Well, it's been 7 months and we have custody/are fosters for our 5 year old autistic grandson. It has been a white knuckle, frustrating, frightening ride. The agencies involved are government machines and bureaucratic bullies that have us jumping through hoops but are slow to reimburse or pay to provide services, referrals, respite, you name it. My life has been inunnated with paperwork and phone calls. I feel mentally exhausted and physically unfit. I joined a health club 1/1 and hope to break away at least an hour a day for a little me time. My bipolar elder son that was in prison is now in a halfway house. He was fine for a while, but unmedicated, it was only a matter of time before the other shoe dropped. He accused us of misdiagnosing him with Tourette Syndrome (impossible) and he is now trying to find a cure for Reye Syndrome. He decided to drop this bomb on us by not showing up for Christmas and writing scathing texts to his father and I. We were shell-shocked. The younger, with the son, has progressed, but I am not sure he will ever be able to parent at a level that will meet the needs of his low functioning son. We have started ABA therapy for him after school and hope to add hours to give this child the best possible chance to have some quality of life, even if we don't live to see it. G-F-G 2 still isn't "getting" this childcare thing. He is 7 months sober. He got a job with good earning prospects.He got his own apartment. He is satisfying everything the court has asked. He spends weekends with us and his son. It gives them time together and us a break. We've been experiencing a lot of potty issues with the little one. He in enamored of water play and every time he uses the bathroom wants to take a shower. I had to take my son to a mandatory Alcohol Education class so I went to check to see what time we were going to leave and we were locked out of the basement. (we have a latch to keep our GS from having freedom to roam from floor to floor) He and GS came upstairs with me and while I was gone my husband went into our basement bathroom shower and found feces smeared all over the walls and turds on the shower floor. When I got home he called me down and told me about it. Walked over to the couch and table down there to turn off the TV and there were antacid pills, an ibuprofen and a few aspirin all just laying out on the table. This is where my grandson had spent the morning with him. This is the same kind of crap we saw when he cared for GS before. Squalor, disregard for the child's safety, unhygenic conditions. When he got home from his class we told him we wanted to speak to him and calmly told him that this was unacceptable. He said about the shower that he hadn't seen anything and that the feces on the wall might have been from last week. WHAT???? As for the pills, they must have been in the opening compartments on the coffee table and GS must have pulled them out. STILL, they were under his nose. That's not parenting. That's not chidcare. That's neglect. As if that weren't enough he copped an attitude. He didn't get his son anything for Christmas. He said he knew we'd spoil him. Yet he's watching pay-per-view movies downstairs after I asked him not to as they are charged to our bill. And I know if he is watching a movie, GS is being ignored. Here's the corker. The social services agencies we are working with want our input on how he is doing. He has been doing well. He is trying, but this really set me back on my heels. I told him I took pictures of the areas and would keep them to be used to present to the court if he didn't straighten out. What did he do? He said he was going to turn in his father for covering his hands with tape to keep him from scratching. He took it off immediately but GS loved it AND he said that he had information on us that would break up our marriage. I said give it your best shot. If this what this family has devolved to let's burn the motha down. But, I told him that once he set these consequences in motion, there was not stopping them. His main concern is me telling the agency. D H even says, I don't know if I could tell them. I told them both I could. My main comfort and solace in these months of hell has been that if we effectively advocate for our GS he will never be in the danger he has been in over his 5 years of life in the hands of his mother and father. I don't think son is using. He's going to AA, running meetings, active with sponsor. But this slip in judgement and behavior is damn concerning. I'm ready to quit this gig now, because one of the main reasons we took our GS was to give our son a year to get his life together and best protect GS. What to do? That threatening crap really bugs me. Who says that to their parents?