difficult child wants to move back with bio family at 18..long

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    This is a subject that he's brought up before but now he's talking about moving back in with his bio mom after he turns 18. (he'll be 17 in a couple of weeks) We got difficult child as a foster at the age of 9 and adopted him at 10. Bio mom's parental rights had been terminated when difficult child was around 6 or 7 (I think) so I'm not entirely sure how long it's been since he's seen her. Other bio family he has been in contact with and had lived with his aunt and uncle at one point. After we had him for about a year, he would spend a couple of weeks in the summer with them (and sometimes Spring Break) alternating between the aunt and uncle and his grandmother. We have no problem with maintaining contact.....they had absolutely nothing to do with the neglect/abuse and tried to do right by him but they had a large combined family (his, hers and at one time, 3 of bio mom's) and just couldn't handle difficult child's needs and outbursts at the time. However, it was usually us who initiated contact even though we always told them, whenver they wanted to see him all they had to do was call. (They live almost 2 hours away) The last couple of years, I haven't contacted the aunt and uncle at all and only call grandma a couple of times a year to check in. Mostly this was done because I got tired of being the one who initiated the contact. I figure, they know where we are and how to contact us, if they want to see him, they can call us. I haven't heard from the aunt and uncle since and I think grandma has only called us a few times in the 7 1/2 years we've had difficult child. And of course, there has been no contact with bio mom at all. He knows she's still in their area and he knows that grandma has contact with her but that's it.

    This subject was brought up a couple of summers ago with difficult child saying that he wanted to move back up with them as he didn't feel like he belonged with us. It was discussed in counseling and nothing really ever came of it. The idea of him going back to bio mom, however, really worries me. She's in and out of jail, drugs, drinks (but yet still has custody of a child she had after signing guardianship of her oldest to her mother and losing the rights to the following 3 kids.....go figure. difficult child hasn't met this sibling. Mostly because grandma and I didn't know how to go about doing it without confusing the little girl and I really didn't want to get in the middle of that whole situation) The last I knew, difficult child's oldest sibling, who is over 18, has been living or mostly living with bio mom. I'm not sure if difficult child knows this or not and I really don't want him to know. In this case though, older sib. has seen her growing up...difficult child hasn't.

    Evidently, difficult child brought this up in counseling this morning. I had gotten called into work so husband took him. I haven't had the chance yet to really talk with husband about it although we did talk on the phone for a bit today. There are two things I KNOW in my gut about this entire situation. The first one being that I KNOW aunt and uncle wouldn't want him back, grandma either but for better reasons than aunt and uncle. Bio mom is an unknown in this but it could go either way. The last I knew (last summer I believe) BM was either in jail or getting ready to do some time, was still drugging/drinking, and still very much a difficult child herself. She's always thought of herself as above the law and can do what she wants. After her 3 youngest at the time were taken from her, she followed the requirements of getting them back on HER terms and then would get mad when it wasn't enough to suit the courts. They were all out to get her and she made herself out to be the victim. (She at one point, told her sister who had them at the time to go ahead and take her kids. She'd just make more.) Obviously this is NOT a good situation for difficult child to be in. I firmly believe that if he does this, he WILL end up in jail. The second thing that I KNOW is that difficult child is in a very rose colored fantasy world. When we adopted him, he thought that the adoption would magically make all of his problems, feelings and issues go away and he would be happy. It didn't happen. I think this is the same thing. If he goes back to bio family, all of his problems and troubles will magically disappear and he'll live happily ever after. With every fiber of my being I know this.

    I don't know if this is just a temporary idea he has in his head right now but I get the feeling it's not. I'm thinking his timing on this is also related to a conversation I had with him a few days ago. My preferred setting for him after he's 18 is some type of group home setting where he can learn hands on life skills while still supervised and then "graduate" to the least restrictive living arrangement he can handle. (Of course that would entail his cooperation so what WAS I thinking??? :hammer:) I mentioned it to him and only said that this was an idea that husband and I were tossing around. His immediate answer was no but I asked him to take some time and seriously think about it and I listed the advantages of it for him. I asked him to talk to some of the team members if he wanted but I really wanted him to think about it. He finally agreed to think about it but I know he won't. Of course now I'm second guessing myself with mentioning it to him but there have been a lot of times with him that this strategy will work.

    He's not going to graduate high school in the normal manner. He's just too far behind on his credits and just doesn't want to put forth any effort. But even when talking about moving back to bio family this morning he said that he wants to finish h.s. husband explained to him that at the rate he's going, he was going to be in high school waaaay past 18. There's also all of the grandiose thinking that he's always had so when you combine that with his seemingly indestructible rose colored glasses........what a mess.

