Saturday, June 13, 2009

But Now I'm in a Ranting Mood

i guess it's #6 on my list of rant possibilities: Why other people enable our kids when they become adults. Now Foster Ima made a good point -- that it possibly conflicted with the fact that society offers no viable options for adults and that there is a lack of post adoption support. In a way it does, but when you hear my rant maybe you'll understand where I was coming from.

Most adoptive parents (and possibly even birth parents) don't have ridiculous standards when it comes to remaining home once completing high school and/or turning 18. Minimal employment, school attendance until you graduate, not bringing illegal drugs into the home, you know, really strict rules. But when we are finally pushed to our limit then we have to ask them to leave, hoping that reality will seize them and they will understand that in society we have to do something in order to have the things we need, like food and stuff. But interestingly enough, if you can find someone to enable you, you don't have to do anything.

I have learned this a lot over the past few years. There are parents who will allow my children to move in with them without expecting anything of them. In fact, they will not even ask us why our kids can't live at home or get any background. Come on in, they seem to say. Let me pay your bills and feed you while you sleep on my couch or in my son or daughter's room. You don't have to work, you don't have to contribute, just hang out here.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want my kids to be homeless. But it makes us look like idiots when we explain to children that life isn't like that and then -- abracadabra -- it is. Life can be free room and board, sleeping in until 1 or 2 in the afternoon, borrowing a vehicle when you don't have a license, and not working a minute of the week.

What probably makes me sound like even more of a hypocrite is that I would let someone else's kid live here if need be. The difference though, is that i would call their parents first and find out why they weren't allowed to live at home. I would hear the other side of the story, because I know there are always two. And I would have expectations. Even our kids' friend, Ivan, who has been here since last Sunday afternoon, helps out around here. He's only 15, but he helps with chores and dishes when he is eating at our table and lounging on our couch. And we talk to him about contribution and responsibility.

I rant, but I have no real answers, other than simple communication. The fact that John was invited to move into his 15 year old girlfriend's home after he ran away from a group home and was considered a vulnerable adult annoys me. She should have called me. She should have found out how much of his story was true BEFORE he was arrested. not afterwards. Maybe something could have been done to prevent this tragedy (by the way, he was to be in court yesterday. We have heard nothing other than that his attorney was thinking he would be spending at least another month in jail and undergoing some evaluations).

And you can see why I fell in love with this guy 9 years ago. And knowing that his life is forever altered because of his mistakes burns me. But knowing that his mistakes were enabled by another adult, well, that adds to the irritation.

People ask why kids in the system often return to the lifestyle of their parents and it has a lot to do with being around people who expect nothing of them. But that was on my list of rant possibilities, so I better save it for another time....


Julie said...

When I was still doing foster care, I supervised visits of a child in my home with her maternal grandmother. It was during one of the visits that her grandma told me, "You can't control who lives in your house!"

Uh, yes you can.

And, that is when I understood what it meant to have a dysfunctional family. Because, while I could complain that my mom suffered from depression and was sometimes hospitalized and my dad would have liked to control when I took a breath, on a day to day basis my parents managed to do the things that needed to be done -- including having control of who had access to our house.

But, that is apparently not the norm.

Cindy said...

Oh boy did you ever peg it Claudia. I have one right now who found enablers. And it worked for her the last three months. Caught up to her in the end though. Some of those enablers who didn't bother to call are now missing rather large sums of money as well.

So, guess where she is now as opposed to being homeless and in the streets? Yep, good guess - with her birthmom.

In His peace - Cindy
MoM(Mom of Many)

Angela said...

I so agree - how come my adopted daughter could find a friend's grandparents who asked no questions at all and supplied her with money as well as food and accommodation- until after 4 months their health gave out.

Nancy said...

Thank you for this post, as well as all your prior honest ones of course! Adult enablers is a very sore point for me, esp. when they come back & try to blame without trying to take any responsibility .... LOL I esp. liked Julie's comment as I can relate too much.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. My oldest son has a "friend" who is generally not allowed in our home. The guy was homeless two short months ago and I found him space at a shelter and followed up with the worker daily to find out what services were being provided for him. They helped him find a job and a place to live.

Even though this "friend" is not my favorite, I would have let him stay here if I couldnt have found him a place. But, I had to explain to my son that we were not going to take on the problems of the friend who is probably not telling us the truth about his circumstances anyway. I told my son that taking in the friend would not be doing him any favors because it just enables him.

There are always going to be people who will fall for the con though, because just yesterday the "friend" in our story got married! Rumor has it the young bride has a large trust fund.