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Estranged Daughter Question ?????

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
My wife and I have been struggling with something for the past two weeks now and I know that this site is primarily women *not that I have anything against mens opinions* This is the scoop, we both lost our jobs over two years ago now and have been full-time college students for all of this time. My wife will graduate this spring with an associates degree in accounting and I will graduate in June of '08 and providing I pass the certification exam I will be a Registered Respiratory Therapist. Our youngest daughter is 20 and has two children, Jordan will be two years old this coming Sunday. Our grand-daughter was born last August. She and the babies father have been off-and-on.......repeatedly. During the past 24 months (she has lived with us 18 of those months). They tried living together, but haven't been able to work things out. She moved back in with us in the middle of August, 2006, when Aaralyn was all of two weeks old. Due to the way that the plant that we both worked in relocated the plant operation we have had all of our schooling paid for....thankfully. Our unemployment was also extended......also. Long story short, my wife's unemployment ran out the first of this year. I had told our daughter that when it did run out that we were going to have to go and see if we could get any assistance.....such as food stamps. She didn't say anything and I'm not real sure that she believed that we would......BUT.....we had to do something to try to make ends meet and having paid taxes our whole life I find NO SHAME in receiving food stamps. We went down and talked to the local DHHR office and found out that with my wife and I as well as our daughter and two grandchildren living with us also that we could receive some food stamps, I thought that this was a good thing. When we were signing up the lady told us that our daughter was still receiving food stamps and that her address had never changed......all the way back to last August. We didn't say anything, not wanting to get her into any trouble. The lady somehow checked the balance left on her card and said that it would need to be spent before 5pm that evening because she was *killing* the card. We hurried home and told our daughter what had happened and she freakin' BLEW UP....her comments were....What is (the babies father) gonna do??? Do you guys ever think about him??? Well....actually, we were unaware that she was still receiving food stamps and giving him 50% of them. She gathered up the children and a few clothes.......and we haven't seen her or the kids since. She did a lot of ranting and raving on the way out about how Jordan liked us better than he did his own Mom. Never.....I say...NEVER, have we ever tried to take her place as either of the childrens parents. We love them just as much as if they were our own, but let her do the parenting to the best of her ability. She has since only stopped by and got some of her clothes, NOTHING for either of the kids has been taken from our house. It isn't because we won't allow it, its because she apparently doesn't want or need it. Unless she has bought the kids some more clothes I know that they don't have enough. My wife and I have cried ourselves to sleep ..........to many times to mention over the past few weeks.......thinking all kinds of crazy things like mainly, "What do the kids think?" What does she tell Jordan when he asks for his Ma Maw...or Pa Paw? We have made an appointment with a lawyer for tomorrow to see what rights that we have as "Grand-Parents". I just want what is best for the kids........and feel that WE haven't done anything wrong. I also know that we have shown nothing but pure unconditional love to our daughter as well as the grandchildren. What are we supposed to do.......pretend that our hearts weren't ripped right out of our chest when she doesn't allow us to even see or talk to the kids. I am bull-headed........and don't know what is the BEST thing to do.......or the way to handle this situation. What I do know is that both I and my wife DESERVE to be a part of those kids lives, and I'm not laying down and playing dead. I just want some visitation rights for us.....is that wrong of me? PLEASE be honest and if you have any questions.......please just ask and if I know the answer I will reply. If nothing else........pray for what is in the "Childrens Best Interest"...........I'm just hoping and praying that this works out in the end.......and I truly believe that things happen for a reason, I'm just dumb-founded as how this is in the best interest of ANYONE.

Winter Hawk
post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 
Also.........We are open for suggestions......we truly don't know what to do.

Winter Hawk
post #3 of 26
Oh Im so sorry you guys are going through this. I just wanted to offer my support and prayers for this all to be worked out.
post #4 of 26
Please forgive me if I sound harsh, but you people have been had.

I wonder if your daughter realizes that she is breaking the law by sharing the food stamps and whatever with whoever.

You have done your share of taking good care of your daughter. She has chosen to have an on again/off again relationship and that is her choice.....NOT YOURS. YOU are not responsible for her, or the children. (yes I realize grandchildren). SHE needs to grow up. If you are smart you will NOT let her into your home again. She needs to see what the real world is.

Again, I apologize if I sound harsh.

Just an aside on the "Rights of Grandparents". Unless you can pay, you don't have any. I have been forbidden to see my grandchild for 8 years.
post #5 of 26
I am sending hugs and prayers for you and your wife from Mississippi.




