Yes I want your advice:)


#1

Looong story short (if thats possible:)

hubby and i have 5 kids. 4 bio. 1 adopted. Our oldest has married and they have their own place. Leaving hubby and i with 4 kids in the house. Ages 14,13,11, & 10. We both work full time,my hubby on days and i on the graveyard. Last summer we found out about a cousin of mine losing her kids to the state and put into foster homes, my aunt which is their grandmother came to me for help because the state wouldn’t deal with anybody else in the family. After careful thought and prayer we went through alllll the hoops and took them in. Ages 9,6 & 3 in Oct.

Now here we are in Feb. with 7 kids and my cousin might be losing the 1 year old lil boy. So the caseworker is asking (because i made a big stink about keeping the siblings together,cause they weren’t) if we are interested in the 1 y.o.

I have to admit I’m alittle worried about getting in even further over my head. My husband and i both teach,he does CCD for 4th. grade and i coordinate the youth group at our parish for middle schoolers. Plus theres the whole taking care of our aging parents. Plus i homeschool.Anyway my husband thinks this baby should go to a couple who wants a baby. But i still say the siblings belong together…even if that means more work for me, i mean us;)

my hubby thinks that i would have to quit my job…ive worked for almost 17 years on graves, i don’t think i have to and i dont think we can afford it? Anyway im willing to say yes to life,to God if thats what He wants for us. How can i be sure? Is it that nagging in my head that keeps saying " its the right thing to do."? or the feeling like ive already said yes to Him and calling the caseworker back is just a confirmation of that yes?? Do you think im crazy? Is in unfair to the rest of our children? to my husband?

He’ll take care of everything, I know He will, I have faith in Him.I just hate not knowing the outcome.

(All the bad things your thinking about saying about this young mother with 4 kids and no man to help please keep to yourself:)


#2

Before asking us, you need to have a conversation with your kids (all of them!). Pray a novena as a family about this. Has your married child considered taking the 1yo? Is this all foster care or are you adopting? How has the transition worked with the first group of siblings? All questions you need to discuss with your husband and family. None of us here can really give advice. But I will be praying for you.


#3

follow your heart. keep the baby.

those poor kids will never have a day of peace wondering about their baby sibling. and probably neither will you.

but you will need to pray for and gather untapped resources, because i think you’d need to quit your job or take an extended leave. you’ll need at least a year getting settled-- heck-- just figuring out where to put everybody will be a trick. can your extended family make a committment to help financially? or is there goverment assistance? are any of the kids special needs? you can look into SSI.

you didn’t ask about this but i wonder: are the children in counseling? i’m thinking of a dear freind who adopted a family of 4 children (when her bio 4 were teens and grown.) the oldest of the children, aged 7 and 6, had significant attachment disorders which surfaced in bad ways when they were teens. the youngest 2 were much less affected. but counseling from the start might have helped them all tremendously.

just this week, some CAF readers posted book titles about adoptive children and specific challenges, which sounded very intriguing. if somebody would put those titles on this thread, maybe that would help.


#4

I think a baby brings so much JOY to a family. They are just alot of fun to have around. I say go for it. What’s one more? You have lots of hands to help. If something had to give, I’d step down from your church responsibilites for awhile… everyone would understand. When I have very young ones (like a 1 & 3 year old) I say NO to all volunteer opportunities and just focus on the physical demands of taking care of little ones.

God bless you all.


#5

My wife and I are the bio parents of 7 children (1 married, 4 others out of the house); we began working in the Foster care system several years ago and now have an adopted a 4 year old and two 2 year olds (six weeks apart in age) who are in the process of being adopted. Hopefully, down the line we’ll be able to take in more.

We’re tired, a lot broker that we might be otherwise, sometimes feel like we’re in over our heads and (more than a little) crazy. But, and this is a big but, we feel like there is no work we’ve done in our lives more important than this. There are three lives that are changed forever. Their parents had all been in the foster system as kids and not adopted and they repeated the cycle of drugs/crime/etc. These girls had the same fate. We have been blessed to be part of the process that took them out of a cycle of failure and given them a stable, loving home. All in all, is there anything of more value here on earth that we could do?

