Sunday, late afternoon…we headed to Oma and Opa’s for a visit with Debbie and her BF…we sent the boys to a friend’s house, we wanted to have adult talk with NO interruption.
Richard would tell you that I did my best social worker interpretation. I would say he is spot on with that description. I worked them hard and I think we were all tired at the end of the 4 hours. I had a lot of questions I needed answered and a lot of information I wanted to pass on to her and her BF. The reality of it is; they are both developmentally delayed, they make very little money and have limited on site support..ie., Debbie’s parents are about an hour away and BF…well, his mom doesn’t seem all that great. From what he says she drinks a lot and has an abusive BF and she is a smoker. I really pumped Debbie’s BF up talking about how he is the man of his own house now and he will have a family that he is expected to protect and provide for. He should tell his mom that she is NEVER allowed to smoke anywhere in his home or near his daughter. I warned him that she should not be holding his daughter ever if she has been drinking. Mostly, NEVER leave his daughter with the moms BF….ever…I think he realizes why I was so adamant about it. He agreed with all I was saying. I think things are going to be very hard for them. I hope that I am wrong.
We talked about various programs she qualifies for being an unmarried pregnant woman. How she can get some income so that she can get thing that the baby needs. We talked food stamps and WIC and SSI and Medicaid and All Kids and on and on…things I had to research on the internet before I could even talk to them about it…I have no social work education to speak of. Things are going to be tough for them….I hope to be able to help them through it some of the time.
We talked about what they need; car seat, crib, clothing, high chair, stroller etc. She had intended on using the crib BF used as a baby. We talked about safety and why she can not use that crib. I offered her mine from the boys. It is in brand new condition. I also offered to get her a brand new pack and play/bassinet. I think she needs to have her daughter in the same room as her at night. Debbie sleeps like a rock…she would never hear the baby in a room down the hall. She seemed to like that idea. Oma and Opa will help us out with getting that. I told her that when the baby is READY for a high chair she can use mine…also in perfect condition and like new…she was happy to not have to buy one. She needs to get a car seat and wants to get it through the police or fire department. I need to research this and see if it is possible. This is going to be a huge struggle for them…I hope we can lessen the load a little.
There was so much to cover…so little time to do it in. We did what we could we set up a date for the grandparents to meet and get to know each other. Oma and Opa will be uncomfortable but I think it is a good thing to do. I hope that meeting with BF’s mom and the grandmother (that Debbie and he and the baby will live with) will easy them into the reality.
What is the reality…Debbie and Her brother are Developmentally disabled. Her brother will need to live in a residential care facility forever. He holds two jobs and drives. He is a great guy. He loves my boys. He is a very genuine person with a huge heart. There is big sis…she has her life to lead and to commence with she is trying really hard to do that. Living in Baltimore with her BF and his family, trying to get her and his feet off the ground. She has already spent enough time trying to mom and dad to stop coddling Debbie. To her credit…she has done a good job. Oma is mostly healthy. She works hard at her job she has had for years. Opa has had a good job for years but suffers back and should pain. Severe at times. They are in NO position to care for Debbie’s baby.
One of the things we talk about at great length was marriage and working together and working things out. I reminded them both that when times get tough, and they will get though, they had to rely on each other and that Debbie can not go running home at the first cross word that BF has for her (she has done in the recent past, going home for a week because things were “not good” at the BF). We talked a lot about holding it all together for the sake of raising their daughter. We also touched on religion because we know they are both Catholic and go to church. We talked about how much harder it would be to go with a baby and actually hear the word. We encouraged them to try to join a young couple group to meet more young people in their area where they can glean more information. I hope that they do, it will be a great benefit in the future.
I feel like some of the things we talked about were so obvious and simple, but that is what was needed and will still be needed. I only hope that Together Oma and Opa, Richard and I can make a difference so that this baby girl can become a productive and responsible person. Keeping her in the safest environment possible. I have no doubt that she will know and feel LOVE.
Off to single parent for the next 4 days…more thoughts to come….sorry for the randomness of these post about the impending baby and her mom.
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