Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Kid in Our House?

I promise... the cruise and our vacation details will be in the NEXT post. I'm working on it. We still haven't downloaded the photos for heavens' sake!

However, yesterday brought a development that I need to share with you, my virtual family.

The long and the short of it is:

Hubby's 16-year old daughter has elected to live at our house for half of each month.

This has been brewing for a number of years actually. It's not a surprise to me, nor to Hubby really. However, the final vocalization of her desires comes as a devastating blow to Hubby's ex and her family, with whom my stepdaughter has been living.

Hubby's ex and his two kids live with the ex's parents. The ex's father is retired, while her mother runs a before-and-after-school daycare in the home. It's a three-bedroom townhouse. The daycare is in the basement. The main floor is living area, kitchen, dining, etc. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms and the bathroom. My stepson is in one bedroom (formerly an office, now converted so he can sleep there). Hubby's ex's parents have the master bedroom of course; after all, it is their home. And Hubby's ex has a room... that she shares with Hubby's daughter.

I believe a great deal of the current angst and frustration that my stepdaughter feels stems from the fact that she doesn't have a room, a space to call her own. She can't go anywhere and shut the door and have any private time at all. And any 16-year old NEEDS that in my opinion. She gets that here in our house and she likes it. She wants more. She likes being with us and spending time with us. She wants more of that too. She wants more of us. She likes what she has in our home, I think.

In fact, she wants to move in with us full-time. But legally and logistically, that might be difficult. I need to look into some of the other factors that may come into play in the future. Technically, Hubby's ex has full custody, but at 16, I know my stepdaughter can choose where she wants to live. Of course, she also knows it's easier to do things with everyone's approval rather than fight her way along and have it result in tears, anger and a lot of money spent in the courts to resolve things. She's not stupid... not by a long shot.

As well, I need to find out if she can be covered under my insurance. I believe she can be, but I need to check it out for sure. And if perchance she came to live with us on a more full-time or permanent basis, how would that affect her student loans and the like? Would our income be factored into the equation? I'm not sure; I need to look into these details before we can do anything more than offer her two weeks per month at our house.

However, I do believe that even two weeks per month will help alleviate the tension in their home at the moment. And right now, that is the first goal. And of course to keep her off the streets and in the home of family who loves her and wants to see her do her best. So right now, this is the solution and we'll see where we go from here.

Wish us all lots of luck! And if you have advice, by all means, let me know! I'm all ears. I'm being thrown into the "parenting a teenager pool" smack dab in the middle of the deep end! Yikes!

And how to refer to these players in this blog?
Hubby's daughter?
My stepdaughter?
Petite's big sis?
Oooh, maybe la grande for my stepdaughter and le grand for my stepson? After all, they're the big kids, right?
I've got to come up with something that works, for all of us!

On another note...

Go over to The Road Less Travelled and wish Happy Birthday to Loribeth! It's a milestone year for her and she deserves lots of love and good wishes for her special day! Wishing you a spectacular day and a wonderful year Loribeth!

And congratulations to Kakunaa and her DH (Spermination Station) who got a settlement they've been waiting for quite some time to receive! How wonderful to be able to do so many things with some extra money; good for you girl!


Marc said...

I have to say, my main reaction is awesome! Why? Because it means you and Denis will get to spend more time with her and get to know her even better. It means you and Denis will have more influence in her life and will be able to guide her towards the correct choices.

I'm sure it won't be easy. It'll be a big adjustment for you and you get to deal close up with all those teenage issues.

As long as she understands that when at your place she has to live by your rules, not just Denis' rules but yours too then things should work out okay.

Congratulations, if you didn't consider yourself a step-mom before, you certainly are now and Denis' daughter and son are definitely your step-kids.

BigP's Heather said...

She is one lucky girl to have so many people love her and want her to live with them.

NO advice on the parenting a teenager thing but I know you will do great!

Anonymous said...

Interesting times! Hopefully everyone remembers to focus on what is best for her (SD16?)
It will be interesting to hear your parenting a teen experiences.

loribeth said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes!! You are brave, tackling motherhood, another possible pregnancy and a teenager all at once! But you're right -- better she comes to live at least part-time with you -- especially when she seems to like it -- than some other possible scenarios. Good luck!

Kakunaa said...

That is some big news, Gil! How exciting! At least, it sounds like you are excited :) And mayhaps a bit nervous, which would be utterly normal. That's a rough age, for sure. I know it was for me. Go you for jumping on the bandwagon and being supportive and working on a way to make it work for everyone.

And thank you for the shout out! You are so sweet!!!

Finola Francis said...

I love your thoughtful and open armed attitude towards your step-daughter. She is lucky to have you.
Thanks also for your very moving comment over at Kids in the Capital. I have been overwhelmed by the feedback there.
Glad to be *meeting you* here!