How much more can you effect lives than this? How much more can you spread the Gospel than this? Sure, you could preach to thousands and maybe some would hear. But, you’re preaching daily to ears that want to hear. You’re changing lives that were doomed to epic fail - outside of God’s hand of Providence - (wait, hmmm, that was you: you’re part of God’s hand of Providence).

I wish that every stable Christian home in America would take one child out of the system and give them a home. Think of the amazing change in our culture in just one generation. you’re part of that change, even if most Christian homes are not. You’re affecting not just these children, but their children and grandchildren. You’re taking a child with a Godless heritage and giving them a Godly one.

I know it’s a sacrifice, but you’re literally saving lives. God bless you and your husband.


#6

[quote="monicatholic, post:3, topic:186412"]
follow your heart. keep the baby.

those poor kids will never have a day of peace wondering about their baby sibling. and probably neither will you.

[/quote]

Exactly how I feel about it. God bless you and your husband, and all your little ones!


#7

I worked graveyard for several years while our kids were younger to save on child care, but the thought of homeschooling after working all night is to me inconceivable. That is certainly the first thing I would re-think. The second thing I would do is sit down together and reevaluate our outside commitments in the parish etc. Perhaps the best use of your time an energy would be to send them to school, since you will have pre-schoolers at home, and instead of teaching CCD use the time to give them more religious education at home. But those are questions only you and your husband can answer together, and you both have to be in agreement or none of this will work.

You can also pair up each younger child with one of your older ones for day to day stuff-getting them bathed, dressed, looking after them on outings etc.

Of course it is doable, people raise large families with great success all the time. Whether it is your vocation at this time is another matter. I certainly agree with keeping siblings together if it can be managed but there may be times when it is not possible.

also make sure you are not the only one in the family who could be helping, and enlist help of the rest of the family in other ways if they are not up to this commitment.

And do some estate planning with your husband and discuss plans if the worst should happen to either of you, this is a wake up call to all parents that the situation can change in a heartbeat.

the finances aren’t really that much different after the first few kids if the house and major stuff is already in place.

your older children are old enough, and may be wiser than you think, and should be part of the decision making and planning, even though they must understand you and your husband will have the final say.


#8

As usual, Puzzleannie :thumbsup:
Right on the mark!

Fellow Christian, may God bless you for all you are doing for these children. You and your family will be blessed for all the love you are giving. Will say a prayer for you and your family.


#9

You and your family are wonderful people. I have to believe God will provide. I don’t think to many of us are even remotely qualified to give you an opinion after all you have done. I only wish I would have been able to do the same things you have already done. May God shower you with His blessings forever!!!

MEMORARE,
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen


#10

[quote="fellowChristian, post:1, topic:186412"]
Looong story short (if thats possible:)

hubby and i have 5 kids. 4 bio. 1 adopted. Our oldest has married and they have their own place. Leaving hubby and i with 4 kids in the house. Ages 14,13,11, & 10. We both work full time,my hubby on days and i on the graveyard. Last summer we found out about a cousin of mine losing her kids to the state and put into foster homes, my aunt which is their grandmother came to me for help because the state wouldn't deal with anybody else in the family. After careful thought and prayer we went through alllll the hoops and took them in. Ages 9,6 & 3 in Oct.

Now here we are in Feb. with 7 kids and my cousin might be losing the 1 year old lil boy. So the caseworker is asking (because i made a big stink about keeping the siblings together,cause they weren't) if we are interested in the 1 y.o.

I have to admit I'm alittle worried about getting in even further over my head. My husband and i both teach,he does CCD for 4th. grade and i coordinate the youth group at our parish for middle schoolers. Plus theres the whole taking care of our aging parents. Plus i homeschool.Anyway my husband thinks this baby should go to a couple who wants a baby. But i still say the siblings belong together....even if that means more work for me, i mean us;)

my hubby thinks that i would have to quit my job....ive worked for almost 17 years on graves, i don't think i have to and i dont think we can afford it? Anyway im willing to say yes to life,to God if thats what He wants for us. How can i be sure? Is it that nagging in my head that keeps saying " its the right thing to do."? or the feeling like ive already said yes to Him and calling the caseworker back is just a confirmation of that yes?? Do you think im crazy? Is in unfair to the rest of our children? to my husband?

