Our Journey

My older sister first had my chunky chipmunk cheek neice. She didn’t want her initially but our mom told my sister that her feelings would change. She grew to love her daughter. Her heart was in the right place even though not all her decisions were perfect. My sister had a lot of growing up to do and she was already 21 at the time. My neice’s father was in her life as well. However I notice that he had much growing up to do as well. He was a big video game player and in no way ready to be a father. Often times thinking of his needs before his child.

I went away my first year of college out of state when my neice was born. However I worried about her alot and decided to attend school back home after a year away. I also had some growing to do but would always check up on her. Sometimes living with my sister on and off.

Then my adorable little nephew came 5 years later. My neice was struggling in Kindergarten and just wasnt getting the right attention at home. My sister decided to move and I found out my neice had to repeat Kindergarten. I was so upset. Two parents with section 8 assistance, food stamps, and a utility voucher. As well as sometimes having jobs. How could they not have enough time to sit down with my neice to get her through her first year of school successfully?

I moved in with my sister again. My fiance and I tutored her every day after school and I began a relationship with her teachers. My nephew was only 1 at this point. The happiest baby in the world.

There was a family dispute and I moved out. I dealt with my personal life and growing pains. Then the children were taken away from my sister.  They were volunteerly placed with me. I found their father (who separated from the mom soon after I moved out) and he took over the children since it was his parental right. He moved in with his mom and sister. Then into his own place in an emergency housing program that paid his rent and utilities. He had food stamps as well. Through everything my mom and I would be there to help him with the kids. Almost becoming enablers. We wanted to give him a chance. However to make long story short, he was neglectful and still needed to put his children first. My nephew was so confused at this time. He felt like he was not wanted by his mother and always seeking the love of his father.

We live in Connecticut. My mother and I had enough and wanted the children with us. We gave the parents a chance for many years. However we did not have enough room for the children. I moved into my mothers house to help my parents out. The DCF told us that if the children were taken from the father, they would not be allowed to be placed with us since the DCF require a bedroom for each child. This we did not have. We didn’t know what to do and just knew we didn’t want the kids to go through all of this anymore. We waited for DCF to take the kids away. They were living in an unsanitary environment. However the DCF kept providing the father with too many chances.

So we were provided with information to not wait for the DCF and go to Probate Court. My mother and I did. We filled out the paperwork, paid whatever fees we had to, and awaited our first court date.

After 3 to 4 court sessions the kids were granted to us. We didn’t receive custody, we instead went for Guardianship. Custody, adoption, and Guardianship are three different things. We took the route of Guardianship because it would be faster. Later we would discover the option of becoming foster parents to just our kids. 

If we waited for DCF, the matter would have gone through Juvenile Court. If we were awarded the children through this court, the children would be considered a ward of the state. So we basically would care for them but we would have to ask permission for everything. From taking the kids out of state on vacation to who knows what else. We would simply be caretakers and the state would be their Guardian’s. Through this option we would also be guaranteed assistance through the state. However that was if they granted us the children since we did not have enough bedrooms.

As I mentioned before we took the Probate Court route. I didn’t like the idea of the children being a ward of the state. We needed assistance with the children but our control of what happens with the children was way more important. They have been through enough.

Luckily both children are just so full of positivity and unconditional love. They persevered through hard times. My neice through the whole time being strong for her and her brother. She naturally took a protective motherly instinct at a young age. When she finally came to live with my mom and I, I told her we got it from here. Its her turn now to be a kid. She is now 13 years old and her brother 7 going on 8.

We live with no assistance whatsoever and we are doing what we can. We have even been denied any type of assistance because of income guidelines. However I am so happy we are doing it as a family. As long as we are together we will get through it. I now have much appreciation for parents or guardians out their doing it all on their own. Bless you all!!!

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