Any Grandparents Raising 2 or 3 Grandkids?
This is a long story...
First of all, we are 54. We have a total of 6 grandkids: 2 grandsons, 2 step-grandsons and 2 step-granddaughters. We had 4 childen ourselves, our youngest son is now 17. Two oldest children are married.
Our oldest son married a girl who already had a 5yr old daughter. Her daughter was in foster care from the time she was about 3 until 5yrs old. My son and his new girlfriend then found out they were 'pregnant' and the new baby would be born in May '99. Prior to the birth of the new baby, they were able to get custody back of the little girl. Soon after that, it was learned the little girl had been sexually molested by her biological grandparents. My son then married Dec '99 and joined the US Navy Jan '00. After boot camp and training, they moved to Florida.
This past June, I got an emergency phone call saying they needed me to come to Florida before the state took away the kids due to negligence on his wife's part. The 8yr old called 911 because she couldn't wake her mother up. Base security came to the house and found her mother still in bed sleeping while the 2yr old was in his crib and the house a total mess, their dog was removed from the house, and my son was told it was necessary for another adult to be at the home with the children or the children would be removed from the home. So, I flew to Florida, spent 2 months there and my husband and I then decided it best to take the children back with us.
We have had the children (Zachary age 2 and Caroline age 8) since the end of July.
The problem is that my son's wife is incapable of caring for the kids even though she thinks she is quite 'ok'. She is under doctor's care (psychiatrist) and there has not been a diagnosis as of yet. When we took the children home with us, the 2yr old wasn't saying a word and was extremely shy and it took me a week to get him to come near me the first week I was there in Florida. He wouldn't talk to strangers ... in fact, he never said a word. Now he is talking up a storm and he is very friendly with everyone. He is very happy; in Florida, he cried everytime his mother was around. The 8yr old is seeing a pshchologist and she has emotional and possibly other problems like her mother does. Her mother is able to feed, clothe and bathe the kids but she isn't able to teach them what they need to know because she doesn't know herself for the most part (like not being able to fold up an ironing board for example, or taking muffins out of a muffin pan because they stick... she doesn't know how,etc. etc.). When the children lived with her, she never talked to Zachary, didn't tell him what things were; she fed him and never told him what he was eating so naturally, he didn't know any words!
And there's more bad news now. We just learned that she is pregnant again! My husband is throwing up his hands... he wants to send the kids back. I'm hopeful after he thinks about the situation, he'll change his mind. Actually, I don't know what to do. If we send the kids back, it is very possible they will regress. My son thinks everything is ok with his wife. I think my son is in denial. I feel it is too much of a risk to take the kids back but my son thinks everything is ok.
My husband doesn't want to take care of 3 kids. It's just too stressful on us especially when it's like pulling teeth to get any $ from our son to help support these kids.
Also, there will be a fight on our hands if we decide to go for guardianship, or maybe even custody.
On one hand, we think maybe it would be best to just send the kids back and 'hope' everything works out. On the other hand, our hearts tell us that's the wrong thing to do.
Also, I'm worried when she has the new baby, that she won't hear the baby cry, because she didn't when she had Zachary (I was there and my son was there to take care of the baby). This time I will not be there and my son will be out to sea. They live in Florida; we live in Michigan. Also we cannot have her come stay with us because it is just too stressful when she is around.
There's also the possiblity of birth defects because her family background includes cerebral palsy (don't know if that's heriditary or not) and the mental problems she has (undiagnosed at this time but possibly ADHD or Autism-Asperger's Syndrome).
We are disappointed in our son being so irresponsible and careless.
Hopefully soon we'll be able to 'know' what the right thing to do is.