I do hope and pray that everything works out for you and for your grandchildren. Your daughter is a big girl and she needs to realize that she has to grow up and quit depending on you and your wife to take care of her and her children. I am not saying that you shouldn't take care of your grandchildren, but if your daughter is to ever come back in your home to live with you, you and your wife need to set down some rules that she will have to follow.

I would contact a lawyer to see what rights you have about your grandchildren too. I would do the same if it was going on in my life.

Please keep us posted on how ya'll are doing, I care about what is good for kids, and I think that ya'll being in their life is a good thing. I work at a kindergarden/day care, so I really care about children.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
Please forgive me if I sound harsh, but you people have been had.

I wonder if your daughter realizes that she is breaking the law by sharing the food stamps and whatever with whoever.

You have done your share of taking good care of your daughter. She has chosen to have an on again/off again relationship and that is her choice.....NOT YOURS. YOU are not responsible for her, or the children. (yes I realize grandchildren). SHE needs to grow up. If you are smart you will NOT let her into your home again. She needs to see what the real world is.

Again, I apologize if I sound harsh.
I agree one hundred percent with this. Unfortunately your duaghter made the decision to do what she did and did not think about the consequences. When you first brought up that you were going to get food stamps she should have said womething. She acted like she was not going to be found out, she was hiding it. It makes me wonder what else is she hiding? I know we sound harsh but it is the reality. Why did she need to share the food stamps with the babies father? Were they married? He should be able to get his own unless they are hiding something from you that would make it so he couldn't qualify. By not saying something she put you at risk for not being able to get any. It doesn't sound like she is putting anyones intrest first but her own, sadly not even the babies.
You made the right choise to see a lawer, unfortunately unless there is abuse you really have no rights. You may be able to get court ordered visitation, each state is different.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope everything becomes alright.
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by KittenKiya View Post
Please forgive me if I sound harsh, but you people have been had.

I wonder if your daughter realizes that she is breaking the law by sharing the food stamps and whatever with whoever.

You have done your share of taking good care of your daughter. She has chosen to have an on again/off again relationship and that is her choice.....NOT YOURS. YOU are not responsible for her, or the children. (yes I realize grandchildren). SHE needs to grow up. If you are smart you will NOT let her into your home again. She needs to see what the real world is.

Again, I apologize if I sound harsh.

Just an aside on the "Rights of Grandparents". Unless you can pay, you don't have any. I have been forbidden to see my grandchild for 8 years.
She was wrong to be cheating the system. And wrong to be pissed at you.

I am sure you did what you could to raise her right, but sounds like she needs to grow up and face the consequences of her actions.

As far as keeping the kids from you, that will be her cross to bear. You have done nothing wrong, and those kids will know that. Hopefully sooner than later.
post #8 of 26
I am so sorry that you are going through this.I can't imagine the pain that you are feeling over this.
I can't offer any legal suggestions.I just wanted to let you know that I am praying that you and your wife are able to find a middle ground with your daughter and are able to see your Grandbabies.
Good luck and keep us posted.
post #9 of 26
Just wanted to let you know that I am praying...
post #10 of 26
It sounds like your daughter was looking for a reason to leave, because of her irrational reaction to the food stamps. She should have told you she was getting food stamps when you said you were going to apply in the first place. Maybe she wants to be "on again" with the babies' father.

The only solution I can see, since you want them in your lives, is to give her an "out." I'm not sure how to do that, not knowing your daughter, but it would be a way for her to save face so she can return to you, next time she's on the outs with her SO.

Unless you can prove she's an unfit mother, I'm afraid it's up to her if you get to see the grandbabies. I'm going to guess she knows she has this leverage with you. Good luck.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank-You........ALL for keeping us in your prayers. I don't think that anyone said anything that was to harsh.......just being truthful. We will know more tomorrow after the appointment with the lawyer. We are hoping that things are leaning OUR way on visitation rights because........we have literally raised the two grand-children. Keep your fingers crossed......and don't stop praying.

Winter Hawk
post #12 of 26
Good luck ....
post #13 of 26
I don't have anything to add. I just want to say I hope that this all works out in the end. You are in my thoughts and prayes.
post #14 of 26
She just got mad because the system caught up with her and took it out on the wrong person. Hopefully, she'll mature and realize it was her own doing and she's only hurting her children by keeping them away from you.

This reminds me of a friend of mine who paid off her on again/ off again boyfriend's child support for him so he wouldn't go to jail for not paying anything for HER daughter! Stupid!

Good luck tomorrow!
post #15 of 26
I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you!

Sorry I don't have any advice to offer!
post #16 of 26
Sounds as though she's been silly and overreacted because she was embarrassed about being caught out. I imagine no matter what age you are it's shameful for your parents to catch your being "naughty".

