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Very Difficult decision with my grandkids

(46 Posts)
bjane02 Wed 09-Dec-20 19:53:17

My son is 28 and his kids are 4 & 3. He had them with a drug addict mother and was raising the kids by himself. I had been helping him out with free babysitting and giving him food, diapers and money as he needed it. A year ago my son was struggling and he called DCF for help. DCF tried to visit his house but he was sleeping while the kids were up running around. Eventually DCF called the police and when they entered his house they found his place unsanitary. I had no clue as he wouldn’t allow me in his house at the time. They removed the kids. He got them back after a week. He was in danger of being evicted but DCF gave him $1000 to prevent it. My son had a good job at the time and was getting free daycare too. So it’s not like he was really bad off.

A month or two later my son was being defiant with DCF and got evicted anyway for not paying rent.

I agreed to take my grandkids for Monday-Friday until he got a place again. But told him he had to take them during the weekend. My son never got the kids again. Eventually the boys were put in state custody and I agreed to keep them until they returned to their dad as a sort of foster parent.

A year and 1/2 later my son doesn’t seem to have any intentions of getting the boys back. Now it’s getting closer to DCF terminating his parental rights.

I feel trapped now. I love my grandkids. Very much. But I raised 5 children starting from the age of 16. I spend years in an abusive marriage. I’m not proud of that but it was harder to get out of then I expected.

At this point I’m almost 50 and having had kids since I was 16 I’m not interested in any way of raising my grandkids. I love them so much but I dont want to spend my 50s and 60s this way. I have a new healthy marriage and I want to spend these golden years with him traveling and doing what I want for a change.

I resent my son so much for doing this. I love my grandkids but I resent the burden they have brought into my life as well. I don’t want to raise them and I’m resenting it everyday. I’d rather be a good grandmother to them.

I feel trapped. As I know deep in my heart I don’t want to raise them. But my son seems to have no prospect of returning and their mother is still a drug addict. DCF has already asked me if I’d adopt them and I just don’t know.

I don’t know what to do. Do the noble thing and raise them even though I will deeply resent it? Or be selfish and tell DCF I can’t adopt them? I feel so conflicted.

Lucretzia Wed 09-Dec-20 20:00:11

My word, bjane02

What an awful situation for you

So sad for the children as well.

If you don't adopt what would happen to the little ones?

Would they be up for adoption? Would you still be able to visit them?

I can quite understand that you don't want to start being Mum again. No idea what I'd do if I suddenly had to take on my grandchildren but I'd not be keen, that's for sure.

Good luck with your decision.

OceanMama Wed 09-Dec-20 20:07:06

That's such a hard situation to be in. I am a similar age to you and I 'get' what a disruption it would be to have young children again now that your own are reaching the end of childhood, or grown already. I'm looking forward to the freedom that brings too.

I lost a child a few years ago. They didn't have any children but, I do know that if they did, I'd have taken them in a heartbeat. This did give me opportunity to think about the 'what if' for a while. So my thoughts are:

If you take these children, do you need to do things the same way that you did before? I never used caregivers for my children. Would that have to be the same the second time around? Some of my interests are not compatible with young children now. Could I put them in day care for a day a week to allow myself to do that sort of thing still? Or two days so I can make that time to keep up the things with my teenage children that I do just with them? Maybe leaning on external supports more would help you take the children and hold onto the new things in your life?

Obviously you aren't obligated to take these children. Maybe consider different scenarios for how it could work and then decide if it's something you are willing and able to do?

welbeck Wed 09-Dec-20 20:33:37

if the state took charge of them would that mean that you had no further contact with them, or could you still visit/ write and be known to them as grandma.
what about other relatives, wider family, and the mother's family.

bjane02 Wed 09-Dec-20 20:45:34

Welbeck. They’d be adopted and I’d have no contact. My niece has been a possible adoption option but I’m just not sure.

GagaJo Wed 09-Dec-20 20:48:24

I am older than you and if anything happened to my daughter, I would have my GS in a second. No asking would be necessary. Yes, it would be hard and far from ideal. But I love him.

Hithere Wed 09-Dec-20 21:09:34

Where is the mother of the kids? Is she capable of stepping up?

I can see both sides - yours and the children's

It does stink you are back to raising kids after you earned your child free year.

On the other side, those kids sound like they have had a stable home with you

I am sure you will make the best decision that will work for everybody

Summerlove Wed 09-Dec-20 22:20:17

GagaJo

I am older than you and if anything happened to my daughter, I would have my GS in a second. No asking would be necessary. Yes, it would be hard and far from ideal. But I love him.

It’s not always just about love though

V3ra Wed 09-Dec-20 22:41:17

What does your new husband think about it all? Presumably he'll be involved if the children stay with you permanently.
If the children are adopted would they be placed together?
You love these two but you wouldn't see them again. Can you accept that?
What a hard decision to have to make.

Spinnaker Wed 09-Dec-20 23:16:24

What a truly heartbreaking situation for you to be in - but sadly even more so for those two little ones. So far in their short lives you have been their one constant. I'm sorry to say that I could not, come hell or high water, let them disappear into the state system. I agree with Gaga on this and wouldn't need asking and yes, it's far from ideal but surely the rewards would be greater as you watch them grow ? The old saying "blood's thicker than water" springs to mind ?

