Dear all, I would really appreciate your input and prayers.
We are married with 3 young children (age 9 and under). In our extended family there is a young man (I think he is 14) who is having very serious problems. He was adopted into the family after being fostered for a year from the age of 4. His birth family were very abusive and neglected him very seriously. He was adopted by my MIL with his younger sister. My FIL had left and married another woman before this and they received an annulment. I mention this only to explain that I think my MIL was feeling lost and needed a role when she decided to adopt her new children. However, it has always been very hard work and somewhat overwhelming for her at a time when most MILs are enjoying their grandchildren.
This young man never had any serious behavioral problems but has always struggled at school because he has memory problems and never valued himself very highly so would lose motivation. Recently things have got very serious, he has been hanging out with another young boy who is currently in and out of teenage detention centers and has been arrested on numerous occasions. They have been running away, staying away for days at a time, breaking into their parents homes to get food and belongings etc.
Currently the “friend” is back in detention. We are all very concerned for our relative, let’s call him “Paul”. My MIL never really gave him consistent discipline and she moved about 4 or 5 times in the last 10 years. We have never lived nearby and currently are in Europe while they are in the US.
I really want to help Paul. I would like him to come here and live with us but I’m not sure A) Would that be safe for our young children? B) Would DH even agree? I think not.
We all think we need to get him away from his current environment but my MIL does not have the money for a boarding school or other treatment center.
We could afford to send him to a school over here (if I could find a Catholic boarding school that would accept him, mostly due to his lack of academic ability). Although we could afford to help again I seriously doubt if DH would be willing to, even though Paul is technically his brother.
I don’t want to see this boy ends up in prison or something equally terrible. And I think he suffers from a lack of attention, love and formation. He also has not had a father figure in his life at all. My MIL has done her best but is exhausted.
What would you consider our responsibilities to this young man? Do you have any other ideas of what we could do to help? Please pray for him and for all his extended family.