We're going to try something that we've never done before. I'm not sure that it will be successful; I'm just hoping that we don't find ourselves regretting it.
A girl whom my daughter knows from color guard graduated from high school two years ago and started at a tech school type college. Some time afterward, she became pregnant by an unemployed man who was twice divorced and had already fathered two children. The girl dropped out of school and is now living with her parents and the child. She works at a McJob, to which she has to be driven because she doesn't have car insurance. She describes her father as 'loving her in his own weird way'; also, 'a control freak'. He kicked the boyfriend, who was living with them, out of their house twice, and he kicked her out of the house once, even before all of this started, while she was still in school. And, she's bipolar.
Two weeks ago, we took her with use to see my daughter (and others) perform at a high school football game. She seemed to really appreciate it. We got to see the control freak style in action; the father called her twice in the fifteen minutes it took us to get to the football game. I heard her say you're being a bit of a controller, again, Dad. But she seemed to enjoy the game, and she really enjoyed seeing the girls of color guard again. I suspect it reminded her of happier days.
Three days ago, she texted my wife, asking if she could come with her son to live with us. She offered to 'contribute to expenses, if necessary'.
We were stunned. After much thought, we concluded that we did not want to do this. Multiple reasons: we didn't want the responsibility of having to bring her to work, and babysitting for her while she was there. We didn't want the control freak father to be calling us frequently to see what she was doing. We didn't want the boyfriend showing up, let alone, wanting to move in. It all just sounded too scary for us. On the other hand, we didn't want to abandon her. I wouldn't say she was desperate, but she gave off something like that vibe. And maybe the father is a control freak, but fathers - good ones - want to know that their kids are okay. And, who knows, maybe her estimate of this boyfriend as a great guy is valid. I doubt it, but maybe. So we contacted some people we knew and asked them: are there agencies in this area that could help this kid get her life going again? (One friend warned us that she sounded like she was ripe to move in and drop into 'daughter mode', where the parents handle and pay for everything. We think so, too.) But each of them came up with two or three support possibilities, some of which sound pretty good. So we replied back. We said that we didn't want to let us live with us, but we would like to talk with her about some possibilities. Could she come over for dinner?
This weekend, we're having her over, and we're going to lay out what we found. And we'll see what happens. It may be that she arrives thinking that she has a chance to talk us into it. You put things softly - we're not comfortable in having you live with us - and people can draw such conclusions. We might have to be harsher than we like to be. My wife thinks that just the experience of getting out of the house, being away from the father, will be good for her. I hope so.
And I hope that she doesn't beg.