She's probably too embarrassed to come back to you now and admit she was wrong. You may have to go to her and make a peace offering... I certainly would not tell her you've been to a lawyer about getting access to the grandkids! That will make her incredibly defensive.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Sounds as though she's been silly and overreacted because she was embarrassed about being caught out. I imagine no matter what age you are it's shameful for your parents to catch your being "naughty".

She's probably too embarrassed to come back to you now and admit she was wrong. You may have to go to her and make a peace offering... I certainly would not tell her you've been to a lawyer about getting access to the grandkids! That will make her incredibly defensive.
I agree with that although she seemed really mad how long has it been since u seen the kids? I am sorry I really dont have much to add but I know if I werent able to see my niece and nephews I would be doing what u are doing and also I was always at their house babysitting and even my grandma said I have taken part in raising them! But you guys are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope all works out for the best Please keep us updates
post #18 of 26
I have a BIL and SIL whose daughter and their two grandchildren have been in a similar situation. She has a on/off again relationship and either will live with him, move out on her own or move back with her parents. My BIL/SIL have their grandkids stay over quite a bit as they have had a major part in raising them. We see our grand niece and nephew a fair amount and my g-neice seems to accept the situation well (she is in 1st grade) My g-nephew (they have different fathers-the SO of the past few years is not one of them)-well be is a handful-has some speech problems but he also sees his father hereas by g-niece has no contact. I know they have thought of seeking custody of the kids but so far have not pursued this.
I feel your daughter is not mature enough to take charge of her life. The thing with the food stamps proves part of it. Hopefully she will realize that she is making a mistake in not allowing you to see your grandchildren.
Hoping for good results for your family.
post #19 of 26
I see nothing wrong with you conferring with an atty for information/options.
I would suggest you chill before you take any action however.
The lack of rights, I'm sorry to say, is most likely correct, unless you are a legal guardian. (some grandparents do it so they can have a third generation child on their health ins, regardless of status of who is taking care of child)

I cant tell the history you have with your daughter over the years, but I am confident she will come back to you. if she does, dont rub her face in the food stamp debacle or her running away in a huff. You can address at a later time when everyone is calm.

She has it pretty well at your home and it sounds like her relationship with her SO/children's father is unstable and inconsistent, so I doubt she will stay with him long term out of your home. I'm guessing she will come back to you all once she has re-visited reality outside your home.

I dont know her well enough to even guess at her deplorable behavior towards you all. Did she vehemently indicated that you two were barred from her children's lives? Or was she just being a mean little girl? We all say things in anger we later regret...esp. if we are immature. (I was an immature young woman fer sure, but I didnt have children I need my parents to help with).

