Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gangs, Birth Family, And What Are We To Do?

We have a dilemma here.

Teen birth brothers and birth cousin are going deeper into gang life, flashing colors, getting tattoos, cousin just got out of "Juvie" for stealing a shirt with gang colors and getting caught while at birth mom's house, etc.  Oldest birth brother is awaiting a jury trial for murdering a 19 year old girl and injuring a couple others in a fight.  Birth mother is trying to get her life together, but is up to her ears in out of control teen boys, the trial, taking care of numerous nieces and nephews while their parents are in jail and doing her own post-prison requirements.  Birth Uncle, who actually has it the most together in his family, has been in the nursing home and hospital for a month with a bad infection. His wife is looking for a home with wild birth cousin and her littlest boy because they are currently living with relatives. We've been in contact with them, Hubby visiting the hospital and we've been helping with rides when possible, since they also lost their car.

The dilemma is that some contact with the birth family has been good so far.  Some of the birth family really need a little help and encouragement.  Birth mom seems to be avoiding us at this time and doesn't want the kids to visit her at her house and doesn't answer some calls.  The birth family seems a bit dangerous at this time, and we don't want the kids to be sucked into gang life or caught in some dangerous turf war, etc.  I also don't want the kids to feel rejected again like they did before when we lost contact with the birth family.  

We need wisdom.  How much, with whom, and what kind of contact do we encourage so that it is best for the children?  What do I say to the kids when their birth mom seems to be avoiding them?  How do I explain things to them in a way that they can understand, yet won't blurt out something stupid to the family that can be misinterpreted?  

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