Well, believe it or not, it's looks like I'm going to become a mom again.
Yep. That's right.
Didn't think I had it in me, did ya?
Now that you've picked yourself off the floor, I just have to say one thing...
It's not what you think. ;-)
I used to write about my nephew, The Happening Dude. If you click on the tag you can read what a neat kid he is.
To make a long, convoluted and ugly story short...
THD is my older brother's son. He and his ex-wife adopted THD out of foster care when he was about 6, shortly before they divorced. She got (my brother didn't fight it and had a sh*tty lawyer) sole custody of all of their children and promptly moved them to another state with her new boyfriend. My brother saw them about once or twice a year.
I love my brother, but bless his heart (or damn his soul---take your pick), he is not a very responsible parent.
Anyhoo several years later, ex-wife and new hubby had a baby, and decided that they just didn't have room for THD any more. She called my brother and said, take him or I'm returning him to foster care.
See. I said it was ugly.
So that's how THD came to our family. I'd only ever seen him twice in his life before that and he'd just been a little guy.
At the time, my brother had moved back to our state and was living with our parents, trying to "get back on his feet". THD lived with all of them for the next 3 years, and the majority of the child rearing fell to my mom. To give her a break, Hubby and I would have THD on school breaks and the odd weekend.
We all adore him. He's a delightful kid.
Almost 3 years ago, brother's ex and her new hubby got divorced. Ex decided to move back to her home state, and while her new ex hubby would pay child support, he had no intention of financing the lifestyle to which she wanted to become accustomed. She wanted THD and his adoption subsidy back. She promised him things would be different and that he could come visit us in the summer.
And he wanted his mom and missed his siblings, so we didn't fight it.
It didn't last a year. He stole some cash from her and ran away. I wrote about it here. He was running away to us.
The police picked him up 3 cities over at the bus terminal a couple of days later.
That is the very last we heard of The Happening Dude. Seriously.
Ex refused to come and get him, and demanded that he be in a juvenile center until his case came up (she pressed charges for the theft of money). As his sole custodial parent, she also demanded that none of us be allowed to have any contact with him whatsoever. The only information we've had about him in the last year and a half is that he's been in a juvenile group home. We weren't allowed to write, call, pass on messages or even know what city he was in.
Apparently the state has been trying to work on reunification and ex has been resisting. They finally basically told her to "sh*t or get off the pot" already and she informed them that she never wanted THD back. She just didn't want any of us to have him. She'd rather he stay in foster care instead of being in a family if it meant coming back to us.
The state told her that if she had no intention of reunification, they were going to contact the rest of the family to see if anyone wanted him. She signed over her rights.
My mom got a call from them 3 weeks ago. They said, "is there anyone there who is willing and able to care for THD?"
And Mom gave them a big resounding YES!
Unfortunately, at her age, my mom doesn't feel up to parenting an active 17-year-old full-time. My brother doesn't have a fixed address and travels with his work. My younger brother and his SO work full time so nobody would be home after school (not a really good idea).
So that leaves us. I'm home, we have a good disability support system up here (THD was born with FAS and has some learning disabilities), and we already have medical caregivers in place, so we wouldn't have to hunt one down to sign him up. THD can spend breaks and the odd weekend with his dad and grandma to give US a break if we need it.
We had a family meeting about it to see what the guys thought. Hubby, was of course immediately on board from the beginning. Little Guy was ecstatic.
I explained it all very carefully to the Big Kid. We're all still adjusting to his move, and I didn't want him to feel like we were replacing him.
"You have to go get him, Mom. We can't leave him there. You should give him my old room."
That's my boy. Coming through when it's needed most.
We have a meeting (phone conference) in about 10 days. If all goes well, we might have THD by May.
I got to speak to him for the first time in almost 2 years a couple of days ago. Told him that we hoped that he knew that we wanted to reach out to him but weren't allowed to, and that all of us---his dad, grandma, uncle, me and my guys loved him and missed him terribly. He would always have a place with us.
"So does that mean I get to come home?"
I hope so, Kiddo.