Both sons in prison/baby mama arrested

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tishthedish, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Well, how did this happen? I get a call on the phone that I have identified as "prison" on my directory and I don't know which son it is. D C 1 or D C 2. Oh brother where art thou?

    D C 1...
    Bipolar, was out on parole at halfway house for 10 weeks starting in February, got in a verbal altercation at the house, swore at the director, cussed out his parole officer and is now back in prison. He might have gone off his medications though he denies it. His hearing is tomorrow. If they revoke parole he will be in prison until 2017. All of the offenses, if he had a private attorney, would not have landed him in the system. But, unmedicated, he chose to be homeless and stay ill. He was estranged from us, and even if he wasn't we wouldn't help him to pursue a path that would keep him homeless and off required medication. Anyway, we'll find out Wednesday. There is no question that he will not be living at home now or ever in the future. Part of a vow my D H and I took to keep our home a sanctuary. And then....

    My grandson's mother was arrested in May for theft/burglary. We found out she was smoking heroin as well. When she was arrested, her boyfriend was also arrested and is still incarcerated. Since she had been living with his FOO, this left her at loose ends. When she got out of jail, she went to stay with my son (D C 2) and my grandson. 2 has been working full time and has full custody of grand. He would only let babymama see grand in his presence. He had insisted that she could not stay with him, but he let her in and trouble ensued. We had started to see less of him, but attributed that to her being there and them doing things together. (Parenting, laundry, cooking, shopping, house cleaning HA!) 2 said that her being there let him sleep through the night because she would get up with grand. Grand is hyper and doesn't sleep well. Other than not seeing him every other day, as usual, I suspected nothing was wrong. Except I know in my gut that this kid is in constant contact unless he is up to no good. I just kept working my program/live and let live and enjoyed the peace.

    Saturday I called him as we were cooking out and he said he would be over with grand. I called and asked about their arrival and he told me that he and babymama decided to treat themselves and grand to a stay in a local motel with a pool. 2 was starting a 2 week summer break from work and they wanted to have some fun, family time. I said great have fun and hung up.

    Sunday at 9:15 pm I get a call from babymama from the motel still.WTF? She says she doesn't know where 2 is and that grand has been escaping from the room. I said what do you need? Do you want me to pick up grand? She said that would be a great help. Then there was a knock at her door and it was the police. I asked to speak to him and she handed him the phone. 2 had been arrested for DUI, fleeing the scene of an accident and then another car accident. This happened earlier in the day. I since found out he was going to buy more wine. The officer told me that grand had been running around nude and was found on a 4 lane highway nearby. They were taking babymama and grand to the police station. I told him D H and I would meet him there. We did and grand was cold, nude, scratched up, no diaper, exhausted. Officer told us that grand has gotten loose a total of seven times. The staff, patrons and police were looking for him at various times. They would find babymama passed out on the bed on several of those occasions. He said she was on something and that he was going to charge her with child endangerment. We took grand home. We aren't accepting calls from our son. Not going to bail him out or get his car out of impound. He is getting evicted from his apartment for the damage grand did to it. Grand is precocious and would turn on the water in the middle of the night. He flooded the apartment below twice. Babymama is released.

    So neither parent has a home, a car, 2 will probably lose his job and DCFS is taking them to court tomorrow to ask that we be made foster parents to grand. We have had grand 2 nights. We are still standing. But how long can we keep this up at the age of 58?

    D H took off last 2 days of work, but he goes back tomorrow. Most of this parenting will fall to me. It's not what I want. But, grand can't be handed off to strangers. No way. So we told DCFS that we are amenable to fostering for up to a year, but we need to feel out other family members or special needs foster homes for options. When grand is 15, we'll be 68. We can't do that and we know it. Our dear grand is going to need support his entire life. Is it kinder to have him placed somewhere when he's younger and with younger foster parents? He outruns us, so a summer day, if I'm home alone with him, has both of us inside with doors bolted. Same thing at night with D H. We can't go out in the yard, on the patio etc. He will go to the store and sit in a cart, but he'll be 5 in August and the time for that will soon pass. Babymama has an older sister with 2 boys. We are going to start to introduce her back into grand's life. There's hope there.

    I am so angry at both of them. And then I am grateful to her for calling us. If she didn't our grandson might not be alive today. So there's the pendulum, rage, shock, indignation, horror, thanks, love, detachment, acceptance, hope. I'm all over the place emotionally.

    Any experience with foster parents? Please share. And anything else you care to.
     
  2. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, Tish. Both of them acting up at once!

