Bittersweet return

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Libby, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Libby

    Libby New Member

    Hello all! My name's Libby and I've been lurking around here for a little while now. I used to hang out here a lot when my daughter, Violet, was younger. That was way back in the early days of this board, when Momma Bear, Abbey, Karen, and Pico (to name a few) were always close by. I haven't been here for several years, mostly because my difficult child and I were separated by distance. She's been back for a while along with her beautiful baby girl, Hunnybird, and Violet seemed to do quite well until recently. And that's what brought me back here to all of you.

    I'm going to try to make a long story short here and just say that Violet hasn't been taking care of Hunnybird the way that she should. Fortunately, she realized it and asked for help. I now have Hunnybird with me but am not sure how to deal with Violet. Violet seems to just not care about her daughter at all. I only hear from Violet when she wants something from me, she never asks about Hunnybird, goes for over a week at the time without visiting. Hunnybird's father lives in another state and until a month ago, had last seen her on her first birthday. About a month ago, Violet shipped Hunnybird off to stay for a week with her stranger dad who lives in another state.

    Does anyone here know what, if anything, I can or should do for Hunnybird? I have no legal rights to her. I am willing and able to take care of her as long as needed. I don't know how long Violet plans for me to keep Hunnybird but I wonder if there is anything I can or should do legally.

    Not sure if this makes any sense to anyone or not as I've started and stopped several times (trying to work and vent). Any suggestions?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sorry you had to come back. I raised easy child/difficult child by default also. The smartest thing I have ever done is get a Durable Power of Attorney drawn up a lawyer. It stipulated that I had the legal right to make educational, medical, etc. decisions for easy child/difficult child. His Mother (my daughter) didn't hesitate to go by the office and have her signature notarized by the desk secretaries. I paid her for her time and gas money.

    The document will give you peace of mind as you won't have to hunt down your daughter for the sake of the child's safety and care. I never had one problem signing up for play groups, regular school, hospital or doctor care and...sad to say...dealing with Court's etc. once he became a messed up teen.

    I have never been able to "teach" his Mom to be a good Mom. She subsequently had two more children by two other boyfriends. It's a long story but the bottom line is that easy child/difficult child (regardless of his poor choices) always knew he had a safe secure home and "parents" who loved him. His Mom would definitely have "sent him to visit" somewhere. I can only imagine how frightened you were by that. I was never comfortable even letting him go with his Mom. Sigh!
    She did, and still does, love to show off "her son" when he is looking good etc. because it reflects positively on her.

    Do you remember "Ant's Mom"? She followed my course and was able to keep her grandson safe for years. Later Ant got his act together and became a responsible single parent. She, too, was able to handle it without causing resentment with her child...because it is just so logical. Good luck and welcome back. I joined when Abbey and Pico were still in the family. I'm trying to place Mamabear and Karen but it's not coming to me right now. Guess you know that we lost Joy a few years ago. What a great family this is! DDD
  3. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    It would be great if Violet would consent to giving you legal custody or at least guardianship, which would solve at least the legal issues of caring for a child who is not biologically yours. It sounds like she may be open to that, so I would at least ask her. If she agrees you can usually get the legal papers you need online and fill them out and file them yourself. If you need additional help contact your local library as they will know of low cost legal assistance in your area. I am in a similar situation, except my daughter and her baby are staying with me. A week or so ago they had an emergency with my granddaughter at the daycare and couldn't get ahold of my daughter, so they called me. I had to take KK to the emergency room and was concerned they would not treat her since I am not her legal guardian. They assured me they would treat her even without her mother's consent and they did with no problem. So at least if there's an emergency you should be ok.

    My daughter is not a good mother either, and it's hard to watch. I so understand the pain you are going through. Coming on here helps because we understand the impossble situations we are all in. I hope you get things worked out for your sweet granddaughter. She's lucky to have you!
  4. Libby

    Libby New Member

    Thanks DDD and Elizabrary. I'm so thankful to have a safe place to land when things got bad again, and at least this time I knew you guys were here waiting for me. It's good to feel validated and to have experienced ears to hear my weary voice. While the names on the board may have changed some over the years, it appears there are still plenty of loving arms to offer hugs as needed. As always, you guys are right on target and I still believe that no one can understand better than someone who's walked in our shoes.

    Durable Power of Attorney sounds like what I have in mind, at least for a start. As for custody or legal guardianship, I'm not sure what all is involved or what, if anything, the father might try to do to prevent it. I have been especially concerned about "what if" we have a medical emergency. And, yes, we were so afraid when she sent the baby off with her dad that we might never see her again or that she would be mistreated. We didn't have a clue it was coming and it happened on the very day I planned to tell her that the baby could live with me if she wanted.

    Violet also likes to "show off her child" in order to make positive impressions on others. She thrives on controlling others and giving up guardianship/custody would cause her to lose the upper hand. She would definitely have to see it as being to her advantage.

    There's so much more I need to get off my chest but now is not the time. You've helped bunches just by hanging out and waiting all these years for me to come back (yeah, right). Just got a call from Violet, she's on a plane flying 1000 miles to meet her girlfriend. Then they're off on a 200 mile road trip to a concert having the time of their lives. Forgive me for feeling resentful toward her, I just see how much Hunnybird needs and wants her mama and it hurts so bad. Oh well, off to put out another fire. Thanks for the love!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Going for custody is likely to open up a bigger can of worms. GFGmom was "shocked" that we would even bring up the possibility of adopting "her baby". Among other things she said "people would think I wasn't a good Mom", "he would feel abandoned", "I gave birth to him" etc. etc. on the other hand, she had no problem with us caring for him 24/7. She signed the DPOA so she wouldn't have to feel guilty leaving town etc. Other relatives offered to adopt her two subsequent children but she wouldn't go for that either. My opinion is that the two biggest factors were welfare benefits and ridiculous hopes that the bio Dads would at some point want to live with her and raise the children.

    Frankly, we were afraid that if we did go for custody that easy child/difficult child's bioDad might have had the chance to do so. At that time he was an alcoholic...since rehabilitated. Sending cyber hugs. DDD