The 100 Day Reality Challenge

Funny how much life changes in a day.

For a couple of years now my sister has been addicted to prescription drugs. She's been in and out of rehab and I've tried to help her but I don't think she can be helped until she wants too. Anywho.. She got busted doing illegal things and will most likely be going to jail. She has a 5 month old daughter. I asked my husband what he thinks we should do as far as taking the baby. He says he doesn't want the baby to go to the state, but it was up to me whether we take her or not. I honestly don't think I could say no. I'm not sure how long we'll have her. It could be for two weeks or end up being 18 years. This is huge for my family.. usually when you find out you're having another baby you have 9 months to figure things out.. this time we have two days.

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Comment by Jessi on October 1, 2008 at 4:58pm
Thanks for your input everyone. I really appreciate it. Turns out she won't be going to jail as of yet. They're putting her into inpatient rehab and the baby is going to stay with her there. I really hope she can get better and just keep the baby. I know she adores her. Hopefully this time she can stay on track.
Comment by LyzByth on September 30, 2008 at 6:46pm
Greetings Jessi:
Only you can make the call whether to take the child or not. You must sort this out in both your head and your heart. Things to consider:
*Would this be a financial hardship to the rest of your family? How much so? Are you employed now or a full time Mom? What would change for you in this regard today and in the future? How do you feel about that?
*Do you feel your own family might need to give something up if this child comes in? In what ways? How do you and or your family feel about that? Or do you feel having another baby in the home could add more joy, interaction, and purpose to life?
* You implied you had other children ... how old are they ... are they infants also? Could you handle having two infants if that is the case? (People do it all the time (twins etc.). What is your physical,and emotional condition?
* Would you have a support system to help you with this child? (Husband, friends, other Aunts,Gramma, you would be stepping up to accept this child but would others be there for you too when you get weary?)
*Does your family already have a relationship with this child? If they have already interacted with the baby it would make the transition to a full time new baby sibling easier.
*What is your relationship with your sister? Would she think you are willing to take the child because you want to help her and the child or because you want to show her up or raise the child "better than she could"?
*Has she asked you to take the child? How will your response affect that relationship and affect the rest of your extended family? Are you ready for a variety of responses: gratitude, resentment, apathy? If you agree to the child make sure it is because you want to share your love not somehow be bartering for more acceptance from others ... it may or may not be there.
*Taking the child for her does allow you and your extended family to know who the child is with (what values the child is exposed to) , how it is being treated, and its whereabouts. Taking the child could put stress on your family ... think also about the stability of your home.
* Would you need to pay for the basics (diapers etc.) that every baby needs by yourself? Would you be the court appointed foster parent or guardian? If you will be ... there may be state funding to help you out ... also having the child legally transferred to you spells out for what duration and under what conditions. It is also helpful in medical emergencies to have legal power to consent to treatment if reaching the mother could not be done expediently enough.
* You said your sister was doing drugs ... the child may be quite alright or there is a chance that it may have learning difficulties.
* Are you prepared to love this child as your own and then give it up again when the time is up? Can you switch easily between the role of Mother and Aunt? Children grow up so much better when those around them cherish them and not haggle over them.
As I say these are questions that you were probably already pondering. I hope I have helped you think about many aspects. In may help to write your thoughts and feelings all down in lists or a letter to yourself. Getting it down on paper can help you to see which way your mind and heart are leaning on a subject.
I know you are a kind and thoughtful person just because you are even considering the pros and cons of this. All the best to you and your family no matter which way this all turns out.
Comment by Emha on September 30, 2008 at 5:47pm
Hi Jessi, are you familiar with Abrahams teachings on upstream and downstream feelings? Your own emotional guiding scale should be a powerfull tool in assisting you doing what feels right to you. Love, Emha
Comment by Pamela on September 30, 2008 at 5:18pm
Search your heart it will lead you in the right direction -- let your faith in whats right guide you
Comment by sumayya shaikh on September 30, 2008 at 5:15pm
Hi jessi, this is indeed a very crucial decision to take I would really like to help you because if I would be in such a situation I would really be scared. I dont know whether I should even advise you from here but i feel giving up the baby may cause a lot more pain later in life than compromising and bringing her up. Do you feel any strong bond with the baby. Just try and end take a decision which makes you feel good and deal with the issues later. You really must feel good about whichever decision you take. Everything else will somehow fall into place. I wonder if this message will be of any use to you but i hope it helps.

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