    I did tell husband that if difficult child does this he'll wind up in jail and he agreed. He thinks though that maybe he needs to do that. Maybe it will wake him up to reality. Which was odd because I'M usually the one telling husband this stuff! I think the next year is going to be very "interesting" for all of us. :faint:

    I guess I don't really have a question for you all....just needed to get this out and try to make some sense of it. I'm sure this will be a big topic in counseling this year and we'll just have to see how it goes. If you've read this far....thanks for hanging in!
  2. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhh :crying:

    You know, I'm on the other side of you now, as the mom, not the foster, although I'm not abusive, never did drugs, and placed difficult child 2, not had him taken. But, I cannot imagine not having reunification as the goal.

    However, you adopted him. At 9. Almost 9 years, he is your son. You've been through so much with him. My heart really hurts for you, even if what he's saying isn't true, it still hurts. You don't deserve it :sad:

    So, no advice, no magic words of wisdom, no clue what to say without putting a foot in my mouth or making myself sound stupid. This is an area I have no familiarity with.

    But, I wanted to send you hugs, because you're a great cyber friend, and I hope whatever happens here, it happens in your favor, and doesn't hurt you.

  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've heard the same out of kt & wm. However, they are only 12 & have a ways to go before that type of decision is made.

    Having said that, I'm not surprised. I think most adopted adolescents have a "fantasy" reuniting with bio family. There seems to be a drive to connect with their biological families.

    Just know, that whatever difficult child decides you have made a tremendous impact on your difficult children life. And it's another year away - ideas change quickly in that period of time.

    I wouldn't argue difficult children plan nor would I become a big participant in planning the move. Just let difficult child know that you are aware of his decision & would be terribly sad & miss him greatly.

    Just some random thoughts for you to consider.
  4. oceans

    oceans New Member

    What a hard situation! I hope that difficult child goes not get to live with the bio mom. It does not sound like a safe and healthy environment. I hope that there is a better alternative for everyone involved. Sorry that you need to go through such a difficult time thinking about all of this.
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Originally Posted By: Janna
    You know, I'm on the other side of you now, as the mom, not the foster, although I'm not abusive, never did drugs, and placed difficult child 2, not had him taken. But, I cannot imagine not having reunification as the goal.

    Janna, I know without a doubt that you did NOT take this as a comparison. TRUST ME.....you and difficult child's BM are polar opposites. From what I was told she did ok as a mom (relatively speaking) while the kids were still little and cute. When they got older, started to talk and demand things as kids do.....she couldn't, no..she WOULDN'T do it. She couldn't just put them in a play pen or their crib and walk away. Now they were old enough to follow and "bug" her. Right after we got difficult child, I took him to the doctor for a physical and discovered that his feet were curved. (They've since straightened out). The doctor said that most likely this was from him setting in front of the tv (legs crossed underneath him) long term. (classic of neglected kids maybe??)

    By saying she did the reunificaion goals HER way, I mean that she only did what SHE thought was enough and by G** that should be enough. (and wouldn't you know it......difficult child is the <u>exact same way</u>. When he has to face a consequence or make up for something he's done or said, he thinks it should be by HIS idea of what it should take, not someone elses's.) This is a woman who's kids were her property and not gifts. Not to open a totally different can of worms but another reason I don't like her and others like her is that until she got her tubes tied, she could get pregnant whenever she wanted and in my opinion, is one that should never be allowed to raise kids. ***holds out hand to be slapped***.... I know...... I shouldn't say things like that but that's something that has always burned my b u t t.
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    How can he go if you adopted him? How can she still have a reunification goal? Heck, if I had placed difficult child 2 into a planned permanent placement, reunification goals were ceased, and that's not adoption. You don't have to talk about it, I'm just asking questions out loud, because I'm a little scatter brained this week.

    I cannot even begin to imagine what you're feeling, but I'm sure the feelings are immense.

    If you ever wanna talk, I'm around.

  7. Loris

    Loris New Member

    I do understand how some of our difficult children continue to wear the rose colored glasses. I have one of those who is also 17 and just won't learn. I have recently decided that he will have to learn the hard way.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Originally Posted By: Janna
    How can he go if you adopted him? How can she still have a reunification goal? Heck, if I had placed difficult child 2 into a planned permanent placement, reunification goals were ceased, and that's not adoption. You don't have to talk about it, I'm just asking questions out loud, because I'm a little scatter brained this week.

    I cannot even begin to imagine what you're feeling, but I'm sure the feelings are immense.

    If you ever wanna talk, I'm around.


    She doesn't have a reunificaton goal. The one I spoke of earlier was the one they had in place before her rights were terminated years ago. This is something he's decided he wants to do on his own once he turns 18. So unless we get adult guardianship, there's nothing really we can do to stop him and even then.....who's to say he won't still run?
  9. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    difficult child's say alot of things to yank our chains. They know our fears and will turn them around on us. That being said I want to share something about my difficult child.

