What is the right thing?


I am a single 38 year old that moved to another state last year and am getting my life together after a tour in Iraq and a heartbreaking breakup upon return. Now a friend of mine, (whom I took in when she was 13 and I was 21. She is now 30), wants to send her 11 year old daughter to live with me because she can’t handle her. I love the girl and have been a big part of her life until the move. I am torn between doing the Christian thing and helping this child and the perhaps selfishness of getting on track financially, emotionally and socially for myself. I have prayed about this but there does not seem to be an easy choice. I feel that Catholic guilt that if I say no, this child may not have a chance, but I also feel that things are just starting to go right in my life and I am not sure that being a full time parent is what I want or need. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. God bless you all.


You are not obliged to take in someone else’s child.

Sure, people do, but if you need to get your life in order, do that first.


cant’ possibly answer, too many variables, but doing it for guilt is not a good reason, you better have other compelling reasons that outweigh other considerations. Is this your vocation? Ask this type of question with that focus.

If you decide to do it, make sure you and your friend file guardianship papers with the court, you have all the child’s records, including whatever your state requires so you can authorize medical treatment etc. otherwise, it is illegal or at least problematic for you to transport her across state lines.


Very sound advice and some things to think about. Thank you.


I think it’s admirable that you’re even considering taking on that responsibility. That being said, you can be of no help to anyone else if you’re not in a position of peace and comfort in your own life. Take some time. Being in Iraq and coming home and learning to adjust to “normal” takes some time – not to mention the emotional baggage that comes from a bad break up. You need to let yourself get stable. Once you’re in that position, then you can think about helping others out.

Thank you for your service to our country!!! Please take the time to let yourself readjust to civilian (or at least at-home military) life.


Hi—are you male or female? I might have missed it in the post…


If you do it do it out of love, rather than guilt which has already been suggested.

I believe you are feeling the guilt because you truly believe if you don’t take care of the child for the next 6-8 years she “won’t have a chance.” Perhaps you should pray about what you mean in that statement.

Living with you would she have the chance to learn about God? Get a better education? Have someone to care for her who actually would? Teach her? etc…

I don’t believe that this is an easy question to answer but I also believe that God is putting something on your heart about this as well. It may or may not be to take her, do you know if she has any stable family she could live with? Why can’t her mom handle her, is it behavior problems or just that the Mom doesn’t have her stuff together?

You are in my prayers!


I am a female.


I do love the child and I think what is scaring me most is that I know that if I take this on, it will be for the next 8 or more years and I just don’t know if I can do that, yet I wonder how I can not help her. I know she would be better off with me. She would have structure and love and a better education and prayer and traditions. I just wonder if this is what God is calling me to do. You have all given me alot more to think about but I thank you all so much for giving me a sounding board.



Dear OP:
First of all, THANK YOU for your service to our country. We pray for you all often.
Second, I certainly would not want to take on the responsibility of a child at this point of your life. You just got back, had a terrible break-up, and are now in a new location. These three things are the reason why you should turn this idea down.
If God wanted you to do it, He would put a burning desire to do it in your heart. I have a feeling that maybe “Mom” may not be living up to her responsibility but I don’t know her.
Go with your gut reaction, and by what your prayers show you. Listen to God during praying and He will show the way.
I took in our niece, and while I love her very much, it was NOT the right thing to do to my family. Sometimes you have to say “NO” but in a very nice way.
Just my two cents…


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