He'll take care of everything, I know He will, I have faith in Him.I just hate not knowing the outcome.

(All the bad things your thinking about saying about this young mother with 4 kids and no man to help please keep to yourself:)

[/quote]

No, you're not crazy. You will teach those children in CCD and middle school youth group a great deal about Catholicism--even if you need to step back from teaching them in order to take a child in who would otherwise go to foster care.

On threads here about homosexuality, abortion and adoption, the question of caring for children in foster care comes up frequently. If people like you and me don't step in to help when family members need help, it leaves a vacuume. You are needed now. You aren't crazy. Your instincts to take in your cousin's baby are an island of sanity in a world that's gone crazy.


#11

I don’t know your niece, but I have known other women who have had their children taken away. I know of one woman who had nine children that were taken away before she became too old to have children anymore. If you are taking the kids because you don’t want them separated, what happens if your niece has a baby next year that is taken away?
What if she continues to have a baby that is taken away every other year or so?

I will pray for both you and your niece. You are in a very difficult place. Let God guide you to do His will and what’s in the best interest of the children.


#12

I needed some outside voices who weren’t connected to the situation to help ground me a bit. I agree with everything said…so I know I’m not crazy. In this culture the people around me tell me “You’ve done enough.” But how can that be? I can’t say to my Lord “I think I’ve done enough for you?” thats crazy!

At the begining I did have a meeting with the whole family. Just to hear them out. But if God wants to bless our marriage with children however He decides to,who am I to say no? With that in mind do any of us go to our children and ask them “Honey daddy and I would like to make love,and a baby may come from that love can we have your permission to make love?”

Funny isn’t it?

The children were in different foster homes. Each sufferred an abuse of some type. The 6 y.o. wasn’t being feed and they put him on meds to control him. Uppers to wake up downers to put him to bed and something to maintain him during the day. He was 20 pounds under weight. He’d eat anything you put in front of him. Even if it was garbage.

The 9 year old wasn’t allowed to leave the house. No toys. No friends. Food restrictions. All of her clothes were 2 sizes too small.

The 3 year old wasn’t potty trained and had an odd diet. Bean sandwiches and water for dinner?

At one foster home the 6 & 9 year old shared a cot in the garage with other people.They were moved. The second home was dirty and the mom was favoring an exsisting child with food.

The one year old is in a foster home now. We have had to get our foster parenting license and the stipend will help but we’re planning on adopting them so I don’t know if that will still be there in the form of adoption support.

And none have been baptized even though bio mom is Catholic.

We’re gonna have to get a crib. Thanks I needed the prayers.

My Love has given me everything. I can never outgive Him. Oh but I would love to try:) Thank you Lord for the blessings,the challenges and the sufferrings,because of You I am a better person.


#13

[quote="fellowChristian, post:12, topic:186412"]
I

The one year old is in a foster home now. We have had to get our foster parenting license and the stipend will help but we're planning on adopting them so I don't know if that will still be there in the form of adoption support.

.

[/quote]

please get legal help right away from someone versed in this area of law. If you can get a foster license and foster at least some of the children for a while you will get badly needed financial assistance and medical care for them, which at least in the states I am familiar with, would be taken away when you adopt. If they have special medical needs this is something to consider. The lawyer can also help you negotiate the "system" which is of necessity going to be a factor in your life from now on. Document all those situations you mention so if you ever need to fight for these children you have ammunition.


#14

In our state (PA) one can get Legal Guardianship that allows for both complete control of all decisions as if you were the actual parent while still keeping the children under the state's programs for medical care and stipend.

Also, if you are adopting a sibling group, the Federal gov't will take over the subsidy that the state is paying as well as continuing medical support. You will also get a HUGE tax incentive that will probably result in your not having to pay federal taxes for many years.

I'm not a lawyer, so don't take my advice to the bank; I am an adoptive father, however, so I have some very recent experience with these things.


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.