    Just a thought, is there any respite care, or could u afford to hire someone to give u a break? Although it sounds like he's very high maintainence, not like sitting for an average kid.
     
  3. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Yes, thanks for the suggestion In a Daze. Once the foster stuff becomes official (tomorrow) there is an agency that offers respite care. I think we might wait a while until we tap that resource though. Even though grand is non-verbal and loves being here, he has to know something is up.
     
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tish, I am sorry. What a nightmare for you.

    As you may recall, I raised my granddaughter so I know how you are feeling about now. Whatever you choose to do, it is the right choice.......do what feels right in your heart. There is no right or wrong, only what you are willing to do. This is all so hard.

    There are many options open to grandparents, if you are keeping him for a year, look in to those. Ask Social services what you can apply for. I had legal permanent guardianship. However, there are more resources available, at least in CA. if the child is fostered. I am not sure of all of the details anymore, but you can research it and receive benefits. Patriot's Girl may be able to help too, she recently went through this with her grandson.

    Here in CA. there is an org. called Grandparents Parenting Again which helps to find resources as well as helping with guardianship. Look to see if there is somewhere like that which can help you negotiate this new territory. I knew nothing in the beginning and I did a lot of research, called, googled, checked on the court websites and I found out so much information.

    I'm so sorry about your sons TIsh. While they are there, take very good care of yourself. It's easy to neglect ourselves, but it is a time to triple our self care.......make sure you do nourishing, nurturing, kind things for yourself each and every day. Find others to help with your grandsons care. Do whatever you can to take VERY good care of yourself.

    Sending you a big hug, warm wishes and prayers for your sons, you, your grandson and your husband........
     
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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Tish, I do think it's kinder for grand to be placed while he is younger. You will still be able to see him, to know how he is and be sure he is alright, and to have him for holidays and so on.

    I would do what you are doing for right now. Keep him with you for the present and begin sifting through options but with the intention that ultimately, the child will be placed in foster care. He sounds like a handful. If it turns out that you and D H can and are willing to have him with you after a week or two have passed, then you can rethink everything.

    I would be angry, too.

    Without any warning, the kids put outrageous responsibilities on our shoulders. We can no longer budget our money or lay claim to our time or even, have a clue what our own futures are going to look like.

    That is the real frustration.

    We have six grands. We did take the first two here and there. We had to tell our fourteen year old granddaughter that we would not take her. It was very hard. No one had been able to help her and we had to be honest about whether we could be what she needed, about whether we could keep her safe, or not. That is where you need to look I think, Tish. It is never that we don't love them, or that we don't want to keep them safe, or that we would not make the sacrifice taking the kids would entail. (Well, unless there are six.) But it is about how well we can provide for the child's needs and safety.

    In addition, it will be difficult to refuse to house your son and daughter-in-law if your are raising their child.

    You did the right thing in taking the child in, Tish. Being grandma to children parented the way our difficult child kids parents creates a dull, thudding anger in me.

    Cedar
     
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  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Tish,

    This is tough. You sound like a wonderful person.

    Keep us updated. You are certainly in my thoughts today.

    Hugs,
    SS
     
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  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Tish, I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this. One at a time is hard enough but you hit the trifecta.
    It is so unfair what our Difficult Child can put us through especially when there are grandchildren involved.
    You and your husband will have to take some time to really think through what will be best for you and your grandson. You can only do what you are comfortable with.
    My heart goes out to you.
    Take care of yourself.
    ((HUGS))
     
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think if the right supports were there, you could take him. He may be old enough for a school program and it might be good for him. I cannot remember the name right now though I know it is nationwide and one of our members worked with it for some time. It starts with 2 or 3 yo kids and provides a preschool program that is not a daycare type thing but goes until they start kindergarten. This would give you help during the day and open him up to all kinds of services. I think he NEEDS to be evaluated for special need ASAP. I especially think he needs an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation to help find the kinds of stimulation he needs to soothe himself. This helps you figure out safe activities to keep him from running off and harming himself. It might include putting a swing in your home or getting a treadmill for him to run on, or any number of other things.

    I also think putting him on a regular schedule and using pictures on a poster board to show him what we do at what time will help greatly. This gives stability and it lets kids relax. It won't fix the hyperactiveness, but it could take the edge off of it.

    I do thank the baby mama for the call, and the hotel staff and patrons for keeping an eye out for such an endangered little one.