    His biodad is a druguser\on and off for yrs.
    I left him and raised my kids on my own so they wouldn't be around the drug use.
    My biggest fear was my son seeking him out and biodad exposing him to drugs.
    Well, my son is 18. Last yr he found his dad and moved in with him. It took almost a yr of going back and forth until my difficult child finally said they are crazy I can't go back there!

    What I found was when I finally realized it was out of my control and I let go, he left him alone on his own.
    Sometimes they just have to see for themselves, he always put his dad on such a pedastal regardless of the fact that he was never in his life, never acknowledged b-day, christmas, if they were fed, warm, nothing.

    So I wanted to send you some hope, and just remember that he knows your weaknesses and fears. I did not realize that for a long time.
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I hope he comes to his senses. {{{Hugs}}}
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    At 18 kids can live wherever they want to live. I couldn't stop my kids from living with bio. relatives either when they turn 18. It's no longer up to us. I would let him go and support him in it. He will likely be back FAST and appreciate you more. At any rate, if you do the "them against us" that never works. It's hard to adopt older kids. I adopted one at six, and it's not the same as my biological kid or the other three I adopted. He was always looking for his roots because he came to us, in his words, "after my formative years." As much as I hate to admit it, I'm sure my son, who was adopted from Hong Kong, never felt he fit in with us. Now he's 30 and surrounds himself with Chinese people--his wife and her family and has basically not been in contact with us. My kids who came young are very close to us. I don't believe that my son who came at six ever totally bonded with us. He was always very good, TOO good, and very distant. If it helps, I understand how you feel, but wouldn't push against it or talk about it too much. See what happens and realize nothing is etched in stone or permanent. Maybe he'll see the dysfunction and try to flee from it.
  12. kris

    kris New Member

    i know this is tearing you up inside. you understand the dangers of him living with-bio where he sees only good outcomes. sigh.

    the best you can do is support him. give him paramiters should he ask to return to your home ~~~ which hopefully he will at some point.

    sadly, he won't take your word for this being a bad idea. he will have to find that out for himself. i also think this is a fairly common thing, esp with-older adoptees.

    when he goes leave the door open for a return & hope he comes to his senses. try not to spend too much time in the next year or so anticipating the worst. keep looking for alternative plans to offer him, maybe with-the carrot of a better reunification with-bio after he completes a work program & can support himself??? sorry, just tossing ideas at you.

    it's going to be a stressful time in the next few years for you guys. take care of yourselves.

  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Kanga thinks going back to live with biomom (whom she hasn't lived with since age 2, nor seen since age 4) will magically fix all her problems. Her therapy is focusing on accepting that her problems are inside her and that if she moves, she takes her problems with her.

    I know you must be hurting to have him so close to 18 and wishing to leave. But I agree with the others, any return will be short lived because it won't be a magic pill to get him everything he wants.

    Hopefully his therapist can reach him.

  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just thought I would suggest one tiny change from Linda's post.
    I would not refer to "the decision" he made. That phrase could
    easily be interpreted to indicate that a "DECISION" has been reached..lol. Actually I would not bring up the topic and hope
    that the idea fades away. If I had to refer to it, I would probably use a term like "the idea" or something more transient.

    One other thought is that all of us who have had any dealings with "the system" agree that there is nothing therapeutic about the experience. It is not even protective. I understand the basic concept of "law and order" and "paying consequences" and
    "letting them learn from their mistakes". Geez....I even voted
    for Nixon, for heavens sake. BUT difficult children are treated differently
    and they are often scapegoats, that the "system" recycles like
    aluminum cans.

    On a more thoughtful note, I do understand your fears. Even non-custodial GFGmoms have a scarey and often destructive influence.
    It is sad. DDD
  15. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I am sorry this can happen. I think you know how to handle it, that you have to wear a smile and accept it, but that doesn't ease the pain...what a nightmare. I agree that he very well could come back quicker then you think and with a better understanding, at least that is what I will hope for.
  16. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    With hubby's schedule the past couple of days we still haven't had a chance to sit down and really talk and it looks like it will be a couple of days yet before we do.

    I find myself going back and forth......phase or something he really wants. It's hard to tell with him. Sometimes you think he's serious and it's a phase and vice versa so who knows at this point. Guess I'll have to be a little more patient before husband and I can talk and a lot more patient to see how the next few months at least go. That should give me an indication (hopefully) of what difficult child seems to be thinking. I had been thinking of pulling him out of school/letting him quit at the end of next year to eventually prepare for his GED but maybe I can keep him in longer and see how that affects his "plan". Just have to wait and see at this point I guess. :smile:

    Too bad I can't just do a little woo woo :hypnosis: lol

    Hmmmmmmmmmm..........only half joking here but I wonder if there have ever been any studies on hypnosis treatments???? :confused: