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Kinship Adoption

feeling depressed and overwhelmed (just need to get this out)


I don’t even know where to start. My mother has breast cancer and has been undergoing a VERY harsh treatment regimen and lives alone. Treatments and surgeries will be going on into November if not well beyond. My drug addicted neice is due with her baby in late September. I live 2hrs away from my hometown where both still live. I am the primary one driving both to doctors appointments and do frequent stays . Although my 87yr old grandmother has been stepping in on days she is able. I am very vigilant on making sure my niece gets what prenatal care she can, but she seems to be slipping more and more. On my last trip up to take care of my mother my neice ended up in the hospital due to her drug use. She recovered and baby is still kicking. Her baby will be removed from her care at the hospital when she gives birth, but she is incapable of understanding that. She is living in a 10-15 pump house with no insulation, yet runs away and refuses to live with anyone stable. She is 21 weeks along now and I am terrified she will go into premature labor. I have meth exposed nephews who where born at 25 weeks and I myself gave birth at 29 weeks dispite never having done drugs.

I don’t know if I have the ability, stamina or mental fortitude to keep a stable home for my 4yr old, Take care of my mother as the chemo eats her away, give the skin to skin contact needed to drug exposed premie baby staying in the NICU an additional 2 hrs away from my home, and keep my niece from committing sucide after her baby is removed.

I’ve wanted to adopt for years had started an adoption fundraiser,  was preparing for a homestudy. If I knew baby was going to be healthy and if I wasn’t dealing with my nieces mental health issues I know that I have the strength and support group needed to care for a baby and call in a patch work of reforcments for my mother. When thinking long term I know in my heart that my husband and I are the best possible home for this child.

My head is screaming and I just needed to get this out.

Replies

Prayers Sister! I know you have a lot going on, I would advise you to contact DSS and at least tell them what’s happening, that you are interested in foster care and get that ball rolling, do it now because it takes months to get it done. I say Foster Care because if you start as a kinship caregiver, you get no money to help you take care of them. It’s will be a huge financial cost. This also allows the court to see that you are serious about caring for the baby.  Also, just let me say that both of my now adopted sons were born addicted and yes, they had a rocky start but now they are both doing great. There will be lots of resources for disabled children. We started out as foster parents then became legal guardians and then petitioned for adoption. You don’t mention the bio father, or the other set of family that goes with that. If you don’t become foster parents and go to kinship, make sure you get that child support. If you are foster parents the state will sue them, if it’s kinship then you will have to file with the child support agency and we all know how that can be. Right now my sons bio parents are in arrears of 30k. I recently dropped the case against the bio-mom, she is my cousin and is just sad. Good Luck friend, just remember this baby deserves to have a life you can provide. You maybe the only advocate that he/she has. It will not be easy but it will be worth it.

Posted by AzureNC on May 20, 2018 at 5:47pm

You can not keep someone from committing suicide. You can arrange for treatment which she may or may not do. Being on drugs and living the life she is does not bode well for a long life. Very sad.

You can’t fix everything.

Is there a friend of your moms or of yours , volunteer at cancer center or at your mother’s church who can help with your mom? Ask at the chemo place there are often volunteers who can do some of the driving etc.

You are not superwoman and can not fix this all or take care of it all alone. Get some help.

Getting a foster care license is a good idea it gets the baby a medical card and you some funds to get help. It can move to adoption when the court gives custody to the agency which might take a year or more.

Posted by Regina on May 20, 2018 at 9:35pm

First breath and feel this big hug coming your way.  Now whether you think you can do it or not go ahead and get licensed for foster care so that you receive the benefits that come with being licensed including respite care when the baby comes.  You were already thinking of adopting so this may be what is meant to be and it might not be. 