    I think if you could give him a few years of really meeting his needs it might make a HUGE difference in the long run. Some of it will depend on the amount of neglect and abuse he has already suffered, but he is still in the critical 0-3 year range where neglect and abuse can cause serious long term damage. Having his needs met in a very loving home for the next couple of years may be critical to his ability to attach to people, to develop empathy, and to have a conscious.

    Foster care is not known for providing that kind of care. Special needs foster care is incredibly hard to come by and the risk of abuse and neglect in the foster care system is incredibly high. I have seen reports that put the risk of sexual abuse at anywhere from 35-75%+ and the risk of physical abuse is even higher. They don't even cite the risk of emotional abuse. I have to say I would search for another family member or put myself out t the utmost of my ability before my child went to foster care. It would be my absolute last resort. I know there are good people in foster care and that no one wants to think people go into foster care to hurt kids, but the system is so broken that I doubt it can be fixed.

    I think the risks of abuse in foster care are much higher for special needs kids and would be especially high for your grandson. Given the running and the extreme hyperactivity and sleep issues, a foster parent would probably be more likely to either use unacceptable methods to stop this or they would quickly reach the end of their rope and lose it and lash out at the child. This would mean more frequent moves which would cause even more risk that he would never be able to attach to others in a healthy way, develop a conscience, or to develop empathy.

    I know you don't want to hear that, and I hate that it is true. I do think that if you can get a good Occupational Therapist (OT) on board, they can find ways to channel his energy and his need for stimulation in ways that are far more manageable and livable. I urge you to read The Out of Sync Child and The Out of Sync Child Has Fun to find help with this.
     
  9. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    :hugs:
     
  10. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Oh I feel for you!! I remember the sheer anger I felt when M went back to jail. It was not what we wanted, either, but there was NO way he was going anywhere. This was the only home he had ever known. The thought of anyone taking care of our grandson but us made us sick. So for us, it was not even a question. It has been a long 7 months, I won't lie. Since M slept with Connor, I have spent the past 7 months sleeping upstairs with him more often than not. I was tired! He was in daycare full time but those hours were spent working so I never truly had a break. Now that he is back with mommy, I am starting to feel normal again but I miss him SOOO bad!!! If I had to take him back, again, it wouldn't even be a question. The love we feel for that little boy is unexplainable. He is very much like one of our own. <3

    I can't vouch for financial help. We sort of tried at first but were told they would go by our income which was very much outside the limits. So we hoovered it up and did it on our own. We had just as many bills as we had income though so we will be playing catch up for a little bit. But we did what we had to do.

    At 5 years old, he definitely knows something is up. I really feel for that little boy and the hades he must have gone through with his parents. :( He will need some normalcy and stability for sure as well as a whole lot of love. Only you know what you are willing and able to provide. I wish you a ton of luck and bless you for taking him in!!
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    PG, you not even 50 yet. Age matters. I'm 61. This poster is 58. I would not take in a grandchild at my age. There is no way of knowing what the future holds when you get to be that age and he is still so young. It is hard for kids to lose primary caregivers at younger ages. Jumper and Sonic will and the older I get, the more it bothers me. But we adopted Sonic and Jumper when we were in our 40's, not almost 60.

    It would be nice if there were another, younger relative who wanted to do it. If not, I'm not really sure what I'd do. I don't like foster care. I did it and know t he system. It is possible I'd opt to get guardianship then let husband and myself decide who gets to take care of the child and that would be done slowly, over a period of time. There is a chance one of these people will get out and custody will go back to them. Being a felon isn't good enough reason for the court to take a child away from a biological mother or father. Biology is the first thing the courts consider unless the felon has committed child abuse. It's rather sad. The bar to remove a child from it's biological parents is very high.

    This little guy really needs one stable home for the rest of his childhood as well as interventions to help him move toward independence, whatever that potential is for him. There are no easy answers. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Poor little boy :/
     
  12. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    That is why I said only she knows what they can and are able to do. You are right - I am only 41 and I was tired! I can't imagine being almost 60 and doing it. Our situation was easier in that Connor has lived with us since birth and we have NO family down here. Not that we would have considered that anyway, but the only options were us or foster care. It wasn't a question in our case...
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    PG, at 41 it wouldn't have been a question to us either! You do worry when you commit to a child and are older because of health issue questions that you can't predict. It would be gut wrenching. And I can relate to your fatigue. Or some specifically, my daughter can!!!! She has a baby who is not quite one :)
     
  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Connor will be 2 in less than three months now - he is everywhere!! LOL
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    PG, my Buddha Baby just learned to walk.