I am confident eventually this will work out since it sounds like you and your wife are loving parents...and your daughter will *get it* eventually.
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
We met with the lawyer earlier today and told the story. She listened and asked questions for an hour and a half, and I will say that the consultation didn't cost us a dime. Due to the fact that the grandchildren have been living with us, for Jordan this is 18 months of his 24 months and for Aaralyn since she was less than two weeks old, the lawyer looked up the laws in our state in some kind of book that she had and told us that the amount of time that the grandchildren had been around us 24/7 that we had a REALLY good case for visitation rights. Quite obviously there was the opportunity for more of a close relationship with us than if they hadn't lived with us. GOOD NEWS......for US. She told us to make a list, to the best of our ability, of ALL of the things that we had done or purchased for our daughter as well as the children during the times that they lived with us. Not an easy thing to try to recall.......but we will do our best. She also said that she wanted to know about our history as far as something that could be used to show that we wouldn't be a good influence towards the children. We have nothing to hide, and answered all of her questions concerning us and our behavior. Then she wanted to know about our daughters childhood and teenage years. The fact of the matter is that she didn't make some good choices as far as her behavior goes during this time. She was in trouble in school, as well as with the law and her choice of friends left a lot to be desired. We attended numerous classes that she was court-mandated to attend while she was still a juvenile. We checked her into a mental-health facility at the advice of her lawyer at the time. We have holes knocked in our walls, broken windows, and numerous items that have disappeared over the years all as a result of HER choices. We have literally bent over backwards and kissed this girls ass.......to many times. She has never had to grow up because she has NEVER been held accountable for HER actions. As I said in my earlier post, OUR intentions isn't to cause her trouble. What we want is to be able to spend time and enjoy our grandchildren. We have no desire to NOT allow her to be the parent, but it seems that her decision making process isn't any better today than it was when she was in the second grade when she stabbed a classmate with a pencil. I have never witnessed any abuse with or towards the children, but have personally had my hand slammed in a door which broke some bones, I've been punced in the nose......and called names that I can't mention here. She just seems to have a problem when things don't work out like SHE thinks they should. She can't accept NO as an answer to anything that she wants. What she needs is a real dose of REALITY. The last thing that I said to her as she was leaving (two weeks ago, this evening) was......"Contrary to what you may choose to believe, The world isn't out to get YOU......and.....The world doesn't revolve around you and what you want".......the sooner that she realizes this as the truth......the better. The lawyer wants a $2500 retainer fee.....which is a LOT of money, BUT, there isn't a price that can be put on either my wife's or my love for our grandchildren. We are not trying to exclude our daughter, we have just come to accept that we are not responsible for the choices that she makes. She has burned some bridges with our family that might not be able to ever be rebuilt. My wife and I are very forgiving people and there has never been anything that we have not been able to forgive. BUT, we would have to be fools to ever forget. We can come up with the money by next Thursday, when we have another appointment with the lawyer......and even if she brings the children back to visit with us before then, we have decided that we want this to go through the proceedings to prevent her from sprouting another *wild hair* two months down the road and repeating the process of not allowing us to see or talk to the kids. To us, the children are the innocent ones involved in all of this, they can't make decisions for themselves and shouldn't have to pay for an adults choice. I know that she doesn't think that we will seek any legal advice on this matter......well, she's WRONG. We want what is the best for the children......not for ourselves, or their mother. What a freakin' world it has become, I would have NEVER have believed that we would be put in a postion to either give up, and not see our grandchildren that we have been major players in raising up to this point, or seek legal action on our parts to be able to visit with them. I am not a quitter, but I am a realist......when someone can explain to my wife and I HOW the children are better off with US not being a part of their lives...I will gladly admit defeat. Because, deep down in my heart, I know that we have only been a good and positive influence on those children. I want to thank-you ALL once again for praying for resolve to this situation and for keeping us in your thoughts. I will keep you all posted to how the situation unfolds, but before we even start the procedure I'm gonna make a prediction. When our daughter sees what is going to happen........she's gonna come begging for forgiveness and she will get the forgiveness.......but her choice will not be forgotten. I want legal papers saying that we have the right to visit with our own grandchildren to protect us in the future, because until she gets her life straightened out and her priorities in order it would just be a matter of time until she took flight again. I feel sooooooooo selfish typing all of this, but know that my heart is in the right place and all that we want is what is best for the children. Once again......Bless You.......All.

Winter Hawk
post #21 of 26
Good for you, I do think that you are doing the right thing too.

And I do think that you are truley thinking about your grandchildren and what is best for them. I hope you stick to your guns about your daughter, she will never learn responsibility until people make her.

Please keep us posted on how things are going.

I will keep sending prayers and hugs from Mississippi for you and your wife and of course for those precious little children.

post #22 of 26
You sound like a wonderful person, i cant understand how you created such a monster!
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
You sound like a wonderful person, i cant understand how you created such a monster!
Neither can I, but things happen I guess.

It sounds like they have always loved her, no matter what, and that is the way that it should be. She has just never been made to be accountable for her actions.
post #24 of 26
My first question is "why does the father need food stamps?" If he isn't looking after the kids, why can't he get a job and feed himself. I'm wondering if he is pressuring her or threatening her, as he wants the stamps out of laziness. Her reaction makes me think something is up. If you approach her do it with love and acceptance. Perhaps she could move back in with you, share your stamps and meet a new man who works. It sounds like once you and your wife have gained your diplomas you will be back at work and she could live with you, get help with the kids and work towards getting her own job. It sounds like this could have a happy outcome, if the father got out of the way and stopped requesting food stamps, etc.
Your daughter will eventually realize the love and help that her parents are willing to give and come back. I mean you haven't done anything wrong! You haven't criticized her life decisions, right? Your just there for her. Show your support for her future and this may help to bring her back and ease her anger.
post #25 of 26
i am praying for the best possible outcome for the children. ((vibes))
post #26 of 26
Your daughter sounds very immature, I'm sorry to say, so your grandchildren really do need you. Does West Virginia have grandparents' visiting rights? Some states actually do. My eldest niece's father refused to allow his parents access to her after his divorce from my sister, and they took him to court. The legal proceedings started in Pennsylvania, and were continued in Florida, where they'd moved, and they managed to obtain the right to see her for a minimum of 14 days a year. He pulled the same thing on his second wife, my niece's stepmother and a PA resident, after their divorce. That dragged on for so long that my niece reached the age of 13, and was legally allowed, under PA law, to decide herself whom she could visit. Good luck to you!
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