When is it a good time for the SD to come stay with us?

Erin - posted on 10/12/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Our family, and my husband before that, has been visiting my SD at her home in PA while we live in central NC, a seven hour drive. We go up every month to have our one weekend, stay with his mother who also lives up there, and drive to get her and usually drop her off. She has never lived with him (other then before the divorce when she was one) or us down here. We have been talking with her about it, and we even told her we have a room for her to use as hers when shes visiting, and she seems excited about the room and now that she is almost nine, we feel she should be comfortable enough to spend the summers with us, maybe a week during winter breaks and what ever else is normal out of state visitation so we don't have to drive up every month. She seems very comfortable with us, a little distant perhaps, but we've been dealing with her being alienated from her father for the past year on and off. her mother hates him, and us, is mad he made a family without her and blames him for everything bad in her life, and his daughter knows how her mother feels. Its been a roller coaster just to have peace with bio mom. Bio mom insists that my SD is still uncomfortable with us and doesn't want to come visit at all. My DH has talked to my SD about this and told her she doesn't HAVE to come if she doesn't want to, that it is up to her and that he never wants her to feel bad about anything. She was just quiet. I don't know who to believe, She says she wants to come, her mom says shes scared. Should we get the court order changed so we have her here despite what Bio mom says? Or should we wait?

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[deleted account]

Good luck Erin! You guys are in our prayers! Once again can't believe as I read your post it's not me writing it.

Erin - posted on 10/26/2009

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Thanks! We are going to, we just need to set a little money aside for the lawyer and give her a call to set everything up. I know that my husband also wants a reduction in the child support becasue she is making twice what he makes and has been for the past year and their child support agreement was made when she didnt have a job. I know thats going to set her right off into a rage. But we want most of the summer, week in the winter and a long weekend of spring break and a few holidays that can be managed. We don't want more then two months going by without seeing her so we will have to figure it all out with her school schedule. Hopefully by next summer she will come stay with us for an extended time. She always wants to see pictures of her room in our house (that is still empty) and looked at the closet and said "wow I think thats big enough, I have a lot of clothes" Loves to talk about her being a big responsible sister and how shes happy she was born first so she can be the big sister. She adds "our" to all of my families things like "our car, Our puppies, our house" when we talk. But when shes around her mother, she barely will make eye contact with us, doesn't hug my husband or even hardly my daughter and son. Its like "oops, moms here, have to pretend I hate them and wish I wasn't here!". But it leads her mother to believe that she really doesn't like us, and I know it makes her happy but it also makes her want to fight for my husband not to see her when he wants to or at our house. So we shall see what the courts decide. Hope everything works out. I will let everyone know if we get thing rolling, probably by this Christmas. That would be a nice present, normal visitation rights like a real family.

[deleted account]

Maybe your sd is hesitant becasue she knows it will make her mother angry if she goes (or is even excited about the prospect of going) to visit you. If her bm has made her hate and distain really obvious, she may just be wanting to please her bm (I know I would have done pretty much anything to make my parents happy when I was a kid!). I would agree with the other ladies and encourage you to go back to court, and yes, be VERY specific in the order. VERY VERY specific! We had to go as far as set specific dates and times with my daughter's bm (who lives in Kansas while we are in California - her case is quite a bit different from yours though in the fact that she would never come up here for monthly visits, in fact, she barely even calls in the 3 months between her sceduled visits!). She simply would not agree to anything else, so we have to go to mediation every single year (since she will not agree to anything we want or ask) to set all that up (we go in July as our daughter's school schedule is July-June, so our "year" revolves around school rather than the traditional "year").



I would say your sd most likely wants to spend more time with you guys and you need to fight for it. Good luck and keep us updated! :)

Erin - posted on 10/25/2009

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Thanks Betty, I think so too. Unfortunately Bio mom want more then anything for us not to include her in our family. She HATES our little family. She makes sure my SD knows not to 'cross the line' and think that she can rely on her dad for anything. Lately they won't even pick up the phone when he calls. But when it comes for visitation time she makes sure she has her monthly baby-sitter there so she can go out and get drunk with her boy friend. But let us all be a family together? Nope, anything to prevent that, she will do. She ahtes it when we are happy, and tries her hardest to make our lives difficult. She basically encourages my SD to think poorly of us, she doesn't let my SD calls our kids her sister and brother, she makes her call them her HALF bro and sis. She says that they will wreck her toys becasue they are little and that they are annoying

Betty - posted on 10/17/2009

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She should be fine. Even if she told her mom she's unsure, that just means she's on the fence about it. She needs adults in her life to make these choices for her because she's a child. You could try planning a family vacation with her if you feel like you need to break the ice a bit. She needs to know that her dad can take care of her in order to build a stronger relationship.

Erin - posted on 10/16/2009

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Penny, its crazy, you are my twin in this situation! (holding your hand) hope as they grow these things will work out for the best, and i think a court order is he only way to go, thanks everyone for the advice!!!!

[deleted account]

Erin, I know we've talked before about how crazily similar our situations are. We also do the once a month visit up in the state where SD lives. Whenever SD is with us she is so excited about seeing our home and visiting our state. She will ask us how her room looks, what we do when it snows, or what we do for fun. But whenever she's on the phone at home she is silent and won't talk to her dad about coming here at all. Just last week when my husband and SD had their weekly scheduled phone call he asked her about coming down for Thanksgiving and SD said "just a minute my mom is whispering something in my ear." How crazy is that?

If you go back for a court order modification. Make sure it is very specific about when SD comes, for how long and where she will go. We ran into that problem last year when BM refused to let SD come visit us in our state because our court order just said "father will have parenting time for Christmas". We had to hire a parenting time expeditor to make those decisions and he sided with BM because of her lies and alienation. Get this.. the parenting time expeditor decided we would pick up SD on Christmas Day and spend two days with her in a hotel in the state where she lived. How ridiculous is that?

I hope everything works out, Erin. Just continue being patient with your step-daughter. We always pray one day ours will know the truth about how much we love her and have sacrificed for her.

Lindsey - posted on 10/12/2009

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It might be best to get a court order for it. The Biological mother might allow it a couple time then change her mind. So it is best to keep a constant schedule and contact to keep her involved. It also helps bringing her to your home to feel a part of your family.

Melissa - posted on 10/12/2009

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i think at this point the daughter can come and stay. if she waits too long she will develop ingrained fear about staying. as long as the home is stable and safe, she will be okay. she may feel a little weepy at first but over time she will value time she spends with dad and her stepmom. get it changed in court and follow the order.

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