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Discussion Starter #1
A few folks that were at our homesteading weekend know about our 'rental' son.

For those that don't, here's a bit of catch up:

D is 13 and started staying at our farm late last summer. He and my youngest son, M, are in CAP together. M was riding in our neighborhood last early fall and saw D. Found out D's grandparents live about a mile from us.

D came down for the day, then the next day. Then the next Saturday, and the next Sunday. The next weekend, he was spending the night on Saturdays. He had been with us about 5 weekends when I finally got to meet (and talk to) his mother.

Since then, D has been with us every weekend. A week as Christmas & at Easter.

At the end of May, his mother came by and said D might not be around for a month or so. She had to send him to a behavioral center in Chicago. She says that he is bi-polar, clinically depressed, has anger issues, etc, etc, etc.

Paul's and my reaction was identical. Our jaws dropped open and we said, "D???" Never did we see this coming.

D was gone for a week. Within 30 minutes of getting back in town, he was at the farm. He has been here ever since except for a week around 7/4 when his mother took him to see her father in central IL.

He's on enough medications to knock a cow over. He takes these meds at night - they knock him out and he's groggy until early afternoon.

**UPDATE**
I asked D yesterday what we're going to do about the school year. He asked if he could stay with us. I asked what his mother would say. He told me she was the one that suggested it.

I have no problem keeping D at our home. I do want some sort of legal custody so I can interact with his teachers at school and even go as far as interacting with his doctors. I don't believe he should be on this medication (he never took it in our home prior to coming to stay with us in June). I truly believe his 'conditions' are a combination of his home environment and that his mother can get more $$ by having a 'disabled' child.

I want to talk to his mother this weekend about keeping D. I don't know where to go or what to do as far as getting some sort of legal say so in his life.


The next question I have to ask ..... my youngest child is 14. I've already survived two teenagers ... why am I accepting anther TEEN???? :shrug:
 

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Dutch Highlands Farm
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Its the triumph of hope over experience! :) Been there, done that. I think its wonderful that you are stepping up to the plate for this young fellow.
For the legal issues you have two basic options: consult with an attorney who specializes in family/custody issues. This is the best, but of course the most expensive way to go.
Otherwise, talk with your county/state human services people. How bureaucratic they are will determine how much headway you make with getting what you need. You might try going through the school, sometimes they can be helpful.
Good luck!
 

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Big Front Porch advocate
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I don't know if the laws are differnt there and now, but in 1980 and 1981 we had a 14 year old come stay for Christmas (I thought) and he left two years later.

All we had was a notarized letter from his parent saying we were his legal guardians for everything except adoption. We did take him to doctor, school recognized it, the driver's license bureau recognized it... etc.

It might be that easy.

Angie
 

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Your family doctor or minister may know of a lawyer who can assist you in this manner.
I understand why you want to do this and I say go for it (with proper legal guardian documentation). My older daughter had a friend - the girl lived in town but would walk to our house (never called first), it was probably close to 1.5 miles. Parents divorced, dad moved to another town about 45 minutes away, mom remarried, she and new husband liked to drink. The girl was a forgotten child, her dad should have encouraged her to move in with him (and I think she would have, dad was by far the better parent). Told the daughter that while I was not running a home for wayward teens, to tell her friend that if she ever needed a place to go NOW, she was welcome at our house, any time of the day as we could sort things out in the morning. I always worried she was going to run away. So as with this girl, your rental son needs not only stability, but someone who care about him and has his best interests at heart. All too many kids today are not their parents number one priority.
 

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Check with your state too, because like Angie said, in Texas it used to be that all that was required was a signed, notarized form stating that the legal guardianship of a minor was being signed over to another adult, and then signed by both parties and notarized. My later-to-be SIL was actually palmed off on my ex MIL and FIL this way by her mother, who was a...well, just incredibly, unbelivably disfunctional.
 

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Keeping the Dream Alive
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First off, of course, is to talk to his mother. If it was her suggestion to him that he stay with you for the school year, she should be O.K. with giving you a a notarized letter designating you as the child's primary carer, with copies for your local doctor and the school. At this point, I would not get involved with too much bureaucracy.

Simpy take him in on the understanding that first there will be a trial period of xx months, that he will have to live by your household rules, and that there will be no favouritism shown to anyone in the home. Make sure that everybody, including the boy's mother, clearly understand that if your rules are not followed he will have to return to his mother.

Edited to add: I just had a look at the web-site posted by selina, and according to the information there, the boys mother can give you temporary custody for up to 60 days, so you could use that as a trial period.

If you find that all is working out well for everyone, you could then consider a more formal arrangement through the appropriate Dept of Community Services.

His bi-polar disorder could be a part of what is making him clinically depressed, which in turn could be leading to his 'anger' issues. However it could be a lot to do with his present environment, and by going into a home where he feels that he is welcome because he is loved may go a long way towards easing his depression.

And let's 'fess up to it: The reason that you are taking on another 14 y.o. is simply that you have love to share.
 

