

by Maria - Midwest Lady on Aug. 21, 2017 at 9:03 PM
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If it were me & my hubby, we'd take the kids, and make Mom move back near to you. That way if she ever straightens her life up, she can be nearer to the kids. 

by Laurie on Aug. 21, 2017 at 9:16 PM
Oh, I am so very sorry that this is happening. Honestly, it's hard for me to give advice when we don't have grandchildren. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it would be. My husband and I have plans for the future. Giving that up would be hard...but like I said, I have no idea. I hope you are content in your decision in the end. Prayers
by Sister on Aug. 21, 2017 at 9:29 PM


So I think the driving force for me would be wanting the kids to be with their siblings. But.... you have so many other factors to think of, not just siblings but money, insurance, longevity of your own lives, retirement, etc. I don't know what I'd do. 

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