    Hahahahahaha. Sorry, payback, in a nice way is kind of funny.
     
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Tish,

    I am so sorry you have been put in this situation. I would have responded as did you and husband.

    I was a foster parent, but it was fost-adopt. I wanted to adopt my son, but his birth parents still had parental rights. This was a situation where it was already clear that my son's birth parents would be unable to parent, ever.

    The decision making process is a balancing act: weighing the best interests of your grandson, with the capacity, willingness and motivation of your son to parent his child, and whether he will be permitted to do so by Child Protective Services and under what conditions.

    If there is no family member who can take him, your grandson may be best off in a foster adopt situation, and placed with a family who wants to adopt him permanently.

    The sooner this happens, the easier for the child, and the more potential families.

    Even if your son wants his child, is this in the child's best interests?

    So, it seems to me that decisions regarding your grandson depend upon variables that are to some extent unknown at this time:

    -- the likelihood of your son's having the legal right to be able to parent his child again.
    --the length of incarceration, if any, and subsequent mandatory substance abuse treatment (where he cannot parent even if he wanted to and was permitted to.)
    --your son's realistic ability to parent his child.
    --available and suitable family members who might be able to take your grandson, and for how long.

    If I were to be in the situation you are in, and there was no good family alternative, I would think about talking to my son about relinquishing the child to a permanent and loving family, as hard as that would be. As I understand it, provisions can be made to maintain relationships with the parent and grandparent.

    On the other hand, this may be the wake up call your son needs. But a child's life is held in the balance. Your son is an adult who is responsible for his acts. How many chances is he permitted, when his child's life is at stake? Decisions like this call for a Solomon.

    My heart hurts just thinking about this.

    I think I have an idea, Tish, how much you love your grandson. You do not deserve this. Not one bit of it. Please stay close to us and keep us posted.

    PS Your grandson sounds like a Regional Center candidate and there are all kinds of supports available through them. He also is likely to qualify for SSI payments, through Social Security. I could have done that for my son, and I didn't because I was stupid.

    Also, you could well be able to get a very hefty foster care supplement, given your grandson's special needs. I do not want to speculate as to a number, but it could be well over $1500 a month (I think that is what I received for foster care of my son, and that was 25 years ago). You can negotiate. Even as family, you are entitled to full compensation. I would get something in writing first, that you can have him with you. Then, negotiate the supplement, I think.

    I am pretty sure that your grandson is old enough to get an IEP, and there can be supports through the school district. The schools do early interventions in situations such as this.

    Where my son and I were living when he was that age, there was a free behavioral nursery school for emotionally disturbed children. It was great. My son went 8 or 9 hours a day.

    If you live near a large city there are public service legal organizations that will represent you for free. I got services.

    I do not know how to say this nicely, but this is what I want to say: If you are thinking of taking responsibility play hard ball with your son, and think about protecting your grandson and yourselves legally by establishing legal guardianship. Do not be a door mat. Don't just babysit, with your son holding the power. Get legal rights. Your son may voluntarily relinquish custody to you, and even if you are unable to keep him forever, you could hold the power to decide. If you were willing to do so, that would be no small thing in protecting your grandson.

    Finally, I am throwing out stuff that I can think of, with the possibility that something will stick. None of it could help or even apply, but I hope it does.

    Take care.

    Oh, I just remembered something else. At the time I adopted my son every child in the system, i.e. foster care, was assigned an attorney to represent their best interests. My son had an attorney who came to my house to meet me after he was placed with me. Maybe this might be a resource for you guys.

    And a couple more ideas to make things easier and safer:

    What about an Autism Assistance Dog, a trained support dog? You could probably get funds to pay for it from one of the sources I noted above.

    And/or a child harness? These are now available at Costco, they have become so common. The thinking has really changed on these.

    I do not think 24 hour confinement bodes well for either of you.

    And finally, I hope you do not think I am crass talking about money.

    I am coming from this point of view: you need help; you need support; your grandson is a handful; he is a handful for 20 year old kids. You are not a 20 year old kid. You need trained, competent help. That costs money.

    You also need to continue your life. Your private life with your husband. Your interests and your friendships. Time to lay around, with nothing to do. You need respite, in addition to that which may be freely provided. At least I would.

    One more thing. From my experience, one's income does not determine the foster care payment. It is determined by the needs of the child. How much supervision, intervention, does the child need, medically, behaviorally, etc? And your grandson requires 24 hour supervision. If you got information that your income is too high I would ask to see in writing the pertinent administrative guidelines. You can also contact foster parent or adoptive parent advocacy groups for special needs children.