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Cindy and Paul,
Your hearts touch me! I am in the midst of fostering a small girl outside of the system. Started out as a babysitting job and has turned into so much more than that. I have no advice for you, as I only have one teenager (he is 15 and such a sweet boy when he wants to be! LOL).
I just wanted to say thank you. Many people don't care about their own children much less a wayward one that isn't their flesh and blood. You are special folks and I am praising the Lord for you!
God Bless,
Michele
 

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Cyndi,

No advice for you, but I wanted to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to you on behalf of a former wayward child. My best friend's Mom in high school provided a safe haven for me during a very difficult time in my life and I will forever be greatful for their kindness and love when I needed it most.

Nikki
 

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STILL not Alice
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MullersLaneFarm said:
The next question I have to ask ..... my youngest child is 14. I've already survived two teenagers ... why am I accepting anther TEEN???? :shrug:

Because you're an obedient daughter. :)

Good for you, Sis. And maybe Pastor Bob has an idea or two about how to move forward?

You're all in my prayers. Looking forward to seeing the new kid when we come out to get the rabbits.

Pony!
 

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It's a wonderful thing you're doing! I have become "Ma" to a friend of my DD and DS who came from an abusive home. She was abusing drugs when we met her six years ago, but has now been clean for 5 years (she attributes that to my DD's loving persistence), works two jobs and pays her own college and bills, and is more reliable in most things than my own two :)

Anyway, my terrific girl *is* bipolar; that's a real medical condition, and there are excellent medications that can allow someone to live a satisfying and successful life instead of struggling each day just to cope with the crazy in his or her head.

I've known disability scammers, and they keep those kids close as cash cows. The fact that she's letting him live with you suggests something actually happened. It could be a behavior problem or depression that only comes out when he's in a terrible situation, and maybe getting him in a better environment will be all he needs.

But I do encourage you, when you get permission to act as his guardian in some capacity, talk with his doctors, read up on the condition he's been diagnosed with, get a second opinion if you like. Then, if he does have a real condition, you can see he's treated appropriately, just as you would if he had epilepsy or diabetes. Diet, disciplined exercise, meditation or relaxation techniques, some combination of those will help most anyone and are enough for some, but if someone has a psychiatric illness then giving them the attention to find out their best treatment is a great and loving gift.

He's so blessed to have found someone to give him the acceptance and patience and safety a child needs, and I know he'll be a blessing in your life, as my girl has been in mine. :)
 

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Praying for wisdom and guidance for you. There is a family lawyer in Polo who we used. Will end up going to him if *J* comes back.

Michele
Crew mom to 11
 

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Cindy and Paul - thank you, thank you, thank you...it is a great thing you have done and will be doing.

From what you have said about the mother, and as distasteful as you will likely find it, getting the medical/education/legal rights to make decisions for D will likely require that you build up the mother on her doing the right thing and how she will not loose anything by doing so. Hopefully, she truly isn't doing harmful things to her son inorder to get more money, if she is that is going to make your hoped for results so much more difficult.

Has sad as it is, there is the possibility that she is willing to allow you the responsiblity of her child, only if she is able to keep receiving the state funds. Knowing this will help you deal with her, right?

Hugs,
Marlene
 

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You can probably find a Loco Parentis on the net, or have one drawn up by your attorney. It is a power of attorney for a child. Deals with guardianship, etc. It's a very simple matter. Make many copies and keep the original locked up.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Spoke with D's mother today. She is all for Paul & I getting guardianship over D as long as he doesn't lose his medicare benefits.

PRAISE THE LORD!!!

She also would like to see D's medications modified and has invited us to D's next doctor's appointment so we can speak with the doctor!!

We'll start paperwork on the guardianship this week.

The Lord is SO GOOD!!! ALL THE TIME!!
 

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God bless all of you! Mom is probably hugely relieved that you're willing to help her in such a generous way. You're doing a wonderful thing.
 

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MullersLaneFarm The next question I have to ask ..... my youngest child is 14. I've already survived two teenagers ... why am I accepting anther TEEN???? :shrug:[/QUOTE said:
Love...Compassion...Insanity

And because you LIKE him!
 

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You're taking him in because you him and Him. There are days when my look at my great neice and nephew and wonder, what was I thinking. But then one of them comes up and gives me a hug and I know what.
 

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Guardianship. You don't need attorneys as long as the two of you agree. Go to the juvenile court, get the proper papers and file the paperwork for guardianship and they will set you up with a court date. You and DH will be fingerprinted, have a home inspection and your background checked to qualify for guardianship. We've been there done that in Arizona, your laws might be different in your state, I don't know. But that is what we had to do to take our granddaughter to the doctor without parental signature, enroll her into school, etc.. If you adopted him the parent would waive all rights to the child but guardianship they can be held responsible for health insurance and child support to you for him. IF you think his mother's interaction will be a negative interruption for your family then adopt him and she will be out of it completely.
Have you checked child protective laws in your state? I hope all goes well for you, you are saving a child's mental well being, do what you need to do to keep him.
 
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