Chestnut Wed 09-Dec-20 23:42:08

I am 70 and not very mobile but would just have to take them in. I couldn't bear the thought of my own grandchildren being brought up by strangers and lost to me. They deserve love and care but their parents have failed them. They would have to learn to help and do things for themselves due to my age, but that is no different from the past. Children had to grow up quickly, they didn't stay 'children' until they reach their 20s like they do today.

Blossoming Thu 10-Dec-20 00:07:27

What an awful decision to have to make. I do understand it wouldn’t be easy to keep them in your care, but I think it will be even harder to let them be adopted and lose all contact. If you do give them a home are there options for childcare to help you? Whatever you decide I wish you luck.

sodapop Thu 10-Dec-20 09:44:19

Chestnut I'm sorry but your attitude seems quite selfish. The children if adopted will have loving parents not strangers. This would be preferable to the alternative of being with a resentful grandparent whose relationship could be at risk because of this.

bjane02 I'm so sorry for the situation you find yourself in, difficult decisions to be made. I gather you live in USA where things may be different but in UK I think biological grandparents are encouraged to stay in contact with their grandchildren. Feeling as you do I think the best option would be adoption to give the children a stable and living home.

Toadinthehole Thu 10-Dec-20 10:10:29

It’s so easy to say what you’d do when you haven’t been there isn’t it? I had four children, in a happy ( still is ) marriage.....and I can still appreciate how hard it would be for me. What a choice, I’m so sorry.
What about wider family? Maternal grandparents? Aunties, Uncles, friends? Could care possibly be shared?
You say you are almost 50. Still young! If you were to take them....the hardest physical work would be over within a few years, they’d go to school, and you’d still only be mid fifties. Are you healthy yourselves? You could maybe travel with them. They’d be old enough to see it as an adventure, but not old enough to get bored and have ‘ strops’.
My worry here is.....you’ll regret it if you don’t step up, and that will spoil everything you do. They’re not stopping at 3 and 2 years old. They’ll keep changing, and you with them. There could be lots of fun to be had, and when they’re grown up, you’ll still be younger than many people on here!🤔.
Whatever you decide, I wish you and those little ones all the very best.

Toadinthehole Thu 10-Dec-20 10:12:10

sorry...4 and 3, easier already!!

mumofmadboys Thu 10-Dec-20 10:57:44

Bjane02 I can understand your dilemma but if you dont take your GC you will always feel sad about it. Nothing is more rewarding than bringing up children. You will have your chance to travel later. Your son and partner have failed these children. Don't let you and your DH do the same. Of course it will be hard but there will be rich rewards.

Helenlouise3 Thu 10-Dec-20 11:07:28

Is there a reason why your son has no intention of taking them on? Have you sat with him and told him what an awful position you're in? I'm 62 and my husband has already partially retired. We too are looking forward to travelling and enjoying our golden years. However my youngest grandchildren are 7 & 8 and there is no way I could enjoy my future knowing that my grandchildren would be in care. If you know though that you'd be resentful, then let them be adopted by a family who would truly love and want them.

trisher Thu 10-Dec-20 11:24:20

I think you have to ask yourself some important questions, firstly if you allow them to go into the state systems will they be adopted by a family or will they spend their life in institutions? Then what if your son in two or three years settles down and wants his children will you be able to tell him they are gone without feeling responsible? Thirdly what will you tell them in 20 years time when they turn up asking why you ddn't keep them?
If you are confident you have the answers to all of those then you can let them go.
You must have more than one child couldn't you keep them and arrange holidays with their uncles/aunts so you could travel as well?

Bibbity Thu 10-Dec-20 12:15:12

wants his children will you be able to tell him they are gone without feeling responsible?
1. This whole disruption is his fault.
2. That’s not how it works. He would know what Is going on. Unless he buries his head deep in the sand and again. That’s his fault.

Bibbity Thu 10-Dec-20 12:17:43

Honestly I don’t think I could keep them. I’m just shy of 30. And I have had my final baby. I am very very much done with babies and infants.
I have made sure my 3 have everything that I can provide.
But after this I am free. When they become adults I want to offer as much help as my parents have but I can’t see me ever ever getting back into full time parenting.

You have done your time. I would sit with the social worker and really discuss all the options. Discover what plane A-Z are.
This was never your problem to fix but you have stepped up brilliantly.

sodapop Thu 10-Dec-20 12:21:28

Nothing like putting people on a guilt trip trisher. I assume the children's father will have to agree to any changes for his children.
There is no reason why the biological grandparents should not keep in touch with the children if they are adopted. Should they turn up as adults to ask about their situation then the OP will need to explain honestly what happened. I'm not clear how the OP's husband feels about all this as he is not the biological grandfather.
We can only do what we feel is best for everyone at the time, such a dilemma for the OP.

Espana Thu 10-Dec-20 12:33:11

What does DCF mean?

quizqueen Thu 10-Dec-20 12:41:16

Would any other family members be willing to take on your grandchildren with your support, as you have 4 other children.

Hithere Thu 10-Dec-20 12:50:50

Department of children and families

Hithere Thu 10-Dec-20 13:01:18

Chesnut
"I am 70 and not very mobile but would just have to take them in. I couldn't bear the thought of my own grandchildren being brought up by strangers and lost to me. They deserve love and care but their parents have failed them. They would have to learn to help and do things for themselves due to my age, but that is no different from the past. Children had to grow up quickly, they didn't stay 'children' until they reach their 20s like they do today."

The children must come first, not the family's feelings

If the future adopter cannot provide for the physical and emotional needs of the adoptees, it is a not a good match.
DNA or not dna involved