Start making your support list and include everyone.  We had to show we had backup caregivers for foster care.  When making the list put an M by the ones who could help with mom and a B by who could help with baby, some may get both letters.  Support will come from the strangest places.  Remember that second cousin who always loved your mom?  Or the neighbor your mom would also speak to when she got her mail?  Then look for organizations that can help with either or both.  County area on aging, Early intervention programs, high school student groups that do community service, foster grandparent programs, Cancer support groups, parenting groups, United Way, Community Action, foster parent support groups, etc.  Once you get this list going you will feel better.  Also, put it out on FB that you are going to need support with your mother and children at this difficult time and ask for suggestions. 

You don’t say if the nephews you have are from this niece or not.  If they are you have a great chance of getting the baby because they like to keep siblings together. 

As for the first mom, you cannot save her.  You can offer support but don’t let it become enabling.  You will be supporting her by taking care of the baby she has no way of taking care of.  Maybe having the baby taken will be a wake up call but don’t be disappointed if it isn’t.  My niece lost all 5 children and is currently awaiting trial on drug charges while she still continues to deal drugs.  Some people refuse to be saved.

My prayers are with you.  If you decide that you cannot take the baby, that’s okay too.  Sometimes the situation is so toxic it is better to give the baby a new start.  My niece’s 3rd child was adopted at birth through private adoption and has a wonderful life.  The other 4 had to suffer through some rough stuff before they were taken.

Posted by C3 on May 21, 2018 at 3:19am

Thank you all for your support!!!

YES! I am going to become licensed. I’m SO frustrated with the state! one of the reasons being because the social workers involved with my niece have been discouraging me from beginning the licensing process because it would be kinship and we dont need the monthly stipend to be able to care for another child so they say “you dont have to go through the usual process your an identified placement. you dont have to be licensed” I really feel like that is a bunch of bull because even if we dont need the money per say, we will need the support services and early interventions that come with being licensed.

I’m trying to get my mother to agree to a house cleaning service and a volunteer ride service, and that would go a long way in easing my mind.

As for addressing some of the topics you all bring up. My niece is 15 and the birth father is one of 2 people, none of the 3 are capable of providing any sort of child support. The most likely father is a Native American foster youth on runaway status. IF the baby is Native American it adds another layer of complexity, as we will most likely be unable to ever fully adopt, although a permanent guardianship would be possible with the kids approval. There is no one in his family who can pass a homestudy,  although there is a tribal family looking to adopt who are very distantly related to him. I know the extended family somewhat and if it is who I think it is it makes me sick to my stomach thinking about them with my great nephew. The other possible father has what I believe is schizophrenia as well as severe drug issues and at the very least committed statutory rape with my niece so its a no win situation as far as that all goes.

As for the sibling question. No they are not siblings. I am sorry for any ambiguity In my statement about my nephews. They did live with me after the boys got out of the hospital and at times it looked like I would have to step in further, but their mom pulled it together.  that sis has been a success story. The mother of the niece in question…  not so much… my niece should have been removed 100 times over and never was. I’ve gone through the licensing process in the past with the hope they would remove her, but it didn’t come to pass and now we are here.

Thank you again. I am going to have to do some soul searching. I’m going to take some downtime from it all in June and hopefully come back into it with a clearer head.

Posted by AriaEli on May 21, 2018 at 6:05am

I have no experience with foster or kinship adoptions but am often finding myself feeling overwhelmed and depressed as well! People who are ‘givers’ are allowed to need help too.  Seek supports…and don’t forget to make some time for yourself 🙂. Best of luck.

Posted by Louise15 on May 22, 2018 at 6:20pm

Thought I should give an update on all that has been happening. After I had my mini breakdown, I had a true heart to heart with the tribal social workers. They have been SO incredible! They got my niece into therapy and drug treatment that month and she has been clean since July. They also found a Native foster home with experience in teen addiction services willing to take mom, dad, and baby as a family. I am amazed at the support they have given and I am grateful each day that the kids have been given a true chance. I am listed as an alternate placement if this situation fails, but so far things have been going well, and both parents start at an alternative school in a couple weeks. This is an outcome I couldn’t even envision a few months back

Posted by AriaEli on Aug 21, 2018 at 4:42pm

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