    Or maybe the attorney assigned to your grandson could help.

    Copa
     
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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I agree that only you can decide what you feel you are able to do in this situation. The one thing you absolutely do not have to take into consideration is whether others will judge you harshly either way you decide.

    I am sending you thousands of gentle hugs.
     
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  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tish, you've received some good ideas and support. I hope you are feeling a little better today. My heart so goes out to you, we should not be put into these kind of terrible choices by our adult children........and........it is what it is. This is where we are.

    In my original post, I meant to say YOU would get more benefits if YOU are the foster parent as opposed to the guardian or having custody. You may want to check on that in your state though.

    And, as someone who made the choice to take on a child when I was 57 years old, (and my husband at the time left me because he did not want to raise another child, so I was alone) it is a devastatingly difficult decision, so I know where you are standing right now. It's impossible to look down the road and see how it is all going to be.

    Now that my granddaughter is in college and not living with me, I can step back and look at the last 8 years with a little more objectivity........of course at this point, I can see that my intervention and subsequent choice to get permanent legal guardianship was the "right" thing to do for my granddaughter, she is thriving and on a healthy path in her own life. And I made it through.

    However, Tish, there were many times it was very, very hard. Once she turned 13, all of the 'stuff" of her childhood traumas came barreling forth......she was in therapy, but the toll it was taking on me was enormous. My stress level was very high. I was on the edge a lot, my own life took a back seat for a long time while I tended to her needs. That is the choice one makes when one decides to have children, but when you are the grandparent and you didn't make the choice.....and you are at an age where you are slowing down and letting go of caring for others........this choice can be pretty traumatic. Resentments arise, but who do you resent? It's not the child's fault. So, off to therapy I went. I put my life on hold for a number of years. There was literally no one else to care for her, so even just going away for one night was problematic. And, the daily grind of just trying to get her up for school when she refused, wore me out. She went through a period of defiance and meltdowns which I was not equipped to handle. Age 13 to 16 were tough. It is very different when you are our age, that became obvious pretty quickly........we just don't have that energy, stamina and strength anymore. There is never a question of love, of course we love these little people........but can we provide them with the care, services, time, commitment and energy that they deserve?

    There is also the added drama of our own children and the shenanigans they provide while we are raising THEIR children. I went through a court battle with my daughter over the guardianship. Ultimately I did receive guardianship, but having to go to court and fight your only child for custody of their only child is.......well, it is beyond what words can describe. It took me one solid year to get all the legalities out of the way, while I was dealing with trying to get my granddaughter situated in a new life. I think I can say, it was probably one of the worst years of my life. I cried all the time.

    I'm not telling you this stuff to scare you TIsh, I'm telling you because this is one of those life decisions which has high drama on both sides and also the potential of great success on both sides. Whatever choice you make, there are consequences. You have to decide which consequences you can live with. If I hadn't stepped in, my granddaughter would not be the young woman she is today, off at college, happy, healthy......she turned out to be an awesome woman who I love more than anything.

    AND, raising her was really tough at times. It was not easy. And your grandson is a lot younger so you are looking at many more years.

    And there is the financial responsibility too. It is expensive to raise a child.

    Having said all of that, I think your idea of looking for younger relatives or younger parents to raise him is a good idea. Being 68 when he is 15 will be a hardship, I can tell you that from my vantage point right now.

    And Tish, there is no right or wrong choice for you here, only you can decide what you and your husband are willing to do and not willing to do. Not one of us here can place ourselves in your shoes and know what you know and see what you see. You are the one who has to work this out in a way that you can live with.

    If it were me, I would pray for guidance, I would not make an instant decision but step back and wait, the fostering for a year sounds good for that reason. That will give you the knowledge of exactly what will be expected of you and the time to research options.

    From one grandmother to another Tish.......sending you a heartfelt hug and many warm and caring thoughts........whatever you decide, we're all here for you.........
     
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  19. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Hi all. We are hanging in there. Grandson is precious and precocious, sons are still in jail, babymama is living in a hotel ($ coming from an ex-boyfriend). I have been reading and heeding your responses. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'll right more later, I have to get my bath time in before GS is done with breakfast with husband.
     
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  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Very nice to see your post, Tish. You and your family are much in my thoughts. I love it that you posted for us about husband feeding the grand while you bathe and prepare for your day. I see it in the sunshine, the grandpa and the little boy, laughing and nurturing and being nurtured.

    I love it that husband does that for you.

    Cedar
     
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